Have you got Faceapp yet? This is an app that tweaks your face to make you look older or younger – or even change your gender. And as a trans person, I’m a little bit in love with it!
I was going to post something today about it being exactly a month until my first appointment at Nottingham GIC – but it turns out that April 31st isn’t a thing, so we’ll just have to pretend it’s a wonky leap year or something instead.
Anyway, there’s not really much more to tell on that matter until the day itself, so I shall write about my experience with Faceapp – seemingly the most talked-about app since Pokémon Go.
If you’ve been living in a cave for the past week, let me explain. You take a selfie of yourself, using the app, and then you can apply all sorts of filters. Now these aren’t the type of shite Snapchat filters you see all over social media these days – the ones that turn pouting girls into cartoon dogs.
Oh no, these are amazing. There are various filters, such as one which will make you look old – with leathery skin and wrinkles – and another which will make you young. Think big eyes and all the collagen!
Then there are the gender filters. In a nutshell, these will change men’s faces into women’s ones and vice versa. If you’re already male, you’ll just look more butch when you use the male filter. By the same token, women will look more “pretty”, for want of a better word, with the female filter.
So, lying in bed, I took a selfie – just my usual face with its shaved hair. Not the manliest of faces (thank God), but still unmistakably male.
I’ve been thinking a lot of late about the effects of estrogen on my face. Because, unlike other areas of the body, you can’t exactly hide that from people. And I ain’t wearing a burka.
I’ve seen loads of “before and after” pictures on the net of trans people transitioning from male to female. The results can be astounding – softer skin, a healthy glow and a complete redistribution of fat to give those beautiful cheekbones and a rounder profile.
But there’s not really any way to know how you’re gonna look until you start HRT. Or is there? Has Faceapp filled a void?
So, I ran my selfie through the various filters, including “the old one”, which made me look like my dad, “and the male one”, which made my face more chiselled.
It also put back the stubble I’ve spent hundreds of pounds on having removed with laser. Think Raiders of the Lost Ark – I looked like Indiana Jones, but I’d much rather look like Karen Allen.
So then, saving the best for last, I ran it through the female filter. Make me a girl! If only it were this easy in real life – a two-second job and done.
I won’t post the picture here, because it still looks a fair bit like “bloke me”, but the results were staggering nonetheless. Sure enough, my skin looked softer and my face rounder.
There wasn’t so much change in cheekbones, but my eyes looked bigger and brighter, and the filter had even plucked my eyebrows, which are overdue being waxed!
If the old filter made me look like my dad, this one made me look like my mum – but more like how she looked when she was in her 30s (I have good skin!)
Loads of people have told me how I look like my dad. But I can definitely see my mum in my features when I wear makeup – and I could do so again with this app picture. It wasn’t a carbon copy or anything – but you could definitely see a slight resemblance.
I looked pretty good. But I wondered what I’d look like if I ran a picture of myself with makeup and wig through the app. And so that’s what I did.
The picture was already really good – it was taken by a fabulously talented photographer at my makeup party, so I’d just spent several hours being made up by a professional cosmetics artist. I was also wearing my gorgeous £200 Raquel Welsh wig.
So here’s what I ended up with…
And I don’t want to brag – but I think the app made me look really good! My cheekbones, already accentuated by makeup, looked stunning. My skin was flawless. Faceapp had even lifted my “hoody” eyelids, and my hair had been given extensions and an auburn tint!
I’m not used to looking good. I’ve never, ever looked hot as a man – just stunningly average. I remember going to clubs in my 20s, dancing around to Britpop music and feeling euphoric – and then catching a glimpse of myself in a mirror and thinking: oh!
But I’ve always loved my look when dressed up and made up. I remember saying to my friend Michelle at the makeup party, when we were messing around taking selfies after way too much wine: “I should have been born a girl.”
So three cheers for Faceapp. If this really is just a teeny, tiny glimpse of the future, bring it on!