We've seen celebrities hop on the waist training bandwagon, the unhealthy thigh gap trend, and the less-concerning (but still odd) thigh brow fad. And now, there's a new health craze on the loose — and it may just be the scariest obsession to date.
In recent weeks, celebs have been taking to Instagram to show off a body part that we all have, but most likely have never paid close attention to. Yes, it's the rib cage — a focal point that has no basis in the reality of health. Stars, including Bella Hadid, Nicole Scherzinger, Rita Ora and more, have posted sexy photos to their accounts where the emphasis is clearly on making their rib cages protrude more so than other parts of their bodies. Even Demi Lovato, a proponent of body positivity and inclusivity, has posted a similar bikini body photo, which debatably shows off her rib cage in just the same way. Some fans of these stars have noticed the trend and have begun calling on them to no longer post such photos. (Whether that will happen or not is still up in the air.)
Yet again, Hollywood has chosen a body part that is important "for the time being" to represent the textbook skinny, beautiful body. What these celebs don't know, is that the rib cage is simply the "framework protecting your lungs." It allows us all the ability to breathe and, better yet, we all have the same rib cages — whether protruding out from under a string bikini or hiding under layers of fat. Bones are bones; being able to see them through skin does not equal a perfectly healthy body, just in the same way that having the ability to smile doesn't equate happiness or mental stability. Instead, these stars — and all of us, for that matter — should pay closer attention to other factors about their body like waist-to-hip ratio, their nutrient consumption, their sleep patterns, and their overall wellness.
We must, of course, consider the idea that these celebs may not have the "rib cage effect" in mind when snapping these photos. Fact is, most of them are essentially models with tight bodies, and either want to show off their hard-earned results, or are expected to show it off on social media as per their career paths. What's dangerous, though, is that celebrities' social media presence have almost forced this trend, and so many others, to be seen on a daily basis — and then seen again, and again, leading us to question why we don't look the same.
Even more dangerous is that some of these stars have upwards of 20 million followers. That's 20 million people who think that they, too, should have that rib cage effect when laying on a beach chair. In a world where we're constantly bombarded by depictions of what we "should" be — light-skinned, frizz-free, stronger than yesterday — the last thing we need is another bone to pick at on our own bodies.