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App criticized for allowing men to be deceptively "manly" for dating profiles

Photo editing app allows you to enhance yourself for your dating profile.
Photo credit:
Manly - Twitter

As if the pressures of modern dating weren’t enough, there is a phone app called Manly which offers ways to enhance your look through editing to display as your dating profile picture, and it is being criticised for encouraging people to be deceptive.

Queerty explains that the app is primarily marketed to British gay men and offers software which can alter your appearance, so you can “meet the manly version of yourselves” with “red-hot perfect body editing.”

All you have to do is upload a picture and get to work on the editing tools, “So easy to be hot muscle men,” boasts the service.

The cost to make the custom avatar is included in the £4.99 price tag and includes tools to make you lighter, darker, muscular, hirsute and even inked-up if you so desire.

Instinct Magazine has criticized the service for its endorsement of deception: 

Not only is Manly promoting unhealthy, and now completely unrealistic, ideas of “the perfect male body,” but its encouraging users to participate in that lie. On top of that, this adds all kinds of problems in terms of dating and hooking up. People already get put off when you look different than you do in your profile picture, and now you can change it so you look like a totally different person?

The Be Real Campaign is an organization which hopes to change the attitudes and behaviors of negative body image. It's Co-founder Denis Hatton told The Independent:

“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.

“Just when we finally started to see progress with brands becoming more responsible and reducing excessive airbrushing, then along comes an app like Manly.

‘This app and others like it are a massive step backwards in creating a society less focused on appearance and more on who we are.”