Welcome to Meitu, Your Creepy New App Addiction

This viral app turns your selfies into super-kawaii anime alien portraits.

By Javier Garza January 20, 2017

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This could be a portrait of Barack Obama, or your cat—anything is possible with Meitu.

First, we dubsmashed our favorite Mean Girls quotes to send our friends.

Then we let SnapChat turn us into adorable puppies. Now we’re all turning ourselves into bug-eyed dolls using our new favorite app sensation, Meitu. Meitu is a free photo editing app that's been a hit in its native China for years and is now making major waves Stateside—it's arguably the first viral sensation of 2017. 

While Meitu has standard features you can find in most photo apps—like cropping out exes, adjusting the light levels because Rich’s is way too dark for selfies, and adding artistic filters to your frittata foodstagram pics—this app is way more advanced than FaceTune, designed to help you turn your selfies into super-kawaii anime alien portraits. Take an original photo and you can do everything from 1) adding cute whiskers because your bae loves cats to 2) removing scars to going 3) full-blown Kardashian.

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From left: unedited selfie; cat face; scar-free; airbrushed perfection.

But the real joy of the app is the “hand-drawn” feature, which can be best described as the SnapChat Beauty filter on crack. It takes every texture on your face and shellacs the hell out of it until you are a pretty, pretty porcelain Bratz doll. Each filter also adds its own Lisa Frank-inspired background, rounds and exaggerates your eyes, and cleans up your jawline (also known as the K-Pop treatment). Among my favorites are Angel, which turns your face into a gay Ken doll; Fairy Tale, which transforms you into a gay Tweety Bird monster; and Baroness, which turned me into a gay goth Dothraki. 

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Meitu filters, from left: Angel; Fairy Tale; Baroness

Meitu is dangerously simple to use, so you don’t need to pay your publicist to Photoshop out your flaws. My friends have taken a break from sending gifs of New Girl to each other via group text and replaced them with trading our freakiest Meitu faces. This week people are even Meitu-ing Donald Trump—just in case you needed something to run from on the treadmill, or in your nightmares. Who knows how long this fad is going to last, but for the next few weeks, save yourself a trip to Seoul and bombard your friends’ Facebook feeds with all your glittery Meitu faces.

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