A petition has been launched railing against a raft of cosmetic surgery game apps aimed at primary school children.

More than 3500 people have signed the New Zealand change.org petition directed at tech giants Amazon, Google and Apple to remove child access to the apps body advocates say glamorise cosmetic surgery.

Some animated apps are being marketed to children as young as 9.

Endangered Bodies New Zealand representative Angela Barnett said giving young children access to cosmetic surgery games reinforced a body-toxic culture and was not teaching youngsters 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," she wrote on the petition's page.

"As a mother of an 8- and 9-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."

She said the apps were deceptively designed as children's games, encouraging users to slice virtual patients apart using scalpels, syringes and other tools 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," she wrote.

Barnett said children and teens who viewed a diet of flawless images often ended up questioning their own looks and were more likely to diet and suffer from depression and shame.

She said there was no need for games or apps to add to the problem.

It was important the tech giants implemented a policy making it clear to game developers that they would not accept any apps that were targeted at children.