A man looking into camera (L) and an altered version of the photo (R).

@GordonRamsay/Twitter @YassifyBot/Twitter

The many contours of the yassify meme

Toni Collette leads the latest wave of yassification.

 

Audra Schroeder

Internet Culture

Published Nov 16, 2021   Updated Nov 16, 2021, 1:49 pm CST

Have you thought about what Abraham Lincoln would look like with contouring and a blow-out? Or what Toni Colette’s character in Hereditary would look like with a smoky eye? The yassify meme is doing the important work.

This transformation is known as yassification, and it relies heavily on FaceApp, which digitally alters appearances. The term “yass” has long been associated with LGBTQ culture, though it’s been adopted more broadly. As Know Your Meme details, the term yassification has apparently been circulating on Twitter since August 2020. A more rudimentary—but no less terrifying—transformation was applied to Prince Philip in March.

The Hereditary scene started circulating on Twitter in early November, and eventually moved to TikTok as a “challenge.” TikTok has also started experimenting with the tangential “yass pills” meme.

But there are many other examples of the trend.

The Twitter account Yassify Bot has been creating yassifications of historical figures, politicians, performers, and even memes. According to BuzzFeed, the artist behind the account, 22-year-old Denver Adams, gets thousands of requests via DM, and typically uses the gender-swap feature if the person they’re yassifying is “male-presenting.” Hence, this Robert Pattinson meme.

Adams also said they’re cognizant of how FaceApp lightens skin color. The app has seen criticism for its filters in the past, including one that purported to make you “hot” but lightened your skin in the process, and a filter that allowed people to swap races.

The meme leaned a little more into pop-culture references.

https://twitter.com/Eizenclown/status/1460283120876408835

And now it’s reached another meme stage, a sort of post-language signifier.

Of course, Toni Collette continues to impact the meme. Some truly great art is being created on TikTok.

https://www.tiktok.com/@cxridtp/video/7029124882671750405?sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6891292833719813638&is_from_webapp=v1&is_copy_url=0

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*First Published: Nov 16, 2021, 1:43 pm CST