Would you let your child play with a plastic surgery games app?

Would you let your child play with a plastic surgery games app?

No, I didn’t think so. But what if it was a princess app, and the princess starts out as a plain Jane, and with a swipe here and a swipe there she could be made into a beautiful princess, with flowing locks, big eyes and cherry red lips. Would you let your child download it? Just a quick search on my Google Play Store and 71 games popped up. Shocked? disgusted? Angry? I am livid.

I write a lot about self-esteem for girls and ourselves. It’s a subject I feel passionately about. I’ve become a bit of a self-styled campaigner on the subject. One of my most recent posts was about body positivity and accepting our imperfections. I’ve written about the pressure to be pretty – which is a big issue for me as a mother of a young daughter.

Oh stop moaning, a plastic surgery games app is just a bit of fun!

Sure it’s a game. I get that. But the message of the game is far more sinister.

As @Zoe_Beauty wrote in a recent edition of The Pool (where I first read about these games):

“The message that the millions of girls playing these games are being sold is that appearing flawless is an achievement – and paying thousands of pounds for surgery can “save” them from the humiliation of not being perfect.”

Aren’t we just telling our daughters that beauty is something to be aspired to, attained, it’s got commercial value?

Oh, hang on it does. Doh, otherwise where would Kim Kardashian be? Launching her beauty empire so we can look as beautiful as she does.

I don’t agree. Let’s just accept ourselves for who we are, fantastic wonderful human beings.

Oh, Tooting Mama – get over yourself! You’re becoming a #bodypositivity bore!

When I was young (in the 70s!) I had Sindy dolls. And I loved my Sindy dolls. I had the Sindy house, the Sindy horse, and a whole load of Sindy outfits. Sindy was my doll and I wanted to be Sindy.

If I got enough stuff, I could cut out these cute little hearts from the packaging and send off for a free Sindy doll. I did that. Saved up my cute little hearts. I got my free Sindy doll.

But she had brown hair. Brown hair! I hated her.

I cut her hair off and gave her a deadly disease, that manifested itself in black felt tip spots that would not wash off.

This was no Sindy, Sindy has blonde hair, and deep down I wanted blonde hair too.

This is why this matters.

This matters to others too

I’ve just started reading Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants. I love Tina Fey and I am loving her book.

Early on in her book, she tells the story of her little girl who has a reversible doll, one side is Sleeping Beauty (with blonde or yellow hair as Tina prefers to call it) and the other side Snow White, with brown hair.

Tina keeps flipping the doll to Snow White, but her daughter flips it back to Sleeping Beauty. Because her daughter loves the doll with the yellow hair.

These messages of prescribed beauty are sold to our kids at a young impressionable age.

And these messages stick.

Selfie-Anxiety

Chuck social media into the mix and it just makes things worse, as young girls (and boys) chase the perfect ideal of themselves.

Take a look as some of the findings from The State of Mind Report

  • There are 10 million new photographs uploaded to Facebook alone every hour, providing an almost endless potential for young women to be drawn into appearance-based comparisons whilst online
  • Studies have shown that when young girls and women in their teens and early twenties view Facebook for only a short period of time, body image concerns are higher compared to non-users
  • One study also demonstrated girls expressing a heightened desire to change their appearance such as face, hair and/or skin after spending time on Facebook
  • Others have suggested social media is behind a rise in younger generations opting to have cosmetic surgery to look better in photos, which has implications for physical health through unnecessary invasive surgery
  • Around 70% of 18-24 years olds would consider having a cosmetic surgical procedure

Yes folks #bodypostivity is important!

I won’t stop going on about it because is it’s my job to make sure both my kids have the joy of growing up, happy in the knowledge that they are happy being who they are.

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25 Comments

  1. Gosh I had no idea that an app like this existed. I wouldn’t let a child play on it as it just promotes the wrong thing, we should embrace what we have and be proud of it #sharingthebloglove

    • Yes exactly. Can we not be proud of who we are. I am trying to channel this in my children. But then we are faced with games like this. At times it feels like an onslaught!

