At first glance they look innocent enough. But most parents don’t realise these common apps are seriously damaging our kids.
Children as young as three are being taught to critique their own bodies and appearance through “dangerous” cosmetic surgery apps, experts have warned.
A range of these games can be found on various app stores, targeting very young girls with bright colours and fairytale characters.
They allow kids to perform serious cometic procedures including rhinoplasty, liposuction, eyelid surgery and cosmetic injections on a cartoon character.
Google Play’s Plastic Surgery Simulator, for example, promises to turn you “into a Victoria’s Secret model at once”.
“No one could resist the temptation of beauty! Every girl dreams of delicate face and stunning figure. If makeup can’t give the beauty you want, then come to join this amazing plastic surgery game! You can turn into a Victoria’s Secret model at once!” the description reads.
Global body positivity organisation Endangered Bodies has spent a year monitoring apps like these, noting that while individual apps may be removed by regulators, they tend to “quickly reappear” on the market.
The group recently launched a Change.org petition calling for tech giants including Amazon, Apple and Google to ban these apps altogether and develop policies to prohibit the download of cosmetic surgery apps by children and teens.
Today, the #SurgeryIsNotAGame petition has more than 107,000 signatures from appalled parents around the world.
Psychologist and director of BodyMatters Australasia, Sarah McMahon, said children as young as three were being targeted by the apps.
Ms McMahon, who helped develop the petition, said the apps, which were often free, glamorised and trivialised plastic surgery and taught children to obsess over physical “imperfections”.
– Alexis Carey
Photo source – Flickr.com