Plastic surgery games for kids may not be such a bad thing.


How old were you the first time you decided you hated your body?

Maybe you sucked in your cheeks at eight. Pinched your thighs when you were ten. Or stretched back the skin on your face at 12, imagining how a face lift could change you. Improve you.

If you can’t even imagine doing any of these things, you’re probably out of touch with the young girls of today. These children are accosted with messages encouraging negative body image and self hate on a daily basis.

Like the new craze of plastic surgery games on smart phones. (Scary, right?)

Games like Mermaid’s Plastic Surgery and Superstar Face let players slice and dice their patients, performing nose jobs, liposuction and Botox injections to achieve the ‘ideal’ look.

And what’s worse is they’re aimed at kids.

Plastic Surgery Simulator is very real and very terrifying. Image via YouTube.

The bright graphics, animations and youthful names do nothing to reinforce the 17+ age restrictions that some of them require.

And despite the gaming platforms removing the offending apps after complaints from parents, they just keep on springing back up.

When I first heard about these games I was baffled that such a thing would even exist. These games normalise the use of cosmetic surgery, and contribute to girls' already fraught self esteem.

That is, until I heard Holly and Andrew talk about it on our parenting podcast This Glorious Mess.

Listen: Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo discuss these controversial games.

Could these games actually be helping girls get ahead in life?

"It could be excellent training for your child to become a plastic surgeon one day," says Holly.


"And plastic surgeons (a) make lots of money, but (b) do good work, plastic surgeons work on burns victims, on children born with deformities," she says.

And that would indeed be a terrific thing for kids to learn how to do. Helping people heal as a doctor is an incredibly noble pursuit.

As Andrew adds, you could also use the app as a demonstration of what you could achieve through surgery. Imagine how this technology could be put to good use?

I'll be the first to admit that yes, this may be slightly idealistic. I mean, I didn't become an Italian plumber who drives race cars after hundreds of hours playing Mario Kart as a kid. Nor did I turn into a complete thug after a couple of games of Grand Theft Auto, (despite what some irate parents may have you believe.)

But I would rather see young girls spend their screen time learning the correct way to perform a complicated facial reconstruction surgery, than chatting up horny guys on Tinder.

What do you think of these games? Do your kids play them?

Listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess here:

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