A smartphone app has come under fire for encouraging men to “meet the manly version of themselves” by offering them “red-hot perfect body editing.”
Manly is a British app that allows them to upload photos of themselves and then edit their physical features to look more appealing to others on dating apps.
“So easy to be hot muscle men,” the app’s page reads. “Try #manly now!”
Users can completely change their appearance, with fake facial hair, exaggerated muscle definition, fake tattoos and even change their skin tone to presumably appear more “manly”.
Not everyone is a fan of the message the app is sending to its users.
“A lot of people think body image struggles only affect women, but we’ve seen an increasing number of men desperately trying to live up to the male beauty ideal that we constantly see across the media and advertising – a ‘fit, ripped and bulky’ body,” Denise Hatton, co-founder of the Be Real body positivity campaign, told The Independent.
“Apps like Manly play into the damaging narrative that to be considered an attractive man, you need to look a certain way, making it extremely toxic for impressionable young men.”
The app was released to online stores last year, but recently attracted a backlash by users on social media, The Independent reported.
“Just when we finally started to see progress with brands becoming more responsible through their advertising and reducing excessive airbrushing, then comes along an app like Manly,” Hatton said.
“This app and others like it are a massive step backwards in creating a society that is less focussed on appearance and more about who we are.”