Teens sew hands and lips in new "human embroidery" game

Teens sew hands and lips in new "human embroidery" game
PHOTO: Weibo Screengrab

Parents, here's another social media trend that may cause harm to your kids.

Earlier this year, we saw reports of how the infamous "Blue Whale" social media game led some teenagers to ultimately take their own lives in a bid to "win" the challenge.

Now, a new "human embroidery" game has surfaced in China, where teens are seen sewing thread into their skin on their hands, legs and even lips.

Photo: Weibo screengrab

The game was said to be inspired by a manga character named Juuzou Suzuya from a dark fantasy manga series "Tokyo Ghoul", which was first published in September 2011 in a magazine and was later adapted into an anime TV series in 2014.

The character in the manga is often seen self-stitching his body as a form of body modification, with crosses stitched under his eyes, lips, neck and arms.

Taking self-stitching as a form of body art, teens in China are reported to be replicating the character's look and making it a trend.

Photo: Baidu screengrab
Photo: Baidu screengrab

According to The Paper China, a page on Baidu is even seen giving tips on how one should go about the act, suggesting the types of needles and threads to use, and describing sewing techniques to minimise pain. The page has since been removed.

In an interview with Hi News, a teen from China nicknamed "Xiao Qing" described how she got into the trend: "I saw that some people were doing it on the internet, and my colleagues were doing it as well, so I decided to give it a try just for fun."

"It's only a matter of pulling the needle through the skin surface, just like sewing clothes," she said, adding: "Be more careful and you wouldn't bleed."

However, it doesn't take a genius to know that such deliberate acts of pricking the skin is indeed harmful and could potentially lead to infections since bacteria could be introduced once the skin is broken. 

So parents and guardians, it may be wise to be wary of the influence of social media trends on impressionable teens, especially when it comes to performing potentially harmful acts disguised as a "game".

ongymm@sph.com.sg

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