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Perfect Splits refers to a Chinese photo fad that involves photographing oneself while performing a split, sometimes while multi-tasking other mundane activities such as talking on the phone or eating.
In early September 2012, a photograph of a young female performing a 45 degree angle split between two bunk bed ladders began to spread on the Chinese social networking site Weibo. Though her identity is not currently known, she is allegedly a junior art student from Shandong University at Weihai.
The photo quickly spread beyond Weibo and reached Chinese internet humor forums, where many users began praising the form of the mysterious girl’s perfect leg split, or locally referred to as “一字马,” a type of gymnastic technique in which one’s legs are stretched out far in a single line. Throughout the month of September, the original photo continued to spread on the photo sharing site KL688, Rum Soaked Fist forum, Chinese-American forum mittbbs, Mop.com, 铁血社区 forums and the xunkoo BBS among others.
Meanwhile, the photo’s popularity on Weibo soon led many other female Internet users to imitate the split and share their iterations online, which were submitted to the CK101 forums and the cnool BBS as early as September 25th, with additional compilations appearing on the Van698 forum and ETtoday the next day. On September 27th, a news article about the “perfect split” fad was posted on the Beijing Sina blog and the first English-language report on the photo fad appeared on Shanghaiist. In early October, the meme was picked up by numerous English language blogs including Tea Leaf Nation, China Buzz, Wot’s Happening, the Huffington Post and Digital Journal.
Wot’s Happening – PHOTOS: Chinese girl starts internet trend for a perfect split
Digital Journal – ‘Perfect Split’ meme is the new Chinese Internet craze