Apple and Google have removed the Plastic Surgery app aimed at tweens after receiving massive amounts of criticism. The app, which encouraged young girls to make their models thin and gorgeous by performing all manner of plastic surgery on them, was lauded as “truly awful” and disgusting.”
The free app, called “Plastic Surgery for Barbie,” was to teach young tweens how to perform such procedures as liposuction on an overweight blonde model. Aimed at girls ages 9 and above, the game came with a brief description that basically said the poor girl was so overweight and that no diet will be able to help her. It promised that with the clinic’s help she can undergo a procedure called “liposuction” that will make her thin and gorgeous. The description also described the procedure as making small incisions to suck out the extra fat. Indeed, this is truly awful and disgusting.
Once the game is downloaded users are able to use syringes and scalpels to ‘operate’ on their model. Once the operation is complete the bandages come off to reveal a super thin and “much more beautiful” girl.
Game developer, ‘corina rodriguez,’ has many other games available on iTunes, such as Beauty Nurse Makeover, Holiday Bridesmaid Makeover, and Little Girl Bathroom Makeover. One particular app she has developed, Leg and Foot Surgery, allows users to perform several trauma surgeries on a hapless model using the same tools that actual surgeons use.
Critics immediately took to Twitter today to protest the game and call for its immediate removal. Hundreds of Twitter users re-tweeted a message calling for the game to be banned that was posted by the Everyday Sexism project, a site that documents the rampant sexism experienced around the world.
A spokesperson for Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie and Barbie-related accessories, claims that the app has absolutely nothing to do with the Barbie brand or Mattel. They say that they are looking into the misuse of the Barbie name.
Apple and Google both released versions of the plastic surgery app last week and have been dealing with angry comments in their product review section ever since. One user said that it is by far the most disgusting app she had ever seen. She went on to say that young girls are insecure as it is, trying to fit in and be perfect all the time. Tween girls especially are insecure about their bodies. Other complaints are that the app developer should be putting her efforts into something far more educational for today’s young girls. Another user suggested that the developer should be using using her brain to create an app that teaches girls to love themselves as they are instead of using plastic surgery to try to try to become what society considers “beautiful.” The Department for Sport, Media, and Culture has said that the game is completely irresponsible and trivializes plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures.
Both Apple and Google have done the right thing by removing the troublesome plastic surgery app that was aimed at tween girls. While Apple has made no official comment, a spokesperson for Google says that they do not comment on individual apps, and will only remove the apps that are in breach of their guidelines.
By Mary Kay Love