The Fountain of Beauty

Plastic Surgery for Barbie

Plastic surgery app for BarbieP.T. Barnum is reported to have said that there is no such thing as bad publicity- but as regards some of the things I read about plastic surgery and the people offering it, I would have to disagree. On the other hand, sometimes the good guys win…

A few days ago, Twitter was exploding with commentary on an app being offered in the App Store as a game with Barbie branding in which cartoon style young women with unfortunate aesthetic problems were patients in the game player’s plastic surgery office, allowing one to play at doing liposuction and making incisions here and there that resulted in a more traditionally beautiful version of the cartoon patient in the game. 

As the father of a teenaged daughter, not to mention a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who takes great pride in practicing in an ethical and responsible manner, the appearance of this game, and the way it is obviously targeted at female children, encouraging the formation of a warped and unhealthy sense of beauty, self-image, and plastic surgery, I couldn’t be happier that Apple has decided to remove the app from its store.

I know that there will be some out there upset about what they perceive to be a limitation of someone’s freedom to speak freely, but I think that in a civilized and advanced society, we (and especially those of us who perform plastic surgery and help women with their self-image and body issues for a living) have a responsibility to protect our young people from others seeking to pervert their world and self-views for a few bucks.

Plastic surgery CAN be a very healthy and empowering, safe and positive experience- but only for mature, well-adjusted individuals with healthy goals. Mrs. Obama nailed it this week when she said that she would not be above considering cosmetic intervention herself if she came to believe it would help her be happier- but that she believed that the important thing is for all women to feel free and empowered to make this (and all other) choices for themselves.

In order to produce the strong and confident women Mrs. Obama was talking about, responsible and ethical professionals- whether plastic surgeons or software designers- need to remain vigilant and resolved in our resistance to further expose our kids to things like this. It brings to mind another historical quote I much prefer the PT Barnum’s above:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”  Edmund Burke

Be beautiful, be strong, be safe


Dr. Soto