Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Bikini Bridge: It Is A Hoax, Girls, Please Ignore It

In the last 72 hours, 4chan users played a joke on the internet. For those of you who do not know what 4chan is, it is kind of like Facebook for trolls. People can post anonymously to the site, and it seems to be a place where people conspire with one another to make others upset.

Hence, the "bikini bridge." A 4chan user thought it would be funny to make this term go viral by hyping it on social media sites. Essentially, a bikini bridge is caused by the hip bones pushing a tight bikini bottom away from the skin because a woman is so thin. if you search for "bikini bridge," you will find a ton of pictures. I am not going to post any of them here.

The 4chan users executed their hoax brilliantly. They opened fake twitter accounts that looked like celebrity accounts, and they posted pro-bridge messages. A few hours later, they started posting anti-bridge messages. From there, the whole thing took off. People thought it was a real thing.

The problem is that it might actually be a real thing now. Girls and women, who are constantly barraged by negative messages about how their bodies look, now have another unhealthy ideal to attain. To be clear, some women's bodies will naturally create a "bikini bridge." Most, however, will not. But, if you starve yourself long enough, your body will probably respond. At the very least, you can feel shame about not being perfect.

The brilliance/evilness of the 4chan plot to create the "bikini bridge" phenomenon is that it is completely believable. It sounds like the type of thing that would catch on in a society so obsessed with physical image. My recommendation to girls and women: ignore the bikini bridge. It was a cruel joke played on you, and if you buy into it, you are just giving power to the trickers behind it.

Here is a 9 News story where I talk about the dangers of such hoaxes:

Click here if the video does not appear above.

Thanks for reading-- Max Wachtel, Ph.D.


Update: I posted a link to this video on Twitter, and within 30 seconds, two trolls had retweeted it. One pro-bridge troll and one anti-bridge troll. Possibly the same person. It is easy to tell these were not real Twitter accounts because they had been opened within the past few days and all of their tweets had to do with the bikini bridge.

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