Illegal Buttocks Injections Kill, and We Act Surprised

This is a Sept. 12, 2006 photograph provided by Dr. John J. Martin Jr., who specializes in eyelid and facial plastic surgery in Coral Gables, Fla., showing the damage illicit cosmetic procedures can cause recipients such as Rajindra Narinesinch, a patient whose face shows nodules from previous illicit procedures. (AP Photo/Dr. John J. Martin Jr., HO)

This is a Sept. 12, 2006 photograph provided by Dr. John J. Martin Jr., who specializes in eyelid and facial plastic surgery in Coral Gables, Fla., showing the damage illicit cosmetic procedures can cause recipients such as Rajindra Narinesinch, a patient whose face shows nodules from previous illicit procedures. (AP Photo/Dr. John J. Martin Jr., HO)

Yesterday an eye-catching article was circulating on the Internet—“Illegal buttocks injections kill, maim women.” The accompanying picture (featured above) is monstrous, and the title alone was enough to make me feel sick to my stomach. The article describes a burgeoning trend where women go to unlicensed hacks who promise them plump derrieres for a reduced price.  These “doctors” inject women with industrial silicon that is available at hardware stores (think Home Depot). Unfortunately, Morris Garner, a 53-year-old woman, died at the hands of one of these butchers. According to the AP:

“Gordon died of blood clots in her lungs a few days later. There was so much of a ‘silicone-like’ substance in her buttocks that it spilled onto the floor and ‘all over the place’ when a medical examiner cut into her during the autopsy, according to an investigator’s testimony from September.”

According to the 2012 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 91% of all cosmetic surgery patients are women. Broken down by demographic the number of surgeries spikes for the 40-54 year age group. In fact, that age group makes up 48% of total procedures performed in the United States. If you’ve ever taken a Gender Studies 101 course, turned on your television, or lived life as a woman, those numbers probably don’t shock you. Yet, even I was shocked to hear that women go to back-alley hacks who pump them full of home improvement products.

But, the truth is, the tragic death of Ms. Garner isn’t that shocking when we look around.

Women are so consumed with the pursuit of the “perfect body” that we will starve ourselves for a waif –like figure, then pay to have our butts lifted, shaped, and sometimes, injected. Boob job? Gotta have it. Nose re-shaping? Sign me up. Some women will do anything to look like the images they see in the magazines. Those women are not stupid, and they are not naive. Those women just don’t know what we wish they did–they are beautiful just the way they are, and until we change the way we define beauty and value women’s bodies, women like Ms. Garner will try to buy self-worth for a price that fits their budget.

 

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