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Somersault Kiss is a video fad in which a couple attempts to perform an acrobatic kiss by literally flipping one’s partner from a crouched, double bent stance into a seated position before embracing him/her into the arms. Since its viral breakout on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo in April 2014, the meme has spawned a series of video clips and animated GIFs depicting both successful and failed attempts at the trick by couples and friends.
On April 17th, 2014, the Guangzhoi Daily Weibo feed highlighted GIF examples of young Chinese residents attempting to perform the maneuver (shown below).
On the English-speaking web, video footage of couples performing a similar stunt have been shared on YouTube under the alias “flip kissing” since as early as May 2013 (shown below).
On April 18th, 2014, the Chinese news blog The Nanfang published an article about the trend, which initially dubbed the fad “Kiss Stir Fry” and highlighted several animated GIFs of both successful and failed attempts at the stunt. That same day, the social media news site SocialNewsDaily reported on the video fad sweeping across the Chinese web. As of April 22nd, the hashtag #翻跟头亲亲 (Somersault Kiss) has been mentioned more than 440,000 times on Weibo.
Chinese Government’s Response
On April 21st, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (PSB) issued an advisory warning about the high risk of injury associated with the viral video fad via one of its official Weibo accounts. According to the Wall Street Journal, the message read:
“This move requires a strong degree of arm strength, wrist strength, lower-back, stomach and back-muscle strength, as well as coordination. Otherwise there’s a high risk of injury to your vertebrae and head. Please do not rashly try this. Don’t use your life to make a show of your love!”
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Wall Street Journal – So Much for Romance: ‘Somersault Kiss’ Meme Sets Off Wave of Injuries
Shanghai Daily – Internet ‘somersault kiss’ craze dangerous, officials warn
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