Sexist Plastic Surgery App for Kids Pulled from Apple Store

Would you want your 9 year old playing this?

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Apple App Store

Screenshot from the banned game

Apple assiduously bans porn-related apps from its digital store, but until recently, it carried a Barbie-branded game about plastic surgery that was designed for nine year olds. “This unfortunate girl has so much extra weight that no diet can help her,” the game’s description reads. So let’s let children cut her open on their parents’ phones!

Like a gruesome version of Operation, “Plastic Surgery Doctor & Plastic Hospital Office for Barbie Version” has players making “small cuts of problem areas” to “suck out the extra fat” from bloody slices on the poor woman’s cheeks and stomach. The outcome is a before-and-after picture set that shows a skinnier, fashionably dressed figure without so much as a visible scar.

Everyday Sexism, a project that documents overlooked incidents of sexism and harassment, originally brought attention to the app, which Apple quickly removed, as well as a similar version called “Plastic Surgery for Barbara.” Mattel has disavowed any relationship the sketchy game has to the actual Barbie brand (though their dolls have likely been the cause of any number of body-image problems over the past half-century).

Like the Internet’s thinspo community, in which participants post and share disturbingly skinny photos to inspire themselves to lose weight, the app gives body issues an unhealthy outlet that makes plastic surgery seem all too possible and easy. Which, as we all know from reality television, can actually have disastrous consequences.

Unfortunately, Apple still hosts a Plastic Surgery Simulator on its servers that proclaims “beauty is a right.”

4 comments
GuoLiang
GuoLiang

Well it seems to offend feminists, so it can't be all bad.


Besides, fat shaming can't be encouraged enough. 

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

IMHO, it kind of makes sense for Apple to have approved this stupidity in the first place.

  • 1. Apple considers its customers to be morons (it calls its service people "geniuses" which rather implies that those who consult with them AREN'T).
  • 2. Apple products cost on average 30% more than competing products (Sometimes a hell of a lot more than that) without necessarily being "better", thus giving come credence to point 1.
  • 3. Their products look great, but appearances often get in the way of function (form over function instead of the rational way of doing things by making function dictate form), and those who buy them for appearances tend to support point 1.
  • 4. Folks who buy Apple products are often (if not usually) lured in by the "hipness" of Apple products, thus are narcissistic enough to care about such things as "appearances", and are therefore very likely to seek out plastic surgery at some point.
  • 5. It's never too early to start marketing this kind of behavior to the kids - especially today's kids of parents who are non-genius, narcissistic, appearance-obsessed, too much money for their own good Apple buyers.

It's less surprising that this made it to the market than the fact they actually pulled it.  Oh well...  Buffy and Muffy won't get their nose jobs at nine and will have to wait another year or so.

bugmenotbugmenot
bugmenotbugmenot

@kirilang  because you can't.... Just because its listed on a third party's web site doesn't make it available on the apple store.... if you actually bothered to click the link, it would tell you:


"The item you've requested is not currently available in the U.S. store."  (substitute your locality for U.S.)