December 12, 2017

"The power of appearances first became clear to him at school, in the mid-eighties, when he noticed how much attention a particular girl received because she was the only pupil who owned a bra."

"He soon found that there was money to be made selling cosmetics on the sidewalk — 'Owning a tube of lipstick was an untold luxury' — and dropped out of school after ninth grade to pursue business ventures. Cai co-founded Meitu with another entrepreneurial Quanzhou native, Wu Xinhong. The initial plan was to build a simplified Photoshop for what Cai called lao bai xing. (The phrase means, roughly, 'just plain folks,' and Cai constantly applied it to himself.) Once user data started coming in, they saw that their app was overwhelmingly used by young women for selfie enhancement. 'The demand was there even though no one knew it,' he said. He realized that the market for online beautification was his for the taking...."

From "China’s Selfie Obsession/Meitu’s apps are changing what it means to be beautiful in the most populous country on earth."

23 comments:

Henry said...

All words. No pictures. What?

Fernandistein said...

Obama makes a better girl than Trump does

Fernandistein said...

Obama makes a better girl than Trump does

William said...

The Meitu app is bound to foster #metoo experiences.

Nonapod said...

Maybe in the future everybody will wear those green mocap unitards and view one another through augmented reality glasses as impossibly fantastically angel people.

Rob said...

Hang on a minute. There were Chinese teenagers who needed bras?

FIDO said...

Ah to be an Asian Woman, beloved and wanted by...well...EVERYONE. Now they even get to remove those few flaws that genetics has inflicted upon them.

But...at least compared to American girls, they at least give a damn about their appearance.

There is a reason they are so beloved by the world...

Char Char Binks said...

You'd think the one with the bra would garner less attention.

madAsHell said...

Obama invented the selfie. They really need to acknowledge his wonderfulness.

James Pawlak said...

Again, the NYT Masthead should read, "Tell A Lie Often Enough And It Becomes The Truth".

Balfegor said...

I awish they would include the Chinese characters in these articles. For example, I think wang hong lian is 网紅脸, and tie fan wan is 铁饭碗, but it would be nice to know. I realise it might be hard in print, but there's no reason not to slip it in online. Not everyone pronounces those characters the same way, after all.

James Pawlak said...

司法

超过

人权

生活

Fred Drinkwater said...

Lao bai xing = old hundred names, "the masses"
According to a native Mandarin speaker

madAsHell said...

Lipstick!?!

I was recently traveling with a small group in Madagascar. The woman selling scarves saw a woman in our group applying lipstick. She was willing to trade a scarf for a half used tube of lipstick.

It made me wonder......Does the lipstick enhance her profitability after the sun goes down?

Larry J said...

Rob said...

Hang on a minute. There were Chinese teenagers who needed bras?


With over a billion people, Chinese comes in many shapes and sizes, including a former NBA basketball player over 7 feet tall.

LYNNDH said...

A few years ago we did a tour in China. I have to say that the young women in the restaurants and the tourist hotel staffs were some of the most beautiful women as a group that I have seen. My wife thought so too.

n.n said...

Selfie = selfish? And people wholeheartedly accept the framing.

Self-portrait seems to be a concept with a lower risk profile.

urbane legend said...

Impersonally, I don't see the appeal of Oriental women, lipstick or none. But then, Peter Paul Reubens is my favorite diplomat.

n.n said...

Selfie Obsession

A tautology.

FIDO said...

madASHell

It comes down to culture and economics.

The GDP of Madagascar is $405 dollars per person.

A lipstick costs from $13 to 25 dollars...which does not include any import taxes.

That scarf costs 50 cents in local labor and materials.

Not to mention, that she doesn't need to get in trouble with the Church ladies by being seen going into a godless den of Western depravity or informing her husband or father.

Because sometimes a girl wants to feel pretty and modern without wanting to be a prostitute.

walter said...

Lat I heard there was a supply vs demand problem.
Take it away n.n.

Alex said...

No wonder the magazine is failing hard. This article begs for pictures and not a single one.

rcocean said...

"Hang on a minute. There were Chinese teenagers who needed bras?"

As my wife says, "If you wanted big tits, you should have married Dolly Parton."