How the Market for Illegal Butt Injections and a Desire for Bigger Backsides Is Putting Black Women’s Lives at Risk

Wykesha Reid

Like many sisters, Wykesha Reid looked in her mirror and longed for a bigger butt. Nature had carved her curves, but she thought that enhancing what she’d already been gifted with would make her even more attractive. Her family says she visited a salon in Dallas for a first, then a second and then a third round of butt injections, each one giving her a shape she was increasingly proud to show off.

Her fourth visit in February killed her. Police found her body in the salon the morning after her appointment. She’d been left alone, her purse and cellphone stolen, the practitioners who’d allegedly injected her backside with a deadly cocktail of chemicals deciding that her life wasn’t even worth an immediate 911 call before they abandoned her.

The average cost of a buttock augmentation performed by an accredited plastic surgeon: $4,383 with implants—about $250 less if supplemental fat is grafted from another part of the body.

The average cost of illegal butt injections rendered by unlicensed anybodies who use superglue, motor oil, cement, silicone, sometimes Fix-a-Flat to compose the vilest of concoctions: as little as $500, but the side effects are frequently causing horrid disfiguration. Most tragically, black women are literally dying for big booties.

There always exists some impossible benchmark to which we must aesthetically aspire in order to qualify our beauty. If it’s not the shade of our skin, it’s the gold standard of hair length and texture. If it’s not the gold standard of hair length and texture, it’s the composition of our facial features. If it’s not the composition of our facial features, it’s the shape of our bodies.

Black women are constantly being told—expressly and subliminally—that we’re not quite good enough as is. And because of that running script, we’ve cashed into everything from “iron maiden” body shapers to Malaysian weave hair to get there. Lift those up. Suck that in. Enhance this. Poke that out. Tone this up. Be pretty. Look fit. To get the look. To keep the look. To get the job. To keep the job. To get the man. To keep the man.

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Source: The Root | 

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