WTF Is That Weird New, 5 Billion Dollar Photo App, Meitu?!

What is up with.png

The Chinese photo-editing app Meitu has recently rose to fame…or perhaps, infamy, as people are even using a certain oompha loompha’s photos…

So, I decided to download it and give it a go, and to tell you guys exactly what it is, and what I think! I remember years ago when there was that weird person-making app that came out, I was absolutely obsessed with making videos of animated Beny. I think every annoying girlfriend in 2015 was obsessed with that stupid little app.

Anyways, it’s been two years, so it makes sense that another weird little cutesy photo app has risen to fame. I proceeded to the App Store, and took a look at what was in store for me.


Okay, no biggie. It was just another cutesy photo editing app. Nothing strange about that!

Upon downloading the app, I saw that there was a standard “beautifying” camera with various features and options, along with a collage option. There was a section for users to share their custom-made filters, and a “hand-drawn” section. That section was the most…interesting to me, so it’ll be the bulk of those blog post. But before we cover that, let’s just go over the general stuff.


This is their general face enhancing from “subtle” to “strong.” Regardless of the strength, my face was airbrushed, slimmed, lightened, and enhanced according to what the app believed was “beautifying.” I still find it quite problematic that it slimmed AND LIGHTENED any photograph I put in. Especially the skin lightening…but that’s for argument another time.

Slimming VS the original, non-slim version. (I pressed my finger on compare to the take the screenshots)

Short, stout original Chrissey VS the tall, slimmed out version of the app. There is literally an option for every feature of your body that you would wish to fix. Face slimming, acne clearing, face smoothing, skin lightening, face lifting, eye enlarging….everything that you could possibly want to change about yourself, you can. There is even body slimming and lengthening. I think the fact that something like this exists is problematic, but that’s just my opinion.

I’m a firm believer of loving yourself the way you are, which is why I never edit my pictures for my blog. THE ONLY THING I do is edit the lighting–most of the time to brighten up a photo. But that is it. But that’s just my opinion, and I’m sure there’s others out there who love the face smoothing and slimming, and whatnot. To each their own.

Okay, and for the strangest part of this app…the feature that turns your selfies into hand-drawn “paintings.” There were weirdly specific rules about how you have to have a front-facing selfie, and your hair has to be past your shoulder length. I guess it’s because of how the app operates. There’s no need to place the little points over your eyes or other parts of your face, the app automatically detects everything.

For scientific testing, I used a front-facing selfie that I love, another selfie that I love that is slight side-facing, and one that I don’t like that much.


  1. a front-facing selfie that I love
  2. another selfie that I love that is slight side-facing
  3. one that I don’t like that much

Painting- Angelic

This is actually kind of terrifying, I think I look like an albino rabbit-human animorph. The slightly side-facing photo looked the least offensive. I am a little concerned about what the others look like.

Painting- Blossoms

This one had a hot! next to it, signifying that it was a popular one. It also makes you ghostly pale, and makes you kind of look like a red panda. Or like Harley Quinn did your eye makeup! I like the background, but everything else about it makes me look like I’m the ghost empress daughter of the cherry blossom orchard.

Painting- Fairy Tale

Okay, WTF IS GOING ON WITH #1 AND #3? Are those animals in the background supposed to be my woodland helper friends? AM I supposed to be a fairy tale princess? I look more like one of Cinderella’s worker mice. This is also terrifying.

Painting- Petals

Enough with the weird skin mutating, already!

Painting- Mermaid

This one, dare I say, is the least terrifying? I don’t know why there are tears coming out of my eyes. Did someone cut off my tail? Have I sold my voice to Ursula? We may never find out the truth.

(The middle one is kind of cute. Note I said kind of)

Painting- Baroness

This is supposedly the gothic emo sister of the other paintings. I look like a little vampire mouse, and it isn’t super scary. At least, not as scary as the other ones.

And I tried one with a non-square photo to see what would happen! I used the Mermaid filter for this one.

Kinda cute!

I like how these filters make my hair look, sorta, but everything else is kind of scary. Egads. Maybe if they had an option where we were only like 10% mermaid it would be kind of cute? Maybe.

This was fun for a little bit, but I don’t see myself gravitating towards turning me (and my loved ones) into Meitu paintings.

Also, I totally used one of my guy friends photos in this app, and upon showing him he made me promise to let it never see the light of day. Yikes.

(PS- doesn’t my eye makeup look bomb as hell in the first blog post image? Whoa, Meitu).

Are you guys going to test things out? Or are you scared after my experience? I hope this explains this strange little phenomenon a little better!

What’s your least offensive Meitu filter? Mine is the Mermaid!



7 thoughts on “WTF Is That Weird New, 5 Billion Dollar Photo App, Meitu?!

  1. I’ve never heard of this app! I totally agree with you though, I think apps like this are problematic on a number of levels. Well, the need/desire/demand for apps like this is the problem, I suppose, not the app itself necessarily. I think these ideals are unhealthy because they perpetuate harmful ideas that lighter skin are ideal (which perpetuates racism), that thinness is ideal (which perpetuates eating disorders and body image problems). Like, what if people didn’t feel like their skin tone was too dark or too pale, or that their body was too curvy or too short or too tall or too thin? I’ll get off my soapbox now and just say I’m with you — I only edit my photos for light.

    Also, girl you were killing me with these descriptions — “ghost empress daughter of the cherry blossom orchard” lol!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree completely about what you said about the ideals. It’s really strange and sad that there’s such a high demand for apps like these, especially to the point where it’s not valued at 5 billion for this app! It’s been SUPER popular as of yesterday because of people using it on Trump/other celebrities, and after seeing it blow up my timeline I thought, “okay, why not give it a review?”
      And I’m glad you enjoyed the descriptions hahaha. I know they’re meant to be “cute” and “pretty” filters but come on… they were pretty horrifying!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I literally just got this app because all my friends are using it and I have such mixed feelings. I enjoy Fairy Tale and Mermaid the most, and think of them the same way I think of snapchat filters that turn me into a sheep or give me the flower crown and sparkly eyes. I’m into cutesy stuff, and view this as more of a style, so I feel like the portraits definitely make it feel like I’m very filtered up to match that context, so I don’t mind them as a concept. My main beef is that the app frames the edits and filters as if they will grant beauty to you in a way that you couldn’t have before, and the fact that all the filters automatically lighten my skin. The assumption is that if I want to be “beautified” that I’d obviously want to be lighter. I think that’s why I like Mermaid so much, is because it retains doesn’t lighten the skin as much as the other portraits.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like Snapchat filters because we know they’re exactly that–supposed to be fun and adorable. I think these have the pretense of beautifying, which is problematic to me for the reasons that Charlotte listed–the skin lightening, the face slimming, etc, etc. And the demand for apps like these is a little problematic as well–after all it’s valued at 5 billion! I think it was a little fun (and weird) to play around with, but it’s not something I would keep.


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