Did you know that 15.6 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2014? Now I already know what some of you are thinking, “This has NOTHING to do with us, ‘black don’t crack!'”. Well, you may be surprised to know that the number of African Americans undergoing plastic and other cosmetic procedures to remain young and beautiful is growing.
According to the latest Plastic Surgery Statistics Report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, African Americans accounted for 1.3 million cosmetic procedures in 2014, up 8% over 2013. From 2005 to 2013 cosmetic surgeries done on African American’s increased by 56%. The fact of the matter is, because it is so coveted in our culture to have natural beauty, and not need to a little “nip and tuck,” many of us keep it a secret and in some cases, go to unorthodox lengths to get procedures done without anyone knowing.
The fact that cosmetic procedures are so taboo in our community may be hurting us more than helping us. With reality shows glamorizing these procedures, our beauty-obsessed society is really bringing on the pressure to be “pretty”. I know that it can’t just be me who noticed, but it seems as though over the last five years a big butt is now a GIGANTIC one. Everyone has a bodacious back side. It’s as if overnight big booties is something everybody got from their momma. Well, there is some explanation for this. Butt implant procedures had a 99% increase over 2013 and butt lifts 44% over 2013. Having a butt is definitely in, and it appears as though everyone went out and bought one. White, Asian, Hispanic and Black – we’ve all contributed to these number.
The longer we hide from our truths that we, too, are subjected to the pressures of society’s ideology of beauty, the more we are only hurting ourselves. In many cases, African American women seem to be receiving conflicting messages of what standard of beauty they want to subject themselves to. Many are undergoing surgeries to plump their pouts, widen their hips and boost their butts, while still trying to slim down their nose. And with the community not supportive of these decisions and the hefty price tag that comes with them, their choice in “doctors” is sometimes pretty sketchy.
“If you survive this unskilled, unlicensed provider performing a medical procedure in an unregulated location, the first thing you should do is thank the Lord for sparing your life” says Dr. Jeffery Flagg, a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries. “Severe life-threatening complications have been documented throughout the country due to the injection of liquid silicone.”
A condition known as silicone emboli syndrome can develop, where particles of the injection material find there way into the veins of the area and travel to the lungs.Once there the silicone blocks the flow of oxygen into your blood and you essentially suffocate. Dr. Flagg explains that patients can experience fever, chest pain, cough, shortness of breath, vomiting blood, and altered mental status.