TV: That’s kind of the case with most memes and trends these days. People just want to be entertained.
DA: Yeah, definitely.
TV: I guess one part of it would be that it’s a laugh, and also it’s pretty much just beauty filters to the max. It’s going on FaceApp and going 0 to 100, real quick.
DA: Yeah, that’s all it is. All it is, is just me putting it into FaceApp and putting as many of the beauty filters on — or, I guess, what FaceApp deems to be beauty — onto these images and cranking it up to 100, layering it. I’ll put it through the same things five times. Whatever makes it to the point of ridiculous.
TV: You use the word “ridiculous” a lot. How do you feel about the filter culture that we’re in, where everything’s so saturated with filters? Does that tie into the ridiculousness?
DA: I don’t know if there’s a deeper meaning behind this meme trend, but if I had to theorize it, it would be that it’s kind of making light of how ridiculous this AI technology is, how smart it is, how it’s able to read faces and completely retouch them into something so artificial with a click of a button, within one second. I don’t know if that’s a scary thought, but it makes a joke out of it which I think is funny. I would say that it’s satire.
TV: You made this account very recently. How did you come across the trend in the first place?
DA: I just hopped on a bandwagon. Since FaceApp got popular, probably like a few years ago, I’ve seen different things blow up of gender-swapped celebrities. Who doesn’t want to see what they look like gender-swapped or with this filter on? It’s kind of like Snapchat filters, you know? Everyone wants to try it. Then I saw that meme of Toni Colette from Hereditary go crazy on the internet, and I think it re-triggered people to want to see what they look like too with all that makeup. Even though it was funny, they were like “okay, I kinda wanna see what I look like though.”
You can’t really do any of the intense beauty edits without the pro version of the app, which, like, who the hell wants to buy an app subscription? I don’t. But I wanted to see what I looked like and my friends also were like “someone yassify this.” So I was like, I’ll be the one to pay the $5 for one month, so I can provide this service for everyone for a few days while it’s funny. Considering I never buy pro versions of apps, I was like “how can I maximize this purchase to the max?” I started the account after I bought the pro version and was seeing all the things I could yassify. I study art history in school, so I was putting all these classic art history portraits into the app. I thought they were hilarious.
I didn’t want to be annoying on my real Twitter, which has like 200 followers, so I made a new one specifically for that. I just started doing it, and people started seeing them and I had one blow up. It was Charles II of Spain or something. From then, I started getting 1000 likes, then 5000, then I got hundreds of requests. So I just started doing people’s [requests] being like “alright, people wanna see it.” It’s kind of like the same thing as my friends, they’re not willing to buy the pro version of the app, but I already did so… Someone’s gotta do it.