Plastic Surgery Game App Marketed To Kids Sparks Twitter Outrage And Gets Pulled From iTunes

A recent Twitter campaign spearheaded by a women’s rights group has helped in shutting down an iPhone game app marketed to kids ages nine and up, that lets users perform plastic surgery on a Barbie-like character.

The game is called ‘Plastic Surgery & Plastic Doctor & Plastic Hospital Office for Barbie Version‘ and lets users choose problem areas to fix, showing a screen shot of a woman who they say “has so much extra weight that no diet can help her”. The game was free to download on Apple’s iTunes store after being released in January 2013 by developers, Corina Game.

The game’s description said:

“Barbara likes to eat a lot of burgers and chocolates and once she found that she looks ugly. She can’t make it up with situation any additional second. And today plastic surgeon is going to make operation on her body and face in order to return cute Barbara’s look. She is afraid of all of this.

Photo credit: Touch Arcade

It then says: “In our clinic, she can go through a surgery called liposuction that will make her slim and beautiful.”

After choosing problem body areas, players can then cut into the character before she is bandaged up and presented in a ‘before-and-after’ screen shot.

Photo credit: Touch Arcade
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Photo credit, Touch Arcade

Everyday Sexism, a women’s rights group, urged followers on their Twitter page to ban the game and spread the word to others to join in the campaign. The group called the app sexist and damaging to young women’s self-esteem. More than 4,000 Twitter users retweeted the post and joined the campaign against this game.

Group spokesperson Laura Bates told The Times:

“It’s hugely damaging that this app sends the message to girls as young as 9 that being skinny is the holy grail, their looks are the only thing that matters and the only way to [become skinny] is plastic surgery. It just contributes to a culture that tells young girls that they need to change themselves to be acceptable to society.”

A similar version of the game also appeared on Google Play. At the time of the writing of this article, the app has been removed from iTunes and Google Play. However, it is estimated that the game was installed between 500,000 and 1 million times when it was available.

A Google spokesman said:

“We don’t comment on individual apps, but will remove apps that breach our guidelines.”

What do you think about a children’s game focusing on plastic surgery as a way to “look beautiful”? Sound off below and let us know what you think.