As If an App Named ‘Manly’ Wasn’t Bad Enough, It Lets Users Alter Their Dating Profile Photos

As If an App Named ‘Manly’ Wasn’t Bad Enough, It Lets Users Alter Their Dating Profile Photos

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When you’re looking for a guy on an app, one of the most important things is honesty. Photos in apps let you see who you’re going to meet. Even aside from safety concerns, it’s nice to see who it is you’re talking to. Yet the new Manly app is a photo editor explicitly designed to help you fake dating profile pictures.

The Manly app lets you make simple edits to yourself, like giving yourself abs, tattoos, facial hair or muscles, just to name a few. While it seems clear the app is trying to advertise itself as a way to make dating apps “fun” with SnapChat-esque filters, it seems the app has fundamentally missed the point of dating apps.

Billed as “The Photo Editor for Men,” the Manly app official Twitter is loaded with pictures of the hot women you’re sure to get by using their app. Because women totally love being lied to! “Sorry, honey, that guy with the tattoos you loved is actually afraid of needles!”

The way the Manly app is being advertised is also set to feed into men’s insecurities. Dating’s hard enough already. Do we really need someone trying to sell us an app telling us we’re not loveable as we are, but maybe we can trick someone into loving us? Or, as Denis Hatton of the Be Real Campaign says, “Just when we finally started to see progress with brands becoming more responsible and reducing excessive airbrushing, then along comes an app like Manly.”

And, though we dismissed it before, let’s actually talk about the safety issue here. While most people you’ll find on an app are perfectly nice — particularly on an app like Hornet that actively screens out fake users — there can be a risk. An offender could use an app like Manly to tweak their appearance enough to hide their true identity.

The Manly app fails on so many different levels. Whether intended as a fun goof or a bonafide dating tool, it’s neither. Instead, it’s actively harmful. We deserve better.


Featured image by Rich Legg via iStock

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