We came across an interesting and somewhat appalling article in The Times http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article3613881.ece in the UK discussing a popular online game called Miss Bimbo. The game is targeted at girls aged 9 to 16. The premise is for girls to ‘maintain’ their virtual Bimbo characters by dieting and buying their characters fashionable clothing and even plastic surgery. The game was first introduced in France and has had over a million viewers there. In the first month since its introduction in the UK, it has attracted over 200,000 users.
Now, we have not seen the game so our comments are reserved for the concept in general. We are not big believers that these types of influences determine popular culture, but are more likely reflections of that culture. Everyone should be able to poke some fun at themselves and at our society. After all, it’s just a game. But, one can’t help but think that these kinds of interactions are not particularly healthy for the developing psyche. Adults are much better equipped to place these types of influences into context and to make conscientious choices about their bodies.
The fact that plastic surgery is so often lumped in with hairstyles and fashion trends has made it just another beauty accessory. This can be acceptable to a limited degree. But, when it is reduced to a being part of a game aimed at prepubescent girls, then we risk removing it from the realm of medicine altogether and tossing it into the world of entertainment. The rising trend for plastic surgery in teenagers is alarming. The next generation will surely benefit from the amazing advances occurring in our specialty, but we collectively would do well to remember that Botox is not a party and plastic surgery is not a game.No comments