I just came across an episode from the documentary series (based upon the boorish namesake magazine) VICE that focused on the illegal/underground black market of the butt injection. This procedure continues to sweep American citizens in large number, and when it comes to body image, aside from facial symmetry, seemingly many remain obsessed with the backside. The fascination has even crossed over to beyond just women of color on display, but as some of you may have heard who are social media magnets, the Instagram success of Jen Selter, a petite, Caucasian woman of New York’s Upper West Side that thanks to her many photos showcasing her shapely backside, as 1 million followers on IG, and burgeoning fitness endorsements.
Yet, the desire for bigger buetts and doing whatever it’ll take to get one has leads to many health scares and prolonged issues for women that foolishly allowed foreign objects and liquids to be placed in their body. Even some deaths have been reported and definite arrests for those that did the illegal procedure. Today, in an effort to discourage other women from doing it, its become easier to actually view images and video of the how these injections go down, as well as the aftermath of the severe the damage will be up to 5 years later.
VICE’e episode on the injections, titled as blatant as this show is taped, “Buttloads of Pains” takes viewers into the underbelly with words from doctors and strippers on the subject.
Below is my original article from 2012, followed by the clip from VICE.
Vanity Wonder Shares the Danger of Butt Injections
When it comes to body image in the black community, it’s a rather complicated issue for not necessarily a multitude of reasons but for few, very big reasons. For woman of color, there is a comprehensible yet mystifying pressure to obtain and maintain a curvaceous figure, and not just an awesomely average and nicely shaped hip to waist ratio, but a crazy, almost supernatural form that resembles comic book heroines and video game dames. The pressure to resemble an exaggerated hourglass was only worsened with the once abundant popularity of video girls in hip-hop music videos a few years back and still today, certain lifestyle magazines that target the interests of black men where such ribald imagery can be seen by the masses at any other newsstand. The discussion of a black woman’s body is a pendulum that swings back and forth into our pop culture consciousness due to the altering ideals of what is sexy, beautiful, and desirable, and the dissection is always either through jaded lenses or fed up observations. Amidst 2012 examples including Nicki Minaj occasionally parading like a modern day Rainbow-Brite Hottentot Venus, and that controversial New York Times article written by Alice Randall (a black woman) that in an oscillating manner of intelligence and snarkiness challenged and wondered about the connection of black women and “fat”, women of color either embrace their curves to the point of great pomposity or they try to conceal their shape to avoid feeling like a show, or more pitifully, a joke as naturally, a well-buxom shape is cause for eyes to stop and stare. Talking about the bodies of black women every so often replaces the type of hair we have on our head as a hot commodity amongst black and white media outlets to rip apart at a categorical group’s expense. Even supportive semi-black feminist platforms like Essence have exposed the underbelly of ladies on the chase to be rounder and smaller than they already are, as moreover, with the added typical encumbrance of black man that are attracted to a voluptuous silhouette, even the most chaste lady can feel that her body just isn’t good enough.
Vanity Wonder was one of those ladies that was determined to be the last zaftig chick standing, but her mission to be a brick house in order to gain more notoriety and jobs as a “urban model” has left her body deformed and her health at an at times ill state because she had made the (in hindsight) asinine decision to get butt injections. In promotion of her new book Shot Girls, Wonder has been making the rounds in talking about the danger of this particular surgery. From her appearance on the British talk show This Morning where she spoke to two very eager to listen, curious to understand Caucasian hosts that looked on with eyes wide open, to an interrogating Inside Edition segment, she’s proceeded to explain the reasoning behind the medical application, but most importantly the damaging consequences, which has given more insight into the underground milieu of black market plastic surgery where butt and hip surgeries are done illegally with cement and silicone. Though she isn’t entirely against injections and claims butt implants are a better solution, she says the purpose of Shot Girls is to share the experience of injections and the risk of going too far with them. Wonder admitted on This Morning that she had become addicted to the shot as even while she honestly didn’t know what was in being put into her body and confessed to Inside Edition to having over 1,000 of those malignant vaccines, describing them as feeling and appearing like ”icebergs”.
Born Kenyatta, Vanity Wonder’s mission is a cockeyed outcry. She wants to educate women that may be interested in making their bodies curvier or fuller through plastic surgery of the detrimental results physically, but she doesn’t delve deep enough into the emotional repercussions that could feel more irreversible than the surgery. From the heckling she’s endured, Wonder doesn’t appreciate being ostracized for her injections, yet she’s quick to demand that people respect the decision to let someone do what they feel is right for them. Interestingly, the surge of popularity in having said figures has even crossed over to the general “white media” with The Today Show doing cuts on measure like the Brazilian butt lift, as soccer moms plea and seek to look like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez. So while Wonder’s sound bites are arriving at a relevant time, her mission can’t be taken as the ultimate maxim of Dr. 90210 dreams gone wrong because she’s playing both sides of the net. Though the standards may seem different for white women to black women, it is still a matter of everyone’s opinion being a factor, a slew of hefty ingredients in a stirring pot of what is right, wrong, consummate, and “imperfect” for a woman to achieve in the rules and attempts of being gorgeous and fetching. As women of color, there is a line that we thread in not propagating being a circus act through our appearances. What Vanity Wonder has confirmed is the agonizing ambition of attaining something so heavily exalted in the black/Latino community from our guidelines of beauty, and thus an obvious validation is achieved from acting or appearing sexually available or assertive, the tantalizing results can be a catch-22 to our self-worth.