App offers men ‘dream body’ for selfies by Photoshopping muscles

Users can give themselves six packs and tattoos

Olivia Petter
Saturday 17 February 2018 10:35
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New app lets men edit abs, six packs and tattoos onto their photos

Taking the perfect selfie is no mean feat.

Thankfully, there are a myriad of photo-enhancing apps at our disposal to ensure we look snap-happy at all times.

While women can now digitally-impose (and remove) makeup via an app, it looks like we finally have an equivalent for men with Manly.

The somewhat controversially-named photo editor allows users to edit their images to the nth degree, the idea presumably being that this will make them appear "manly".

For £4.49 a month, users can choose from a range of body types to elevate their physique, constructing the "perfect" abs, pecs and biceps.

They can also give themselves clearer skin and select from a number of hairdos, beards and even tattoos to add to themselves.

Those feeling particularly artistic can add accessories and coloured contact lenses; there really is no limit to how far your creative capabilities can go here.

However, body positive activists have been quick to criticise the app for perpetuating unrealistic and damaging male body ideals.

"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, ribbed and bulky’ body,” Denise Hatton, co-founder of the Be Real 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.

“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. 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.”

Manly became available in the App Store last year, however, it has only recently gained traction due to a widespread social media campaign.

Reviews on the app store are hardly favourable, with the two of the most recent ones reading “Refund” and “Abysmal”.

People who have spotted ads for the app on their social media platform have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns.

"An advert for @Manlyapp just popped up in my sponsored content and I have never reported something so quickly," wrote one person.

"Nothing like body-shaming people and fuelling horrendous binary stereotypes of what it is to be a 'man'. Also - awful name babes."

"The fact that this app exists and is called manly app is so upsetting," added another.

The Independent has contacted Manly for comment.

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