Summary of China’s Selfie Obsession

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China’s Selfie Obsession summary

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It’s said that the camera doesn’t lie, but these days, it does upgrade the truth – especially when it comes to Chinese social media, where at least half of all selfies benefit from beautification through specialized photo-editing apps like Meitu. And the beautification culture spills over into real life when young Chinese, mostly women, ask plastic surgeons to make their faces match their selfies. New Yorker staff writer Jiayang Fan interviewed Chinese Internet developers – as well as cosmetic surgeons and their perfection-chasing patients – about this developing trend. getAbstract recommends Fan’s intriguing look beneath the photogenic surface.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why young Chinese are reaching for perfect looks,
  • How they are using apps to beautify themselves online and
  • Who is reaping riches from the trend.
 

About the Author

Jiayang Fan is a staff writer for The New Yorker. 

 

Summary

Young people in China are obsessed with selfies – and looking good in them. With beauty-enhancing smartphone apps, they’re changing their looks online: enlarging their eyes, lightening their skin, whitening their teeth, and inadvertently or not, converging on a homogenized and Westernized appearance. The Beauty Plus app lets users dial in a beauty level of one to seven. It can reshape a face, sharpen a chin, and even make a person taller and slimmer. Filters offer moods like “celestial,” “edge” and – for those who feel the need – “personality.” No one would post a photo of a friend without beautifying it first. The process can involve multiple apps and take around 40 minutes per face. Cameras made by the Chinese company Meitu – which also sells photo-editing apps and owns the video-sharing platform Meipai – automatically start the beautification process the moment the users snap a selfie. Worldwide, more than a billion phones have Meitu apps installed.

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