Apple Pulls iOS Game That Lets Kids Carry Out Plastic Surgery

before and after

Apple has been accused of censorship in the past when it has been a little heavy-handed (to say the least) about banning content in the App Store.

With that being said, few were upset to hear that Plastic Surgery for Barbie — a game which asks players of 9 years+ to perform liposuction on Barbie-styled characters to make them “slim and beautiful” — has been pulled from the App Store. Google has similarly pulled the app from its own Google Play store.

“Barbara likes to eat a lot of burgers and chocolates and once she found out that she looks ugly,” read the original App Store description, which failed on both grammar and good taste. “She can’t make it up with this situation any additional second. And today plastic surgeon is going to make operation on her body and face in order to return cute Barbara’s look.”

Cult of Mac called the game “appalling” when we first reported on it, and it seems that we weren’t alone.

Everyday Sexism — an online project designed to document sexism and sexual harassment — tweeted an image of the app, which led to it getting picked up by multiple other news outlets. Toymaker Mattel (who own the rights to the Barbie brand) meanwhile disassociated themselves from the game, which had not sought out their permission to use the Barbie name or likeness.

The question now is how Plastic Surgery for Barbie made it past the App Store gatekeepers to begin with?

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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