Writer Angela Barnett launched an online petition to keep plastic surgery away apps from kids

Writer Angela Barnett launched an online petition to keep plastic surgery away apps from kids

Auckland, Feb4:A spate of cartoon-ish plastic surgery apps targeting tech-savvy children have sparked a worldwide campaign.

A New Zealand petition against cartoonish plastic surgery apps that target young children is gathering thousands of signatures, as part of a worldwide campaign.

Angela Barnett has launched the New Zealand chapter of the campaign and has started an online petition to be delivered to the chief executives of Apple, Google and Amazon.

Angela is a writer and representative of Endangered Bodies New Zealand.

More than 3300 people had signed the petition by Thursday morning.

Angela Barnett

Angela Barnett Photo: Supplied

If it successfully gathered its goal of 5000 signatures, the petition would be delivered to Apple chief executive Tim Cook, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai and Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos.

Ms Barnett said it was not the idea of plastic surgery apps on their own that the group was targeting but rather ones that specifically were targeting young children.

“And we’re not saying don’t have plastic surgery apps, we’re saying don’t have plastic surgery apps that are targeted at children that have cartoon faces and images princesses and mermaids in them that attract them.”

She said there were five main apps being targeted by the group Endangered Bodies Worldwide.

“There’s ones called Plastic Surgeon, Mermaids Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery Princess, Liposuction surgery.

“We don’t need more things to add to the problem of body image, it’s talked about so much but it doesn’t seem to be going away.”

The games allow children to perform nose jobs and liposuction, to plump up lips and make dark skin whiter. The problem this caused was that they promoted a specific body image which could lead to mental health problems such as eating disorders or depression, Ms Barnett said.

She said the first problem was that the games glamourised and normalised cosmetic surgery, creating the idea that one’s appearance is something that needs fixing.