Pan Wenjing, an assistant professor in communication

at Renmin University of China, said: “Women are bombarded with images of female celebriti

es on TV who are almost always well below average weight, which can rarely be achieved in real life. Once they

accept this ‘thin idea’ of ideal beauty, they tend to become much more self-critical about their bodies.”

For most Chinese women who spend five hours a day on average on their smartph

ones, social media platforms have provided outlets for them to discuss body weight.

With a huge number of images available of super-thin actresses and m

odels, women have been focusing attention on a “problem” that is only in their minds.

This trend was underlined in 2016 when scores of women shared photos on Sina Weibo to prov

e that their waists did not protrude from behind an A4-sized sheet of paper-a “standard” they believed to be the norm.