Tik Tok’s latest cruel challenge: a prize for winning the overweight girl

Women like trophies, a concentrate of bullying and body shame

SASSARI. The race officially starts today but many thugs have been preparing for weeks with a timely report on social media: the winner is the one who uploads the photo or video in which he kisses or hugs the most abundant girl of all, close to the nightclub and not knowing that behind these compliments is a cruel game. It’s called Boiler summer cup, where the kettle – that is the water heater – is the overweight girl and the idiot who manages to conquer it wins the summer cup. A concentrate of harassment, misogyny and discrimination, the triumph of bodily shame rooted in TikTok, the social favorite of teenagers who often provide fertile ground for terrible and dangerous challenges. To the point that in some regions of the Peninsula just before the closure of schools, the Postal Police issued a circular inviting teachers and students to pay maximum attention and many teachers organized classes in which they explained why such a challenge can be detrimental to mental balance. of the victims.

Alarmed mothers. And in Sardinia, worried mothers and fathers have already contacted the Regional Cyberbullying Observatory for help and advice: how to prevent your daughter from ending up online? And what if this happens? “Unfortunately, these kinds of challenges are becoming more frequent,” says Luca Pisano, a psychologist, psychotherapist and director of the Observatory. ” . The only way to avoid this is to remove the challenge: TikTok can do it (has deleted some videos so far). ed) but it is very unlikely that social media is chasing profit, the likes that generate such posts. We are in the middle of a sick system that sees the youngest as protagonists, some in the role of victim and others in the role of executioner: prevention campaigns do not work, to try to stop a very serious phenomenon we need to work on it. the concept of digital health, intervening early in wrong behaviors when you are still a child ”. The challenge will be discussed on Thursday 23 in Cagliari: on the occasion of the congress of Sicob, the Italian Society for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Diseases, experts will explain how a “challenge” like this can be devastating for those struggling with balance and is not accepted because of its weight.

The cruel challenge. “I’ve touched a 130kg boiler,” “That’s 100/110,” “I can’t get over 70,” “Aside from summer boyfriend, I have to win the boiler summer cup!” These are just some of the comments that can be read on TikTok where the first videos of girls shot without their knowledge have already been posted. With the bitter surprise for the protagonists: they realized that this kind boy was not in love, his interest was not real but pretended to get points in the standings. A deadly blow to self-esteem, especially for the most vulnerable girls. Some have locked themselves in the house: they are afraid of being disappointed again.

The cult of weight. We’ve been talking about her for weeks in the newspapers, on social media, on television: Vanessa Incontrada, an actress and presenter with a past as a model, ended up in the haters’ sights because of the weight she gained during pregnancy. She, a successful woman, has her shoulders wide enough to look forward to. But for little girls, with developing personalities, it’s more complicated. “Thinness is promoted on social media, the belief is spreading that the thinner you are, the prettier you are. Actually, eating too little is as dangerous as eating too much, but that doesn’t work out. And girls who do not reflect certain aesthetic standards feel inadequate: they may even think that it is better to lock themselves in the house so as not to be attacked and eventually develop depressive symptoms. The challenge is part of this context, in a sick relationship with the digital world, says Pisano. To limit the damage, we need to get to the root: the agreement we will sign with pediatricians provides for children to report misconduct – such as early use of tablets and smartphones. Only in this way can we hope to train mature and conscious adolescents ”.

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