Jiayang Fan on beauty in China - SupChina
Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

Premium

Join the thousands of executives, diplomats, and journalists that rely on SupChina for daily analysis of the full China story.

Daily Newsletter

All the news, every day. Premium analysis directly from our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Goldkorn.

24/7 Slack Community

Have China-related questions and want answers? Our Slack community is a place to learn, network, and opine.

Free Live Events & More

Monthly live conference calls with leading experts, free entry to SupChina live events in cities around the world, and more.

"A jewel in the crown of China reporting. I go to it, look for it daily. Why? It adds so much insight into the real China. Essential news, culture, color. I find SupChina superior."
— Max Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China

Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

OR… for more in-depth analysis and an online community of China-focused professionals:

Learn About Premium Access Now!
Learn More
Minimize
Learn More
Minimize

Jiayang Fan on beauty in China

Jiayang Fan is a staff writer at the New Yorker who writes on many topics, but in the past year, has penned several one-of-a-kind pieces on Chinese society. She has been on Sinica before to discuss why so many Chinese people admire Donald Trump.

Her most recent piece for the magazine is titled “China’s selfie obsession,” and is a fascinating look at a company called Meitu (美图 měitú; “beautiful picture”), an app and mobile phone producer that is now responsible, it is estimated, for the editing more than half of China’s selfies. So many mobile phone users — including users of Meitu’s own branded phones — have used Meitu’s apps to enhance their self-portraits that the company is now worth $6 billion.

But what does the intense obsession with beauty, and the way that young people share beautified pictures online, say about changing values in China? How does this relate to internet celebrity (网红 wǎnghóng) in the country and obsessions over teen male stars (小鲜肉 xiǎoxiānròu; literally, “fresh young meat”)? What redeeming qualities of these phenomena can be found, and why are they especially prevalent in China?

Jeremy and Kaiser sat down with Jiayang at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business’s New York campus to discuss these topics. They also discuss Jiayang’s piece from earlier this year titled “China’s mistress-dispellers,” a rare inside look at the booming business of sabotaging the exploits of unfaithful husbands, and what it means for matrimony in the Middle Kingdom.

Recommendations:

Jeremy: Buying a DJI Phantom 4 drone.

Jiayang: Using white pepper in recipes, particularly for hearty soups. She says it’s a bit spicier than black pepper, but “fruitier” and “a lot more complex” — contrary to what the internet says.

Kaiser: The article “Where millennials come from,” by Jia Tolentino of the New Yorker. It’s about millennials from a millennial perspective, and skewers some of the common media myths about the generation, while also identifying what the author thinks is actually worth criticizing. And

Chinese Warlord: The Career of Feng Yu-Hsiang, by James E. Sheridan, about an interesting general from the Warlord Era whom Kaiser’s maternal grandfather worked for as a diplomatic adviser.


Editor’s Note: Some of our listeners have reported that the podcast is not being refreshed in their apps. Rest assured, we’ve put out a new podcast every single week this year! Please unsubscribe and resubscribe on your podcast app and that should solve your problems. And if that still doesn’t work, you can manually add the feed URL: https://supchina.com/feed/podcast/sinica. Most podcatchers have an “Add URL” option on the add or search podcast page. Our apologies for the interruption in service!

Share
Kaiser Kuo

Kaiser Kuo is co-founder of the Sinica Podcast and editor-at-large of SupChina.