Lin Li posted these "before" and "after" photos on her Renren (a similar site to Facebook) profile page. Her university later reposted them.
“Hey, girls, college won’t just make you smarter… it will also make you prettier, richer and even whiter!” Chinese Internet users have been saying, making fun of a university in Beijing that published "before" and "after" photos of one of its students.
In what appears to be a bid to attract prospective students, Tsinghua University
reposted photos of a student taken before and after her university years on its Weibo (a site similar to Twitter) page.
In the “after” photos, the student is dressed more fashionably and seems to have lighter skin. After her years of study, her appearance fits more closely with the beauty ideals esteemed in modern Chinese society, with many believing that the perfect woman is “white (bai), rich (fu) and beautiful (mei)” or “baifumei.”
The university kicked off a social media trend, as other female students began posting "before" and "after" photos to show how their undergraduate years had changed them for the better. One even captioned her “after” photo: “A better me”.
While the university may merely be expressing pride in its blossoming students, some young women say that a university shouldn’t be adverstising the physical attributes of its student body in order to attract enrolment.