Butt lifting for Africa’s middle class
|March 15th, 2017|
|located in:||Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa|
|tags:||Butt lifting, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, surgery, Tanzania|
It is an industry spawning creams, surgeries and padding, and it has now seen an unprecedented surge in the number of plastic surgeons and clinics across African countries to sate to this growing demand.
Psychologist Dr. Anne Muheria says the wave of butt lifting being experienced in the continent is testament to the power the media, new and traditional, has had on women. “Nowadays wealth, prestige and glamour have been immortalized by the media through women with big butts, the likes of Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez. Even the African film industry, key among them Nollywood, has totally embraced the act of glorifying women with big behinds as most likely attract men. Our women are trying to fit in” Dr. Muheria added.
African economies have been on an upward trajectory, giving rise to a middle class that are driving the cosmetic business.
While the exact number of women who have undergone butt lifting in Africa are hard to come by, plastic surgeons say growth has been high year on year since 2012.
According to Dr. Ojochide Ebune, a surgeon in Nigeria and assistant secretary general of the Nigerian Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, the country has seen an increase of plastic surgeons from 70 five years ago to more than 100 as demand for their services soars.
In South Africa, a concept dubbed surgeon and safari has fast picked up, which represents having a cosmetic procedure, mainly butt lifting and a tour of the country. The tourism sector is making a killing from this.
Dr. Patrick Kimule a re-constructive surgeon in Nairobi Kenya, agrees with the latest boom saying in an ordinary day he gets between five to ten clients with various requests. “I used to work at a private hospital. But two years ago I quit to start my private practice because of the number of patients I saw there. I identified an opportunity and choose to cash in on it. There are all sorts of procedures women ask for, but it all boils down to how deep a client’s pocket is,” Dr. Kimule added.
Brazilian buttock lift is among the favourite among many women. Though expensive, averaging between $10,000 and $25,000 for every procedure, it is argued to be among the safest and easiest for women looking to achieve that perfect look in no time. The butt augmentation procedure involves grafting of fat to the buttock, which is harvested from another part of the body, for example the belly using unique techniques like liposuction. Fat is then injected into the butt.
“Since starting my private business I would say at least 40 per cent of my patients prefer the Brazilian buttock lift. The interesting thing I have come to learn from my clients is that they are willing to do anything to have the lift. This include taking loans or borrowing money from their spouses under false pretences,” Dr. Kimule added.
To the women who cannot afford such procedures, pills, injections and creams offer cheaper alternatives. The creams range between $25 and $45. Pills are made from certain hormones known as corticoids and have been reported to cause complications including blood pressure and diabetes.
The equally high demand for low cost butt-enhancing methods have fuelled a black market with some of the creams and pills creating life threatening side effects on those who use them. In Nairobi’s downtown, at the busy River Road area, numerous shops immaculately display creams and pills and even have well rounded models who act to convince prospective customers of the magic of the pills. It has worked wonders, at least according to shop owners. Luca Baraka one such owner says on average he pockets up to $500 selling creams. “Business is always booming. There is no shortage of customers here. I have come to learn that women will do anything to improve their physique, it is everything to them,” he said.
In Tanzania’s capital, Dar-es-Salaam, the script is similar. In the streets, anything goes, including injections by backstreet doctors, majority who are quacks. Most of these pills are counterfeit and even the standardization and quality assurance bodies like the Kenya Bureau of Standards have had trouble reigning in on the fakes.
Then there are the health complications associated with the low cost methods. Pauline Mwikali a fourth year University student, in a bid to conform with the latest trends decided to try the pills after she was introduced to them by a friend. Days into using them she started getting sick, vomiting, contracted a high fever and was in pain for days. Things were taking a dangerous turn when she noticed that one of his butt-cheeks was growing bigger than the other. “It is one of the most painful moments of my life and I regretted the day I put that pill in my mouth. I have had to do so many re-constructive procedures and I am always in and out of hospital. Those things are bad,” she said.
Still the business has blossomed beyond Africa and even the American Society of Plastic Surgeons declared in 2015 ‘the year of the rear’ recognizing the overwhelming demand for the services.