Plastic surgery isn’t a game, but some apps have turned it into one for kids, allowing them to simulate procedures such as liposuction, nose jobs, lip fillers and double-eyelid surgeries, a plastic surgeon warns.
Plastic surgeon Dr. David Cangello believes many of the apps equate cosmetic surgical procedures with going to the salon to get your hair or nails done. They are directed at children, featuring bright colors and cartoon characters and available for free in app stores.
Cangello is warning parents about the messages these apps are spreading. He said he does not want children to think plastic surgery is “no big deal,” “commonplace” or “normative.”
“Really, little kids might not pick up on the messages around altering your appearance to fit social norms of beauty, but they may still get a general idea. Girls as young as 5 already express dissatisfaction with their appearance, so we definitely do not need to reinforce those messages,” Cangello said.
The apps do not include multiple beauty ideals, cultural variabilities, or size differences.
What can parents do? Be proactive about the media their kids have access to, play the app first or watch the show with them. Know what your kids are absorbing.
Credit: Wochit Postables