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China Fashion & Beauty

Weibo’s Photoshop Hero: What You See Is Not What You Get

With over 1.4 million fans, @Kanahooo is Weibo’s photoshop star. She has gained extreme popularity by teaching people how to retouch photos through China’s many photoshop apps, and by turning regular people into superstars. Kanahooo has ignited a photoshop fever on Chinese social media.

Manya Koetse

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With over 1.4 million fans, @Kanahooo is Weibo’s photoshop star. She has gained extreme popularity by teaching people how to retouch photos through China’s many photoshop apps, and by turning regular people into supermodels. Kanahooo has ignited a photoshop fever on Chinese social media.

Photos by Weibo photoshopper @kanahooo, a.k.a. “Miss Photoshop Holy,” have been going around the internet over the past week.

Weibo user Kanahooo is extremely creative in retouching people’s profile pictures, making them look like manga characters or supermodels. People reportedly ask for her services so they can look more “shiny” on social media.

Kanahooo’s photoshop skills have become all the rage; she currently has over 1.4 million followers on Weibo.

On her homepage, Kanahooo shares tips and tricks on how to retouch images. She also launches challenges that allow other Weibo netizens to try out and show off their photoshop talent.

One of the requirements: participants cannot use the Photoshop program on their desktop computer – everything has to be edited with apps on tablet or mobile phone – which is also only how Kanahooo retouches photos.

Over the past few years, apps that allow users to retouch their photos have been getting more popular in China. Many photo apps have options to add makeup, make eyes look bigger, make the face appear slimmer, or even change hair colors.

Kanahoo also gives tutorials on Weibo on how to make the chin look pointier through the Pitu app or the Meitu app.

“I’ve become obsessed with photoshop since I started following Kanahooo,” one Weibo user says.

Kanahooo has started a real photoshop fever on Weibo, where thousands of netizens are retouching images and show off their work: “Here’s my homework, Kanahooo!”

About people saying that Kanahooo’s work looks unnatural, or does not necessarily make everyone look better, the photoshop hero says: “This is just a type of entertainment. It is about showing people the things they can do with their phone. I just think it’s fun to try and make people look different.”

By Manya Koetse

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    John Landon

    March 5, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Great Photoshop editing example. 2 of them looks like little bit cartoon but looking really artistic. Very creative editing ended.

  2. Avatar

    maddies

    February 20, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Is that an application?
    What is it’s name?!!

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China Fashion & Beauty

The Mulan Makeup Challenge: Traditional Chinese Makeup Goes Trending

Recreating the Mulan make-up look was the biggest beauty challenge on Chinese social media this July.

Manya Koetse

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Will traditional Chinese make-up make a comeback because of Disney’s Mulan?

Since Disney released the official trailer for its live-action Mulan movie earlier this month, Mulan is recurringly appearing in the top trending lists on Chinese social media.

Among all the different topics relating to the upcoming Mulan movie, the Mulan make-up challenge is one that jumps out this month.

The Disney live-action trailer showed a scene in which Mulan, played by Chinese American actress Crystal Liu Fei (刘亦菲), has a full face of betrothal makeup. The original animated Disney movie also features a full makeup Mulan.

Although there was also online criticism of the ‘exaggerated’ makeup, there are many people who appreciate Mulan’s colorful makeup look.

On Weibo, many showed off their skills in copying Mulan’s makeup look this month.

By now, the hashtags “Mulan Makeup Imitation” (#花木兰仿妆#) and “Mulan Makeup Imitation Contest” (#花木兰仿妆大赛#) have attracted over 300 million views.

Makeup such as lipstick has been used in China as far back as two or three thousand years ago.

Makeup vlogger Emma Zhou explains more about Tang Dynasty (618-907) makeup customs here; the skin would be whitened with rice flower, followed by the application of ‘blush’ (pigment of strong-colored flowers) to the cheeks and eyes in a round shape, to emphasize the roundness of the face.

A floral-like decoration would be placed in between the eyebrows.

The yellow forehead, as can be seen in the live-action Mulan, is also known as “Buddha’s makeup,” and was especially popular among ladies during the Tang Dynasty. A yellow aura on the forehead was believed to be auspicious (Schafer 1956, 419).

Although contemporary Chinese makeup trends are much different than those depicted in Mulan, traditional makeup seems to make somewhat of a come-back because of the Disney movie, with hundreds of Chinese netizens imitating the look.

Beauty bloggers such as Nico (@黎千千Nico, image below) receive much praise from Weibo users for their makeup look. Nico wrote: “I even opened the door for the delivery guy this way!”

It is not just girls imitating the look; there are also some boys showing off their Mulan makeup.

Although many still find the Mulan makeup look exaggerated and even “laughable,” there are also those who think it looks really “cool” – of course, depending on whether or not the application is successful.

Want to try it out for yourself? There are various amateur tutorials available on Youtube (in Chinese), such as here, here, or here.

The Mulan make-up hype will probably continue in 2020; the Mulan movie will come out in late March.

To read more about Mulan, please see our latest feature article on Mulan here.

By Manya Koetse

References

Schafer, Edward H. 1956. “The Early History of Lead Pigments and Cosmetics in China.” T’oung Pao, Second Series, 44, no. 4/5: 413-38. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4527434.

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China Celebs

Iconic Shanghai Singer Yao Lee Passes Away at the Age of 96

Yao Li, one of the seven great singing stars of Shanghai in the 1940s, has passed away.

Manya Koetse

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Chinese singer Yao Lee (姚莉), the ‘Queen of Mandarin pop,’ passed away on July 19 at the age of 96.

The singer, with her ‘Silvery Voice,’ was known as one of the seven great singing stars (“七大歌星”) of Shanghai of the 1940s.

For those who may not know her name, you might know her music – one of her iconic songs was used in the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians.

Yao’s most famous songs include “Rose, Rose, I Love You” (玫瑰玫瑰我爱你), “Meet Again” (重逢), and “Love That I Can’t Have” (得不到的爱情).

Yao, born in Shanghai in 1922, started singing at the age of 13. Her brother Yao Min was a popular music songwriter.

When popular music was banned under Mao in the 1950s, Hong Kong became a new center of the Mandarin music industry, and Yao continued her career there.

On Weibo, the hashtag Yao Lee Passes Away (#姚莉去世#) already received more than 200 million views at time of writing.

Many Chinese netizens post candles to mourn the death of the popular singer, some call her passing “the end of an era.”

“Shanghai of those years is really where it all started,” others say.

Listen to one of Yao’s songs below:

By Manya Koetse

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