A Barbie-inspired downloadable game for iOS and Android devices focused around plastic surgery and reportedly aimed at children has been removed from app stores, as one expert called it "sexist and disturbing." The app in question, Plastic Surgery for Barbie, is no longer available on the App Store or through Google Play, though you can still see its iTunes product page thanks to Google cache.
As the BBC reports, the game was described as suitable for children aged nine and over and allowed users to make incisions with a scalpel and perform liposuction. An overweight woman depicted in the game was labeled "ugly" and it was your job to perform a variety of medical procedures to create thinner version of her former self.
Though Plastic Surgery for Barbie has been yanked from app stores, a second gamewith similar graphics and premise--Plastic Surgery for Barbara--remains available and is labeled suitable for people aged 12 and up.
Former British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons president Nigel Mercer told the BBC that the game is shameful and sends the wrong message to young women.
"This app blatantly and shamelessly uses child-friendly brand names [such as Barbie] to target young, vulnerable children and exposes them to sexist and disturbing rhetoric as the 'game' critiques the body of a cartoon character who does not conform to an unrealistic beauty standard," he said.
Barbie creator Mattel was quick to distance itself from the Plastic Surgery for Barbie app, saying in a statement that it had no involvement with the production of the app and
"At Mattel, we take our commitment to children seriously and work hard to ensure there are no unauthorized uses of our brands that may be unsafe or inappropriate for children," the company said.