Petition to Apple - Tim Cook, Google - Sundar Pichai, Amazon - Jeff Bezos
Stop Cosmetic Surgery Apps Aimed At Kids #SurgeryIsNotAGame
This is one of eight linked petitions by Endangered Bodies across New York, London, Argentina, Germany, Brazil, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand directed at Apple, Google and Amazon. Hello, my name is Angela Barnett and I am the representative for Endangered Bodies New Zealand. Giving young children access to cosmetic surgery games is not teaching them to celebrate their originality. Games that make dark skin whiter, chisel larger noses, plump up lips, shave off curves, and turn eyes round and Disney-like creates judgment, fear of being different, and fear of not looking like a fictitious ideal. As a mother of an eight and nine-year-old, I don’t want my children growing up looking for flaws or thinking their appearance is some kind of DIY project that needs fixing. With scalpels. When children and teens view 'flawless' images of women and men they question their own looks, are more likely to diet, suffer from depression, and shame. This makes me sad. I have conducted lots of interviews with women who grew up hating their bodies and almost every story begins with a young girl who didn’t think her face or body was right. We don't need games or apps that add to this problem. We need games that teach girls and boys how to own their own uniqueness, how to stick up for themselves, slay dragons and be confident in their own skin. Our faces and bodies are our most reliable homes. Shame is not a game. And nor is cosmetic surgery. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The above images are examples of the many plastic surgery apps available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon App Store. These cosmetic surgery apps, which often feature animated characters, are being marketed to kids as young as nine, a target group that is already influenced by our body-toxic culture. Our societies are saturated with images of perfect and unattainable bodies, with over 21 million cosmetic procedures being performed throughout the world in 2015 according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The dissatisfaction many adults face with their bodies has trickled down to our children. Statistics from The National Eating Disorder Association in the U.S. show 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. In the UK, the 2016 Girlguiding Girls’ Attitudes Survey found more than a third of girls aged seven to ten felt women were valued more for their appearance than their abilities. Globally, children deserve to be challenged and inspired by their toys, not to spend their free time worrying about how they look. On January 14, 2014, Endangered Bodies supported the UK-based Twitter account Everyday Sexism in its call to remove plastic surgery apps aimed at children featured on iTunes and the Google Play store. Within 24 hours, both platforms removed the flagged apps. Although neither platform released an official statement, their choice to remove these “games” indicates that they recognize the potential harm they can cause. Deceptively designed as children’s games, the apps encourage users to slice virtual patients apart using scalpels, syringes, and other tools used in surgical settings. By making cosmetic surgery apps available for download, Apple, Google and Amazon are allowing companies to stoke and profit from the insecurities of children. We at Endangered Bodies challenge the toxic culture that promotes negative body image. Cosmetic surgery apps, which promote body dissatisfaction and shame, are not games that should be marketed to vulnerable young people. Although in some cases (where games have age-based ratings) it is possible for parents to limit access to these games through parental controls, we believe that further action is needed. Apple, Google and Amazon need to scrutinise the apps that already feature an age rating to ensure the content isn’t in fact directed at younger children, using the age limit as a way to still offer their app for download. In other words, we don’t want these platforms to use the age rating system as justification to continue to offer these apps, which are clearly designed for children. Please sign this petition to ask Apple, Google and Amazon to implement a policy which is clear to every developer, that they will not accept any such apps that are targeted at children and make a commitment to protect the mental health of their young users.
Petition to Facebook
Remove the body-shaming ‘I feel fat’ and ‘I feel ugly’ status options and emoticons from all versions of Facebook.
