Black Women & The Deadly Underground World Of ‘Pumping Parties’
Claudia Aderotimi flew from London for a butt-enhancement procedure. She went into a hotel near the Philadelphia airport not knowing that she’d meet an untimely death roughly 12 hours later. Padge-Victoria Windslowe, noted as the Philadelphia Black Madam, was sentenced to at least 10 years after the murder of Aderotimi. In court, the Black Madam said she had safely performed thousands of surgeries since the mid-1990s.
A 20-something-year-old woman who was a “patient” of the Black Madam had the lungs of an 80-year-old because the deadly silicon concoction spread into her lungs. Dr. Paris Butler, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery within the Hospitals at the University of Pennsylvania, was puzzled by his patient’s casual revelation that her condition stemmed from participating in a pumping party.
This patient’s chilling story inspired Dr. Butler to spurn a healthy dialogue about safe and legal plastic surgery among Black women. In Philadelphia, the Black Madam’s pumping party goers paid between $1,500-$2,000 twice a year to have an illegal and deadly mixture of silicone and cement injected into various areas of their body. Most would assume affordability forces people to get these procedures done in a hotel room or, in some cases, a back alley.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, plastic surgery is a $13.5 billion industry with 7.7% of all cosmetic surgeries being consumed by Black patients. The physician fee for a butt lift, for example, averages $4,910.
Surgery & Hip Hop
Serious community discussions about cosmetic surgery started with the death of Donda West, Kanye West’s mother, after she died of complications from cosmetic surgery. Childish jokes often deride women and girls for wearing weave and having any body enhancement surgery really makes you “fake.” The Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj beef took an interesting turn. In the 7-minute lyrical barrage, Remy Ma held no punches about image, plastic surgery and Black girls:
I think Remy Ma coupled the deaths from hotel procedures and legal cosmetic surgery. Are Black women, in particular, …