The term first started gaining traction in early 2021 amongst the LGBTQIA+ community. An extension of the word “yas”, which dates back to the ’80s drag ball scene, to yassify something originally referred to “the process of making something more gay,” according to Urban Dictionary. However, the yassification of Toni Collette’s character in the cult movie Hereditary changed this. Boasting red lips and smoky eyes, it was the tweet that launched a thousand memes. As users everywhere started to create their own caricatures, yassification began to take on new meaning. Not bound by sexuality, it now refers to the act of making something better—both in the literal and absurd sense.
As the phrase has become more popular, yassification has started to shake off its visual roots and is now being used as a descriptor for concepts and cultural moments. Some examples include the yassification of Taylor Swift’s Red album, aka when the singer has re-released her 2012 album to include more tracks and better production. There was also the yassification of Oscar Issac, who sent the internet into a frenzy after his stylist posted a few fashionable thirst-traps of the actor.