LONDON (AFP) - An online game that encourages prepubescent girls to contemplate breast enlargement surgery and extreme crash diets to achieve a 'perfect figure' has been criticised by worried parent groups and health experts.
The 'Miss Bimbo' game is aimed at girls aged 9 to 16 and has attracted 200,000 members since opening its British site in February. The website sparked controversy when it was introduced in France, where it attracted 1.2 million players.
The young girls are encouraged to monitor the weight, wardrobe, wealth and happiness of their virtual character to create "the coolest, richest and most famous bimbo in the world." The girls compete to earn "bimbo dollars" which can use to buy larger breasts, diet pills, nip-and-tuck surgery, sexy lingerie and nightclub outfits.
Healthcare professionals have warned that website encourages anorexia and bulimia by advising the girls to remain "waif thin".
"A lot of children will get caught up with the extremely damaging and appalling messages." Dee Dawson -- the medical director of the Rhodes Farm Clinic, which treats girls who suffer eating disorders -- told The Times.
The Parentkind group also condemned the site and warned that "Childrens innocence should be protected as far as possible "
A spokesman for the parents' group added: "It depends on the mindset of the child but the danger is that after playing the game , some will then aspire to have breast operations and take diet pills.
The Miss Bimbo site was created by French entrepreneur Nicholas Jacquart, who has moved to South London to promote the website in Britain.