The Magnetic and Emotionally Complex Power of FaceApp’s Gender FilterBy Miz CrackerAs a full-time drag queen, I’ve spent a lot money, time, and makeup trying to look like a lady. But now there’s an app for that.FaceApp, a new mobile app that allows users to switch the genders of their selfies with the touch of a button, has sparked a social media frenzy. Since launching in February, it has garnered millions of downloads, inspired reams of think-pieces about race and beauty—and fueled thousands of gender-bending #faceapp posts on Twitter and Instagram.FaceApp offers many filters—users can see older, younger, or hotter versions of themselves, and so on—but the gender-bending option is one of the most popular among the gay male users in my social media sphere. And to be honest, it’s the filter that has me staring at my iPhone while no one’s looking. … Perhaps this is what has made FaceApp such a sensation—the sense of true transformation that it offers.
Also from Slate
Hey, Tech Companies: Knock It Off With the Apps That Let People Change Their Skin ColorBy April GlaserFaceApp’s racial filters lived only briefly, but they should never have happened in the first place.For a brief moment on Wednesday, FaceApp—the app that went viral in April for taking a photo of someone’s face and making them look older, younger, more masculine, or more feminine—had a new feature that let users see how they would look if they were a different race. That means white users could make their faces black, and black users could whiten their skin. There was also an Asian filter, as well as one to make people look Indian.Within hours, FaceApp had pulled down the new feature. That’s good. But really: Who thought it was a good idea? Did they actually think that this would go well? …Perhaps the Russia-based company wasn’t aware of the history of racial parodying on our side of the pond. But considering the outrage that ensued after its whitewashing filter, one would think FaceApp had learned that making an app to change people’s race will never, ever, ever, ever be OK.
We need an updating of Animal Farm
. Instead of chanting “Four legs good, two legs bad,” the characters will chant “Transgenderism good, transracialism bad” until they believe it.