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.
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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