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YassifyBot and ‘Yassification’ Memes, Explained

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YassifyBot and ‘Yassification’ Memes, Explained

“Girl with a Pearl Earring” in full face of makeup. First Queen Elizabeth contoured with the ruff up of her neck. Severus Snape with jet-black hair extensions. Smoky-eyed Sasquatch.

These are some of the altered images shared by YassifyBot, a Twitter account that started popping up in people’s feeds this month.

To “yasify” something, in the parlance of an account, is to apply multiple beauty filters to a photo using FaceApp, an AI photo-editing application, unless it has a subject – whether it is a celebrity, a Be it a historical figure, a fictional character or a work. Fine art – almost unrecognizably created.

Since YassifyBot’s account was activated on November 13, it has tweeted hundreds of photos showing subjects’ eyelashes being thick and spidery; His eyebrows look like they’ve seen the business end of a pencil; Their hair has become longer and, more often, colored; And his cheekbones and nose are shapely.

It should be noted that YassifyBot is not actually a bot. Its tweets are not generated by software. The account is run by a 22-year-old college student in Omaha who creates art under the name Denver Adams and told The Times that his legal name was not disclosed.

The process for creating each image is simple: Take a face, run it through FaceApp until it looks out of the ordinary or outrageously sexy, post, repeat. Mr Adams said in a Zoom interview that it only took a few minutes to create each image.

The timing of the account’s popularity is a bit puzzling. Easy-to-use photo-correcting apps aren’t new. FaceApp in particular has been the subject of news articles about privacy issues and its “hot” filter, which was ridiculed as racist for lightening the complexion of users’ skin. (In 2017, The Guardian reported that FaceApp’s founder, Yaroslav Goncharov, apologized for the filter, AI software blaming skin lightening on biases in its training.)

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The word “yes” — which can also be spelled “yes,” “yes” or with any number of A’s and S’s for emphasis — has been circulating in LGBTQ vernaculars for more than a decade. The term was further popularized by a 2013 video of a fan praising Lady Gaga. The Comedy Central show “Broad City”, in which Ilana Glazer’s character often refers to the phrase “Yes Queen”, also helped bring the term into widespread use.

According to KnowYourMeme.com, the word “yasification” first appeared on Twitter in 2020. As it spread, so did memes of celebrities being created digitally, including one depicting the actress. toni collette Her face suddenly settles into an artificially glamorized version of herself as she screams in the horror movie “Hereditary.”

“I didn’t make a joke,” Adams said, citing Ms Colette’s meme as inspiration. “I just ruined it.”

But what, really, is the joke?

Mr Adams sums it up to the sheer ridiculousness of the images, saying that the more absurd they appear, the funnier they become.

Like many Internet jokes, the line between pranks and celebration is blurry.

Rusty Barrett, a professor of linguistics at the University of Kentucky who has researched language in gay subcultures, sees a link between the images circulated by YassifyBot and the culture of drag.

Pro. “It inspires drag that drag queens sometimes look like plastic and get overdone,” Barrett said in a phone interview.

“Part of it is that it looks good, but it clearly looks fake,” said Prof Barrett. “That positive view of artificiality is something that is common in gay culture.”

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The “yassify” memes also share some DNA with the Internet subculture of “bimbofification,” which values ​​a dysfunctional and surgically enhanced brand of femininity.

Most bimboification memes are just internet jokes about gender performance, but some staunch devotees have taken to Reddit to document their real-life transformations, including self-hypnosis in order to become “smooth-minded.”

In the same way, yassing is fun until it isn’t. happy to see harry potter dobby Or Bernie Sanders The digital glam squad looked like they were lined up for the red carpet. But it is frightening to think that we are so vulnerable to this level of turmoil.

All memes have a shelf life, and the yasification fatigue has already started. The day YassifyBot joined Twitter, Tweeted by a user: “I have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by Yassification.”

It was only a matter of time before brands caught on to the trend. For example, last week, Amtrak promoted the “yasification” of one of its trains in 2022 on TikTok using the hashtags #Yassify, #Slay and #rupaulsdragrace.

Could this be the death knell of the Yasifai meme?

“If I wasn’t the one running the account, I would have already blocked the account,” said Mr. Adams. “Completely.”


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