  2. Totally agree. As a mother of two girls, I am concerned that they will have far greater pressures on their appearance than I did when I was growing up. The plastic surgery app is appalling- who is using that?!! #SharingtheBlogLove
    Kate, Meals and Makes recently posted…Green hummusMy Profile

    • Who knows who is playing on it. Lots of people have downloaded it and seem to love it. I’d hate for my little girl to see it. There’s so much pressure on young girls to look pretty and social media doesn’t help!

    • It’s really sad, isn’t it? If something like this was educational it might be different but it’s just pushing the usual ideal about looks and the princess myth!

  3. I can’t believe that this is an actual app….for young girls to access! It’s sends a dreadful message to young girls and makes it an incredibly tough job to teach our daughters and sons to love themselves for who they are with all this stuff out there. Such a good and important post, thanks for linking up #FabFridayPost

    • Thank you, I completely agree, it seems to do so much damage doesn’t it?

  4. This is ridiculous, I cannot believe they are promoting this kind of shit! body positivity all the way! The Kardashians et al need to stop promoting plastic surgery.
    I have always said that I want a boob job as I hate my boobs but even though I want that, Im also striving to be happy with my body and more importantly want my son to be raised in a world where he appreciates what god gave the woman, not what the surgeon could give her! #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Darling me and you both! I cannot agree more. The Kardashian clan have a lot to answer for!

  5. I totally agree with and you’ve prompted me to check again which apps my daughter uses. I know she uses ones which the subject sits in a dentist chair, or the woman is messy and you have to choose her outfit. I really don’t like them for all the reasons you mention above. I really need to check the parental controls as she’s getting older and more internet savvy!
    Thanks for linking up to #ForTheLoveofBLOG

    • Oh gosh me too! I really need to get on top of the parental controls – these apps feel like the wild west!

  6. I can’t believe games like this have been created it’s awful! And isn’t it terrible that other games are hiding the same messages! My daughter is only 9mths old but I’m trying harder to be kinder to myself so I can promote a healthier body image mindset as she gets older. #coolmumclub

    • I know, it’s sad, isn’t it? It feels like social media and apps are the wild west. I’m glad you are trying to be kinder to yourself, I am trying too!

  7. You are so right, this is SO disturbing. I feel like a middle aged bore when I say these things but when I look at young girls today I feel sad for them – there are so few who dont feel the need to have fillers and lip plumpers and botox injections – its become the absolute norm instead of something only the celebrities did. I find it hard to look at young girls on Instagram these days, the things they subject themselves to in the name of “beauty” is disturbing and bringing games like this into childhood can only make that worse. Great post! #sharingthebloglove

    • Thank you. I do think this is so disturbing and changing the way we look by a nip, tuck, a filler here and there does seem to be the norm now. It’s really sad, we can’t just be normal – we have to be flawless, perfect and insecure!

  8. Oh my goodness this is wrong on so many levels this teaches nothing I would like my daughter to learn how hideous! It’s a big fat no from me. Thanks for linking this up to #coolmumclub I can’t believe some weirdo has created this!

    • And there are so many! This just normalises treatment like this to an ever younger age group. I want my daughter to be happy in her own skin.

  9. I’ll introduce some other games to my kids. I never knew that this game exists. I’ll try this game…but not my kids. Your post is awesome.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this and for being so passionate about body image. These apps are absolutely the last thing that any young girl should be playing. Cosmetic surgery is surgery, it carries risks and should not be treated as a game. Our children need to know they are perfect as they are. We all come in different shapes and sizes and that’s how it should be. Perfection is just a perception anyway. What one person considers perfect another will not. Oh and I can relate to Sindy, although I preferred my brunette Sindy because her hair was the same colour as mine 😉 #coolmumclub xx

    • YOu are so right, cosmetic surgery is surgery and this just makes it normal to think we can simply eradicate our flaws. I think social media has a lot to answer for when it comes down to young girls and self-esteem.

  11. I am honestly speechless. Who thinks up these games? How bonkers is that? No, I would not let my kids play this game! But then I wouldn’t dress my daughter in sloganed tshirts when she was younger and she would not ever wear pink! Great post. #bloggerclubuk

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