By Ayelen Hamity, AnyBody Argentina team member
It's one in the morning, a Tuesday, and my face is stained with an angelic luminous blue - the reflection of my cell phone and its faithful companion - Instagram. My Instagram account is relatively chaotic in content. I follow friends and family, models, philosophy accounts, photography, feminists, accounts that teach exercise routines, how to cook, how to make desserts. . . If the only thing that remains when I die is my Instagram account, my death certificate will read 'death by hysteria'. Aside from the chaos of its content, Instagram is an application that I use quite often: before going to sleep, when I wake up, and in those 'dead' moments of the day. Honestly, I never saw it as a problem – in fact – Instagram is my voyeuristic friend: a window to the world.
One day, Google News showed me the dark side of my friend, with a heading that read:
I have no idea how much time I spend on Instagram, but this news led me to explore the application a little more closely. What effect can Instagram have on mental health, and specifically, what effect can it have on my relationship with my own body? Before I could answer those questions, I reviewed the basics:
So, let’s talk about cosmetic surgery.
Every year, millions of cosmetic surgeries are performed globally. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, over 23 million procedures were performed in 2016. Some of the possible complications include hematomas, nerve damage, infections, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, scarring, organ damage, anesthesia complications, and in some cases, death. What’s more, the industry is sometimes under-regulated: In the UK (as of 2013), anyone can legally perform dermal filler procedures, without prior training or knowledge.
The stats aren’t pretty.
To be clear, these are risks that informed adults can and will take. Our goal is not to criticize adults who choose cosmetic surgery. But adults are not the only ones going under the knife.
Children and teenagers around the world are undergoing cosmetic surgery at younger and younger ages.
Kids, Body Image and Technology
By Deirdre Cowman, Co-ordinator of Endangered Bodies Ireland
Technology is an amazing and sometime scary thing! It offers children opportunities for creativity, learning and fun but can also an impact on how they see themselves and their bodies. As parents, you want your children to enjoy all the exciting experiences that technology can offer and to grow up with a healthy relationship with their bodies. As today, February 5, is international safer internet day, you may hear and read a lot about various aspects of digital safety. One aspect of technology that doesn’t receive a lot of attention is the relationship between computer games and body image. Many parents are already aware of the need to make their home a body positive environment but struggle when it comes to staying on top of potential negative influences online and in games. More and more parents are concerned about how to help their children to feel comfortable in their skin in a digital world.
“A wonderful dream come true!” (Cinderella, Disney, 1950)
By Emma Jacobs, Endangered Bodies contributor
It’s the ultimate fairy-tale. Cinderella, the enslaved heroine — soot-stained, rag-ridden, oh-so-humble — holds her breath and makes a wish and with a shower of sparkles she is transformed, now a ball-gowned princess, at last lovely both outside and in. She’s worked hard, she’s suffered quietly, and so she is deserving of the Fairy Godmother’s greatest gift: beauty. “Why!” cries Disney’s Cinderella, “It’s like a dream! A wonderful dream come true!”
Cinderella stories have existed in countless variations throughout human history, from Ancient Greece to the Tang Dynasty to the Islamic Golden Age. We’ve always been fascinated by the “before” and “after” of the makeover. And like all good fairy-tales, the makeover is in essence a morality story. Beauty, it tells us, is something you earn; ugliness is for the lazy.
This moral lesson has been woven into TV makeover shows since they began in the 1940s and ’50s (incidentally, around the same time Disney’s Cinderella first came to the big screen). In US studio gameshows like Queen for a Day and Glamour Girl, women competed for the viewers’ sympathies by confessing their stories of misery, hardship and marital trouble. Whoever got the most applause from the audience was rewarded for her suffering with a beauty-queen makeover, and the obligatory sense of self-worth that accompanied it. As the NBC brochure for Glamour Girl noted, “the girl is changed not only in appearance but also in her outlook on life. We see her poised, secure and smiling. This creation of a new personality has great human interest appeal.” 
This post was originally posted on OfficeMum.ie in Ireland and has been reposted here with permission from the author Andrea Mara. Thanks, Andrea!
To support our latest international campaign, see below for links to all eight unique linked petitions and spread the word using #SurgeryIsNotaGame
Like many parents today, what little I know about online games I’ve learned from my kids, and most of what mine have played so far have ranged from clever to educational to downright silly. But one game stopped me in my tracks when my nine-year-old showed it to me recently – it was a plastic surgery simulator game that had come up on her Kindle when she searched for ‘free games for kids’.
To show me how it works, she carried out cosmetic surgery on her (animated) patient’s nose. This involved marking where the incision should go, using a scalpel to cut into the skin, moving a bone inside the nose, then gluing and stitching up the wound. And once that game was over, some of the other suggestions included ‘Pregnant Mommy’s Surgery – Caesarean Simulator Game’ – I kid you not.
I was really surprised that the cosmetic surgery game existed at all – I mean, who wants to play a game that simulates cutting into skin and delving into someone’s nose – but I was particularly surprised to see it marketed to kids. Not only is it graphic and gross, it’s also sending a really negative message to little girls. Don’t like how you look? Just go under the knife – because you are nothing beyond your appearance.