The #Underboob Hashtag Is a Gross Movement on Twitter

January 28th 2016

Laura Donovan

#Underboob and several variations of it (i.e., #UnderboobChallenge and #CarryPenUnderBreast) are trending on social media to encourage women to test whether they can successfully hold a pen beneath their breasts. Some men have decided to participate in the trend as well as a joke. Though the hashtag is meant to be light-hearted, the trend itself has made some women feel self-conscious over breast size.

Backlash to the #Underboob challenge.

Some have expressed concern that the #Underboob challenge can have a negative impact on body image — arguing social media and the Internet already perpetuate unrealistic body standards. Opponents have also described it as degrading to women:

The #Underboob trend.

Instagram account @underboobchallengeofficial is closely following the trend in order to post the latest pictures of female and male participants. The trend started in China on the platform Weibo, according to Mashable, and it has since taken over mainstream social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter.

Small breast shaming in our culture.

As ATTN: has noted before, there's a lot of small boob shaming in our culture, and some people will pay tens of thousands of dollars to combat this by getting breast implants. More than 285,000 women underwent breast augmentation in 2014.

Advertising and media also promote the idea that small breasts aren't as sexy as large ones. A lot of sexualized ads feature women with large breasts and skinny bodies, setting unrealistic beauty standards for the average women.

Actress Keira Knightley recognizes that large breasts give consumers a reason to pay attention. She told Allure last month that she doesn't feel audience members care to see her breasts in sex scenes because they're small:

"Sex scenes in films — I'm quite rigorous about what gets exposed. No bottom half. I don't mind exposing my t*ts because they're so small people really aren't that interested."

Keira Knightley

The #KylieJennerLipChallenge.

The #Underboob trend comes nearly a year after #KylieJennerLipChallenge, another body image trend, went viral on social media. Many people on the Internet took notice of the 17-year-old's seemingly fuller lips and decided to replicate her look through the #KylieJennerLipChallenge.


A photo posted by King Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

To partake in the trend, users had to stick their lips into small glasses or bottles and suck as hard as possible to temporarily give their lips a plump appearance. The challenge ended poorly for some people though, as news outlets swiftly reported that the trend caused bruising and unfortunate injuries for a lot of people.

RELATED: This Is How Safe Lip Injections Really Are