There’s a new trend in apps aimed at young children and it’s understandably making many parents very upset. Plastic surgery apps, which contain brightly coloured cartoon images that look to be specifically geared at children, are widely available in the Gaming section of the apps store. With the plastic surgery apps usually listed for free, many children are downloading them and learning about liposuction and lip injections.
Parents have often worried about violent video games affecting their children, but with plastic surgery apps, a new fear has taken over, one in which children begin to view their faces and bodies as things that need improving. The apps allow users to perform a variety of plastic surgery procedures on cartoon characters, with games like High School Clinic Affair and Princess Plastic Surgery geared towards young users. The description for High School Clinic Affair lists the game’s features as “Practice nose surgery, hand surgery, knee surgery, and pimple surgery” and “Make up a high school girl, dress up a high school girl for her summer ball!”
Princess Plastic Surgery is aimed at even younger children, with the goal to help princesses who have been cursed to be ugly by an evil witch become beautiful again. We had a look at the game and the goal is not to make the princess beautiful on the inside.
While Apple has pulled plastic surgery apps from their app store, the games are still sold on Amazon and Google.
Filters on social media have been around for a few years, with users able to heavily edit and touch up their images before posting selfies on Instagram and Snap Chat. With social media continuing to skew younger as more children make accounts before their teen years, the use of filters and creating the ‘perfect’ image is becoming the norm. Now children are learning at an even younger age that they should be striving to improve their looks, whether it’s by using a filter or a playing with a plastic surgery app.
The Today Show discussed the new app trend this week and found that 90 per cent of the parents they polled thought the apps should be removed from the Gaming section. A petition on Change.org has been started to stop plastic surgery apps aimed at kids, with the petition already earning more than 112,000 signatures.