Yassification: What You Need To Know About The Social Media Trend

Whether we consciously attempt to adhere to this beauty standard or not, we’re all used to the concept of ‘Instagram face’: the phenomenon which sees people (often influencers) adjust their facial features (whether by surgery, tweakments, or editing apps), usually to achieve fuller lips, softer cheeks, and – troublingly – lighter skin.  

The yassification trend appears to satirise this phenomenon, simultaneously illustrating how commonplace retouching is, while highlighting that our so-called ‘beauty standard’ really just makes us all look the same. And kind of like Bratz dolls. 

According to Teen Vogue, The Yassify Bot account on Twitter, which is responsible for a large proportion of yassification memes, is ran by 22-year-old art student Denver Adams. In an interview with Teen Vogue, they said, “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.”

They added, “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.”

They also discussed racism in the context of image-editing software and Eurocentric beauty standards, explaining that, “I know what techno-racism looks like in facial recognition technology, and it is definitely a very serious issue,” with regard to the fact that yassification almost always lightens the subject’s skin.

GLAMOUR spoke to Dr. Nilufar Ahmed, a Psychotherapist and Psychologist at the University of Bristol, who highlighted the importance of questioning how we engage with filters that seriously alter our appearance. 

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