As we look at the activities of young Chinese online, and in particular their habits when using Social Networking Sites, it is quite apparent that photographs form the primary means of social currency.

As we look at the activities of young Chinese online, and in particular their habits when using Social Networking Sites, it is quite apparent that photographs form the primary means of social currency. This is by no means exclusive to China but what is interesting is the means by which, girls in particular, maintain and elevate their online social status on sites such as P1 and Kaixin.

In order to maintain a high level of portrayed beauty, the process of doctoring photos has led to an increased level of ‘editorial control’. Blemishes erased. Contrast heightened = whiter skin. And for the more Photo Shop savvy girls, eye enlargement. These girls are all Adobe experts. Now in the online world this is one thing, if nothing else it gives rise to a whole generation of hugely proficient ‘photoshoppers’. However, keeping up with these ‘appearances’ offline means investing a lot of time in more traditional methods of cosmetics.

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