Let's do a fun little exercise.
Let's compare profile pictures of MySpace.cn's China and international users.
Note, however, that we hold the international users classification on MySpace.cn suspect -- the one profile link that DID work (for me) in the international profiles section led to a white American woman who's profile didn't hint at any interest in China.
First off, let's take a look at the international lineup:
We're going to dub these as:
- Vacation Cool,
- Hot Or Not,
- I Have Friends.
Next up, the China lineup:
And we dub these:
- Webcam Candid,
- Photoshop + Webcam Candid.
Granted, I refreshed the page a few times to select ones I found interesting but we can already draw some generalizations about profile pictures:
- Chinese users do not feel compelled to present a "realistic" glamor shot. That is, they have little hesitation in using image manipulation programs to augment their picture. (This augmentation being different from using Photoshop to doctor up an existing picture within the bounds of realism.)
- Chinese users have lower standards for their glamor shot -- blurry and what i called candid webcam shots are in.
- Closeups are in in China. Staring at the camera, however, is not.