Jan 15, 2014 11:22 AM by David Randall
A mobile game has been pulled from both Apple and Google's selection of apps after indignation spread online over its insensitive nature. Its graphic and, many felt, sexist depiction of liposuction and plastic surgery lit up Twitter with requests for the app's removal.
"Plastic Surgery & Plastic Doctor & Plastic Hospital Office for Barbie Version," as the app is confusingly called, offered the following description:
This unfortunate girl has so much extra weight that no diet can help her. In our clinic she will go through a surgery called liposuction that will make her slim and beautiful.
Buzzfeed captured a selection of screenshots from the game, which puts a blonde, smiling woman through graphic surgery as the player cuts, liposuctions, stitches and bandages her. Afterward, clothes and accessories are made available to dress up the newly slim patient.
It's not actually Barbie, of course, though the woman's name is "Barbara." It seems likely that Mattel would have asked the app to be removed if Everyday Sexism, which first pointed it out, had not done so. "Plastic Surgery" was removed from both stores a few hours later.
The Daily Dot reports that a second game with a liposuction aspect was also removed. There are still surgery apps available on both the Apple and Google app marketplaces, though most appear to be truly instructional, related to actual surgery clinics, or otherwise less immediately troubling than this one.
Thousands of apps get submitted and inspected by Apple and Google, but it's still surprising when something like this makes it through the process. A Google representative offered no specific comment, instead explaining that "generally we remove applications that violate our policies." Apple has not yet responded to inquiries.