By Aaron Evans
Recently, a friend of mine came up to me and asked if I had heard of the “Lulu” app. I hadn’t, but when he told me that girls had rated and reviewed him through Facebook, I was irritated, to say the least.
According to their website, Lulu “is a private network for girls to express and share their opinions openly and honestly. In our first iteration, Lulu is a private app for girls to read and create reviews of guys they know.”
Reviews? Like what you do on Amazon? I love feeling like a product.
The app works through your Facebook friends list, allowing you to take a multiple choice quiz about any of your guy friends, with questions like, “When he makes a joke I…” followed by the answers, “remember, OKCupid is just a click away,” or “proud to be his woman.”
And, of course, the app wouldn’t be complete without the option to choose descriptive hashtags like #dudecancook and #hotfriends, along with a myriad of more explicit advice which, needless to say, is less then AA.
The app justifies its actions by allowing users to submit their review through quizzes instead of custom responses, so what’s stopping someone from purposely giving someone else a bad score? And since when did we ever have the right to review other people online at all?
“The whole things is superficial,” said sophomore Fairynne Mathison. “[Lulu] isn’t asking about their personality, they’re asking about looks. That app is adding extra pressure on guys to look the part and conform to what society thinks men should be.”
Is it possible that the tables are turning? Are men starting to feel pressure from media, like the Lulu app, to look and act a certain way for women to notice them? I think we crossed that bridge a long time ago.
For years, men were criticized for objectifying women, which added extra pressure, along with the media, on women to look, think and act a certain way. Let me say that this is wrong, and it is never acceptable in any circumstance for a man to treat a woman that way.
However, it would be a lie to say that the same pressures are not placed on men. No movie or television show is complete without a buff, shirtless, hyper-testosterone man who always hooks up with the best looking woman. That kind of message creates a mindset that only buff, Calvin Klein models can have successful relationships, and women should settle for no less than a knight-in-shining-testosterone.
“Girls always get mad at guys for objectifying them, but it doesn’t make it OK for us to do it to them,” said Mathison. “If this were an app for guys to rate girls, there would be an outrage.”
There will never be a circumstance when objectifying people is OK, and apps like Lulu only show that a lot of women are looking for the wrong characteristics in men when it comes to relationships. Most men are not Calvin Klein models, and many of us are not exploding with Rambo-like testosterone. Lulu is nothing short of dangerous, and any app that reduces the character of a man to a Cosmo-like quiz shouldn’t be an app at all.