Every few months, it awakens. No, not the Force. The FaceApp gender swap images. First appearing in 2017, the application made waves with a controversial race filter, which allowed users to “change their ethnicity” with filters including Asian, Black, Caucasian and Indian.
Since removing that feature, people have mostly focused on swapping the gender of subjects. You might remember a similar trend popping up last year when Snapchat released a gender change filter that more or less did the same thing. The difference is that this time, people are mostly focused on pop culture figures, like from Star Wars, Star Trek and the Real Housewives of New York.
These things never seem to go away. For example, on June 7th, Twitter user @meadowamidala shared a “female Anakin Skywalker” that looks like Scarlett Johansson.
female anakin is definitely Scarlett Johansson pic.twitter.com/5GXo0AM2yh
— meadow || snips 🥺 (@meadowamidala) June 8, 2020
But the trend reignited in earnest the following day, when Redditor Bruhscuit posted a version of Luke Skywalker in the /r/StarWars. The post showed several images of Luke Skywalker manipulated by the filter, giving him some blush and better cheekbones.
Shortly after going viral on Reddit, Twitter user @maticaps posted a gender-swapped version of mugshots of the several cast members of the Real Housewives of New York, which is its own kind of Star Wars.
FaceApp should be illegal pic.twitter.com/AzQ9UZ6QvX
— Matías (@maticaps) June 9, 2020
Over the next week, variations trickled in, updating images of Han Solo so that they too have more defined cheekbones and a little mascara.
you have had female LUKE SKYWALKER. but have you had female HAN SOLO? pic.twitter.com/9VkQYOlU8O
— 𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙣𝙞𝙚 🚀 (@ROGUEPEDRO) June 8, 2020
But it was Captain Kirk himself that really pushed the meme back into the mainstream. Sharing a photograph of a female Kirk, William Shatner declared his desire to “do” himself in a now-viral tweet.
😳🤔 I’d do me! 😝😘 pic.twitter.com/HjVOdnqXIm
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) June 16, 2020
The tweet inspired others to share variations of the crew of the Starship Enterprise and other Star Trek characters as women.
— TZE THEE CHUN (@thetzechun) June 16, 2020
— Ben Kraus (@TheSharkPunch) June 16, 2020
FaceApp swaps never seem to go away entirely. However, it’s rare to see William Shatner express a physical attraction to himself like this, so it makes sense why people are running with it. The meme will go back into hibernation soon, though. Enjoy your time with them while you can.