Category Archives: Social media

China Fashion & Beauty The Perfect Selfie: China vs America Avatar

What’s on Weibo What’s on Weibo China Fashion & Beauty The Perfect Selfie: China vs America Avatar Published 3 years ago January 27, 2016 By Manya Koetse

People are taking selfies all over the world. The way they take them, however, differs per culture. In China, taking the perfect selfie is not about full face make-up and sexy looks, but about snow white skin and big eyes, Claire Kane writes. Selfies are an integral part of the world of social media. With smartphones and selfie sticks, it is easier than ever before for people to take a ‘self-portrait’ and share it with the world through social media platforms such as Instagram, Weibo, Wechat, Facebook or Twitter.

Self-representation through digital technology is not just a way of presenting ourselves to others, it is also a way for us to record moments in our lives to remember for the future. In Seeing Ourselves Through Technology, Jill Walker Rettberg explores the phenomenon of selfies; why people take them and how they are perceived.

Website Style.Mic recently published an article by Clare Kane (@clare_kane) about what the difference in selfies between America and China can tell us about beauty standards. According to the article, although there are many overlaps in selfie esthetics, there are some basic differences between beauty ideals in America and China that are discernible in how women take selfies. Chinese ‘selfie culture’ is influenced by South Korea and Japan, that have similar beauty standards.

One of the main differences, according to the article, is that Chinese women prefer to be pale. Whereas the majority of women in the US prefer a bronzed skin, this is not the case in China. In Chinese language ‘Miss Perfect’ translates as ‘baifumei‘ (???), literally meaning white-skinned, rich and beautiful. For the perfect selfie, the skin is therefore made to look as white as possible, either through make-up, lighting, or through a photo app that enhances one’s skin.


American celebrity Kim Kardashian (left), and Chinese celebrity ‘Angelababy’ (right).

Except for pale skin, big eyes are also a prerequisite for the ‘perfect selfie’. China’s beauty industry benefits from these beauty ideals, and does not only offer a myriad of products that help women whiten their skin; it also sells a selection of products that are supposed to make the eyes look bigger. Influenced by Western and Japanese beauty ideals, a small face and pointed chin have also become part of Chinese beauty ideals. Well-known Weibo blogger Vincent Lau has become famous for his selfies with an extremely pointed face and big eyes. vincentlauwow

Another difference, according to the article, is that women in the US like selfies that portray themselves as sexy and curvy. In China, it is not about sex but about looking ‘cute’. Being ‘cute’ often means looking as innocent as possible. kateperryfanbingbing American celebrity Katy Perry selfie versus Chinese celebrity Fan Bingbing selfie.

Chinese beauty standards are most easily attained through the use of photo app Pitu (??P? ), that comes with many possibilities. Like the Meitu app (??), which is also popular, Pitu is a camera and retouch app that offers a myriad of different filters to take the prettiest selfie. It allows users to make themselves whiter, make the face smaller and enlarge eyes.

Selfies in China and America do not always follow the general beauty esthetics. Last year’s Weibo trend of taking selfies showing of armpit hair also made it in America, where even Madonna showed off some natural hair. armpit The message: women should not feel pressured to comply with society’s beauty standards. What is most important is that they feel comfortable with themselves. –


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China’s goths protest after woman told to remove ‘distressing’ make-up on subway

China’s goths protest after woman told to remove ‘distressing’ make-up on subway

Weibo users post selfies of themselves in full make-up after woman stopped by security from boarding a train

A woman in goth make-up
It is a dark time for China’s goths Photograph: Alberto Buzzola/Getty Images

China’s goth community have united in an online protest after a woman was ordered to remove her dramatic make-up before being allowed on the subway to avoid “distressing” her fellow passengers.

In a post on Chinese social media site Weibo, the woman, who remains unnamed, recounted how subway security in the southern city of Guangzhou had stopped her from travelling because of her heavy eye make-up and dark lipstick.



Writing on Weibo, the woman recounted how “a female security guard called her manager, and said that my make-up was ‘problematic and really horrible’” before telling her to remove it if she wanted to get on the subway.

“As a Chinese citizen, I’m hoping to use this relatively public platform to challenge the authorities: What laws grant you the right to stop me and waste my time?” she wrote, in a post, according to a report by Chinese news website Sina News.

“If you are able to cite one, I am willing to pay for a banner to hang at the subway station, which reads, ‘People wearing gothic lolita clothing are not allowed to ride subway.’”

In response, thousands of Weibo users have begun posting selfies of themselves in full goth make-up and dark clothing with the hashtag #ASelfieForTheGuangzhouMetro.

Guangzhou subway has since apologised and suspended a staff member involved, but it has not been enough to stop the growing social media backlash calling for a wider social acceptance of subcultures in China.


More than 5,000 people posted solidarity photos of themselves in goth make-up, which in China is often referred to a “lolita” fashion, a subculture popular in Japan and increasingly now in China which is influenced by Victorian and Edwardian children’s clothing.

“I’m sorry people of Guangzhou, sometimes I go out like this,” posted Weibo user Haruko Ekov.

Jiolaa added: “What you see as fancy dress, I see as freedom,” wrote Jiolaa.



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