Photos via Gage Skidmore (Fair Use) Remix by Jason Reed

The cult of Meitu, China’s global phenomenon selfie app

The people we know, as you've never seen them.

Feb 28, 2020, 5:16 pm*

Internet Culture

Michelle Jaworski 

Michelle Jaworski

Meitu, a Chinese selfie editing app that allows users to put different filters on their photos, has spread online to the rest of the world in the past few days after it became immensely popular in China. But now that the internet has its hands on it, a lot of people are using the app to edit photos of everyone but themselves.

The app is free through Google Play and the App Store, and once you download it it’s fairly easy to use. You can upload your own photos or take a selfie through the app, and then you’ll be able to edit your photo and place colorful filters like “Angelic,” “Mermaid,” or “Baroness.” The app’s mission is “to make the world a more beautiful place.”

Some have already started to push the limits of what the app can do by running photos through it multiple times. It sometimes works on pets, although Meitu won’t use the photo if it doesn’t recognize “any human faces.”

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And some even have tested out what Meitu can do when the effects are rendered on celebrities as well as beloved and memeable characters.

If I was you, I’d wanna be Meitu pic.twitter.com/5vSbv0ULyu

— Andrew Spena (@iamsosorry) January 19, 2017

This is how you use the app properly 😗 #FFXV pic.twitter.com/gJel5zUAYA

— Nij (@Nijuukoo) January 19, 2017

No, YOU spent the morning putting various videogame characters through Meitu filters… (for your viewing pleasure) pic.twitter.com/VUW9Tw4Pcw

— Insert Coin (@InsertCoinTees) January 18, 2017

So, um, I put Hux in the Meitu app… pic.twitter.com/A8tqf5VT29

— Huxcest Supply Co. (@FedaykinBree) January 19, 2017

But a portion of users have taken the app to beautify the world’s politicians, world leaders, and the influential. Meitu certainly adds a literal twinkle to their eyes.

I am having waaayyy too much fun with this #meitu app!!! pic.twitter.com/8vjQYzk2Xi

— Mistress Evilyne (@MsEvilyne) January 19, 2017

me: DON’T NORMALIZE FASCISM
also me: *opens meitu once* pic.twitter.com/sYBp5qV5R3

— (/_・、) (@malteserubble) January 19, 2017

oh no pic.twitter.com/OGTWSZyoau

— Marie Le Conte (@youngvulgarian) January 19, 2017

I ran Mike Pence through #Meitu and he looks like at least four of my ex-girlfriends #MikePenceLesbianVampire pic.twitter.com/8Mr2KVj5LV

— Tawdry Lorde (@MaryEmilyOHara) January 17, 2017

Donald Trump Jr., Baron of Meitu pic.twitter.com/7AHGXSw7VX

— AKCC (@adultdawnweiner) January 19, 2017

And some of them have taken to uploading several photos of President-elect Donald Trump in order to make him inauguration-ready.

Here’s Donald Trump in the Meitu app HAPPY NIGHTMARES! pic.twitter.com/eSTyrAgMXt

— Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) January 18, 2017

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh god no!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Pr6QqifSDB

— Chris Person (@Papapishu) January 18, 2017

Grah @tenderlove posted a thing and now I can’t stop processing things through Meitu. HALP pic.twitter.com/8I2bB9feXB

— brennx0r (@brennx0r) January 17, 2017

It only took six passes through the Meitu app to go from Donald Trump to waifu. pic.twitter.com/2s0zrwaHYR

— Jesse Busen (@jessebusen) January 18, 2017

“What happens when you put a picture through the Meitu filter multiple times?” pic.twitter.com/i2IFTQFmra

— BantamSam (@BantamSam13) January 18, 2017

The internet is a weird place.

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*First Published: Jan 19, 2017, 12:32 pm

Michelle Jaworski

Michelle Jaworski is a staff writer and TV/film critic at the Daily Dot. She covers entertainment, geek culture, and pop culture and has covered everything from the Sundance Film Festival, NYFF, and Tribeca to New York Comic Con and Con of Thrones. She is based in Brooklyn.

Michelle Jaworski