Concerned parents said a rise in the number of plastic surgery game apps available is a disturbing trend that's harming children.
One of the most popular apps is called, "Beauty Clinic Plastic Surgery." It's a free cartoon game that allows users to perform plastic surgery on characters.
Parents said the games target kids as young as 9 using bright colors and characters similar to popular Disney characters, such as Elsa of Disney's "Frozen."
A change.org petition, created by the group Endangered Bodies New York, has been signed by more than 140,000 people saying the apps, "don't provide any educational value and send young people the message that the only way to attain perfection is through the use of drastic, body-altering methods."
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Many of the apps are free and available on popular mobile app stores on iTunes, Google and Amazon.com.
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Parents who want to see the apps be made unavailable and want to change the conversation on body image are using the hashtag #surgeryisnotagame.
Endangered Bodies New York says it wants to promote body positivity and protect the mental health of young users. In a statement on the petition, a representative wrote:
Our societies are saturated with images of perfect and unattainable bodies, with over 21 million cosmetic procedures being performed throughout the world in 2015 according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The dissatisfaction many adults face with their bodies has trickled down to our children. Statistics from The National Eating Disorder Association in the U.S. show 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. In the UK, the 2016 Girlguiding Girls’ Attitudes Survey found more than a third of girls aged seven to ten felt women were valued more for their appearance than their abilities. Globally, children deserve to be challenged and inspired by their toys, not to spend their free time worrying about how they look.
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