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Growing concerns over disturbing plastic surgery apps geared toward children

NEW YORK — From lip injections to nose jobs, the procedures are endless in Beauty Clinic Plastic Surgery – a mobile app game featuring an array of animated characters all vying for that perfect look.

The game is just one of many “plastic surgery”-themed apps under fire for it’s messaging and marketing to children as young as nine.

“They are telling kids you need to change yourself and you need plastic surgery in order to achieve these goals,” Diana Denza, a local activist told PIX11 News.

Denza is part of the group Endangered Bodies – a global initiative challenging harmful ideals around body image that is calling on Google, Apple and Amazon to flag the apps, or at the least make them less appealing to kids.

“We want to open a conversation with these organizations and really change the policies around these apps being created, posted and sold,” Denza said.

An online petition pushing for change has already garnered over a 120,000 signatures, even sporting its own hashtag.

Cracking down on these plastic surgery-type games however, is a gray area for tech companies as apps that promote violence or hate speech are more of a priority.

The way the apps are making light of medical procedures concerns Board Certified plastic surgeons like Dr. David Cangello.

“These apps are equating plastic surgical procedures with routine beauty procedures,” he said. “You know these are serious procedures and there’s certainly more risk involved.”

Even as signatures continue to flood into the online petition, those behind the push calling for change say they still haven’t heard back from any of those tech giants.