Internet Community Lashes Out Against Plastic Surgery App for Children

Image via iStock
Image via iStock

On January 6th the app developer, Corina Rodriguez, released an app titled Plastic Surgery & Plastic Doctor & Plastic Hospital Office for Barbie. Just as the terribly long title suggests, it really is a virtual plastic surgery simulation app encouraging dangerously narrow beauty benchmarks to a 9+ tweeny bopper audience.

The app description is truly mind blowing …

“This unfortunate girl has so much extra weight that no diet can help her. In our clinic she can go through a surgery called liposuction that will make her slim and beautiful. We'll need to make small cuts on problem areas and suck out the extra fat. Will you operate her, doctor?”

On January 14, 2014, a group of women’s rights activists, The Everyday Sexism Project, called to arms their 100k+ Twitter followers in a campaign to speak out against this garbage that Apple and Google were marketing.

everydaysexism-call-to-arms
Image via Everyday Sexism Project

The Twitter world was listening and within one day @EverydaySexism swiftly heralded a path of obliteration. Both app stores have since removed the liposuction “game.” By no means is this a victory against sexism. There shouldn’t have been a platform for this app to even exist in the first place! However, its short existence has sparked a voice for the fed up masses. 

everydaysexism-app-removed
Image via Everyday Sexism Project

Only days since this gender battle ensued, international media outlets have united in enraged harmony against Plastic Surgery & Plastic Doctor’s slim is beautiful message. I couldn’t say it any better than Isha Aran writing for Jezebel, 

“Seriously, for every beauty-oriented app there is for young girls, there should also be three more affirmative apps where they can be balaclava-clad anarcho-feminists virtually vandalizing over-photoshopped images in subway stops or a Street Fighter II-type battling thinspiration fads or maybe they can just play Intersectional Memory, where no two cards are the same. Anything to combat [bologna] like a liposuction app.”

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I’m a silver lining kind of girl, always searching for some kind of optimistic message. In this case, rational minded people alike have quickly banded together to eliminate an obvious evil. I’d like to think this is a sign that, as a society, we are outgrowing this hurtful, commercialized and overproduced version of the female icon.  I’d like to think that this example of swift justice is hope for a generation of females that will hear over and over again that brains, eccentricity, independence, and individuality are beautiful – a generation that believes beauty is not skin deep. 

{ MORE: 5 Kinds of Devices for Your Tween and How to Choose the Right One }

Undoubtedly, there is still much room for improvement. More than any generation before, our kids can surf the net and play with apps completely on their own. Ones like this exist, are free, and instantly available. We need to direct a model of strength and confidence not only to our girls (and boys), but to these app stores that are projecting such a damaging message. I hope that after this embarrassment Apple and Google will implement a more scrutinizing app approval process. What do you think? Have you ever been shocked by the content of an app for kids? 

What do you think?

Internet Community Lashes Out Against Plastic Surgery App for Children

Marlena Antonucci is a recent graduate from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and a minor in Environmental Science. She is not quite sure how to define herself just yet, but is ready to exhaust every single opportunity to figure it out. At this point she can proudly say that she’s a late night reader, inventive chef, fanatical crafter, daydreamer, lover of Parisian culture, loyal friend, and devoted partner. She steers her life by her step dad’s famous w ... More

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4 comments

  1. mammao2 says:

    It sickens me that an adult actually made this app especially aimed towards children. Our young girls already have enough in their faces about body image. They face it every day whether it be on t.v., movies, or from their peers at school. They need to be taught that everyone is different, we do not fit into one mold, and that everyone is beautiful in their own way. If somebody doesn’t like the way someone else looks then they don’t have to look!

  2. TaKeisha says:

    What a waste of time and money in developing an app like that!! Did the developer honestly think she could get away marketing/advertising without others voicing their disdain? And Apple and Google should not have even been marketing that garbage anyhow!!

  3. John Haley says:

    Ridiculous! As a soon to be father…I am worried of all these “little things” that will be snuck by my guard and make it’s way to my child. Diligent or not, some of this stuff will get by. All we can do is be proactive and teach our children right from wrong.

  4. Sheri says:

    The thought that there are still idiots out there that would develop this garbage does little for my sense of hope for the future for our girls. The only consolation is that someone actually listened and removed it quickly.

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