Snapchat is back from the dead, everyone. After being low-key for months, people are suddenly using it again because of its new AR gender-swap filter.
The app is known for popularizing filters like the dog, puking rainbow face, and face-swap—all of which were replicated by other social media platforms. This latest filter has become a hit in the past few days because it gives a glimpse of what someone will look like as the opposite gender. Not going to lie, the transformations are entertaining, especially for the men who can’t get over how pretty they look as women.
Thank you Snapchat, for: a.) Reminding me how weak my jawline is. b.) Letting me know, that if I was a girl, I would look like some sex doll/alien that eats men. But like, men who can't find anyone to go home with at the end of a drunken night. pic.twitter.com/NAHQhPOFXD
Several women are also living for all the men who are feeling their oats. Many of them joked that this Snapchat filter did more to destroy toxic masculinity than anybody else.
It’s a bold statement, but is it really the case? Let’s investigate.
How it’s alleviating toxic masculinity
One netizen tweeted that these men probably “always wanted to do drag, but have toxic masculinity resting on their shoulders so they use a Snapchat filter instead.” It’s a fair assessment considering that many men have a “fear of the feminine.”
In a 2010 study published in The Journal of Men’s Studies, psychodynamic psychologist Chris Blazina noted that “the fear of the feminine helps define what is masculine.” This then creates the perception that men should always be strong and tough, and “acting like a girl” is seen as a weakness. This is toxic masculinity in a nutshell.
The Good Men Project also described it as “a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status, and aggression… where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly ‘feminine’ traits—which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual—are the means by which your status as ‘man’ can be taken away.”
Here are examples of men reacting negatively to using the Snapchat filter—one blatantly implies he doesn’t want to look gay:
Forgot how insanely fragile my dads masculinity is, he literally flipped his shit when I asked if he’d do the littler Snapchat thing 🙄 now he’s pissed at me for asking if he wanted to try it. I can’t wait for the day that toxic masculinity doesn’t exist #whateverbro
On the bright side, it’s also clear that many men are secure in their own masculinity. So much that there isn’t any problem for them to look feminine on the platform. Some even enjoyed how they started looking like their sisters and mothers.
Several men are enjoying this Snapchat filter so much that they created fake Tinder accounts using their feminized photos. The funny side to this is they got to see just how desperate and persistent some men can be. One tweeted, “I feel for you women everywhere if this is what your inboxes actually look like.” Well, at least they now know how it feels to be a woman in this society.
So, men are enjoying their feminine side and that’s not a bad thing. Meanwhile, Out Magazinebrought up a valid point about how the Snapchat filter makes a joke out of transitioning.
The magazine noted how this can be offensive for transgender people who are working hard to get the body and appearance they want. Snapchat not only makes it eerily easier for people to switch genders, it’s also made into a novelty.
“The idea that we can alter our bodies to more closely align with our perception of ourselves is very serious to some people, so your funny tweet about how fish you look with a hairless, shaved down chin and luscious locks might not be funny to everyone,” Out noted.
True enough, there are people—mostly men—who call it “the transgender Snapchat filter,” and are using it to make fun of others while indirectly insulting the trans community. They’ve also been called out for not respecting transgenders, but find the gender swap filter amusing. Hmm, good point.