My name is Rebecca and I am one of a group of women from around the world who have joined with Endangered Bodies to ask Facebook to remove the body-shaming ‘I feel fat’ and ‘I feel ugly’ status options and emoticons from all versions of Facebook. Fat is not a feeling! How does it make you feel when someone close to you tells you they feel fat? As a woman in my mid-20s, this is something I experience every single day - from my friends, family and others around me. And now, on Facebook. Did you know that Facebook lets you tell all your friends just how much you hate your body? I was around 19 when I first began using Facebook in 2007. Already an adult - and although I would say I was through the worst of my adolescent years of body insecurity, this can still be a recurring issue for me and for almost everyone I know. Facebook now is a significant part of our culture - used daily by many, and particularly younger adolescents and even children! One of the greatest things Facebook has been able to provide is a sense of connection, a feeling of belonging and a way to experience events in the lives of those close to us. But with this comes the ability to look closely at other people’s lives, and equally have our own lives placed under the spotlight. Ultimately, whether we like to admit it or not, we can often find ourselves drawing comparisons between our life, and the lives of those on our friends list that are sprawled across our newsfeeds every day. I’m sure each and every one of you reading this has had a similar experience at some point. Although, for me it’s not just about these experiences I have in my personal life. Working as a counsellor in the field of eating disorders, I spend A LOT of time talking to people about the way they feel about their bodies - how much they hate their bodies, how dissatisfied they are that they can’t look the way they want, how hard they are working and how much time they are spending trying to change their bodies, and finally, just how much all of this is ruining their lives. I also spend a huge amount of time speaking to the concerned loved ones, carers, teachers and health professionals who see the pain first hand that’s experienced by those around them suffering from an eating disorder, disordered eating and body shame, yet just have no idea where to start or what to do to help! Since 2013, Facebook has allowed its users to choose ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’ emoticons as part of the ‘feelings’ feature of their status updates. Having these word choices completely normalises using derogatory descriptive terms in the place of real feelings. How can a person feel ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’ when these aren't actually feelings? ‘Fat’ and ‘ugly’ are adjectives. They describe physical characteristics, NOT feelings. What’s worse is that these adjectives are judgemental and forced on us by society to make women (and increasingly men) feel negatively about their otherwise healthy bodies! When someone says “I feel fat” what they’re really communicating is that they feel unattractive, unhappy, embarrassed and insecure about their body. And believe it or not, these feelings are most commonly a response to the unrealistic, culturally promoted ideals of thinness and beauty that are shoved in our faces every single day. My biggest concern with normalising this kind of language (or as it’s more fittingly called, ‘fat talk’) is the effect it’s having on young people - and no, I’m not just talking about those with eating disorders, although the effect on this population is beyond damaging! Body image is consistently rated as the biggest issue of concern for young Australians generally, and there is a huge amount of research that tells us that this kind of ‘fat talk’ actually increases body shame. We are constantly bombarded with an idealisation of thinness in our society, which leads to this intense fear of being fat and a culture full of stigma around weight. This can have a major impact on the millions of people dealing with negative body image, with body shaming and weight stigma being linked to lower self-esteem and disordered eating – risk factors for developing an eating disorder! And this is where Facebook also plays a role - did you know that the research suggests Facebook use is associated with increased risk of developing an eating disorder along with other risk factors including worrying about weight & anxiety? As someone who has experienced the effects of this kind of language, both in my personal life and professionally with clients, I’m asking you to please rally with me in urging Facebook to remove the ‘fat’ and ‘ugly’ emoticons and options from status updates, in all languages. We need to take a positive step to reduce the pressures and the negativity that surround us when it comes to our bodies and the way we look. After all, we are more than what we look like – and fat is not a feeling!
Petition to Glassons
Please exchange the mannequins with protruding ribs, that perpetuate the idea that 'skinny' is the ideal, for regular mannequins.
I believe this is something we need to take action on because the mannequins currently being used in some stores further perpetuate the idea that 'skinny' is the ideal. Glassons target market are young women. Women in this age group are most vulnerable for body image issues & eating disorders. As a relatively big player in the retail industry in NZ, Glassons are setting a precedent in this area & it is concerning that this could become the norm in women's clothing stores.
Petition to Lorna Jane
Lorna Jane: design gym gear for plus-size women – give girls of all sizes a chance
I joined a gym last year and was really excited to finally begin my journey to transform my life. That was until I tried looking for gym clothes and realised exercise wasn't going to be the hard part – I walked around for hours struggling to find gym clothing that actually fit me. I walked away feeling defeated. I already found it daunting enough walking into the gym despite the judgement of my figure in the first place, let alone walking in wearing a tent for a top and cheap, low-quality leggings whilst all the other girls looked wonderful in their colourful, flattering, tummy controlling gym clothes. It saddens me that one of the leading brands in fitness gear, Lorna Jane, didn't have clothes for the bigger girls – we need them equally as much as the smaller girls. Don't get me wrong, being bigger isn't bad, doesn't make you ugly and can be attributed to many different factors. I myself have a thyroid problem so I understand that it can be difficult. Big or small, healthy is key – and I worry that access to appropriate gym clothes is a huge barrier for lots of bigger girls. Shouldn't the bigger girls be in the gym just as much, if not, more? Shouldn't we be encouraged to live happy and healthy just as much as the smaller girls? I'm not degrading Lorna Jane in any way, shape or form, I would just like to see a company that has the resources start changing the minds of the bigger girls who feel like they don't belong in the gym. That's why I've started this petition asking Lorna Jane to bring in a plus-size range – to give girls of all sizes the chance to go to the gym unembarrassed! Men, women, big, small, young, old... If you agree (and even if you don't, haha) please sign this! You could be part of something amazing!