SThe subject of Black women and plastic surgery has been a controversial topic for decades. Should we accept ourselves as we are or should we surgically alter ourselves in effort to sculpt a societal perpetuated idea of perfection.  According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, about millennials and plastic surgery; women between 18-34 are getting surgery for a multitude of reasons. Many of them are influenced by social media and celebrities; others are trying to avoid the appearance of aging and post-baby bodies. (Bowen, 2019)

Part of the concern is for young African American women that are seeking plastic surgery in higher numbers than ever and being negatively affected by botched surgeries. Some of these women are seeking surgeries to look more like IG models; rhinoplasty, breast augmentations and Brazilian Butt Lifts are among the highest requested procedures. Our young women claim body positivity while social media glorifies the highly exaggerated hourglass bodies of women like Nikki Minaj and the Fashion Nova babe; creating a drive to meet an unreasonable standard. (Bown, 2020)

As a culture, we must examine why these surgeries are so important and the effects on black women’s health. For example, the BBL or Brazilian Butt Lift is the most performed surgery on black women today and also the deadliest. Young black women are attempting to become Instagram influencers and make their mark on various social media platforms; thereby, feeling compelled to conform to a particular aesthetic.  Unfortunately, these women are responding to advertisements on social media from surgeons all over the world promising fantastic results for unbelievably low prices. (Mosanya, 2019)

Further examination of ethics in advertising will highlight that many of the practitioners offering aesthetic services on platforms like Instagram and Facebook are not board certified. The challenge is that these ads are targeting young women who often look to social media for recommendations and do not research the credentials of these doctors. (Lewis, 2017)

Another major issue within the community is the complete lack of representation of African American women within the surgical field. This has been an ongoing dilemma for black women of the diaspora seeking to enhance our features without ultimately looking like we are trying to mimic another ethnicities features or recognizing the special concerns that may arise for a black woman seeking any type of surgery. (Rapaport, 2020) 

Its abundantly clear the beauty standard are sending black women to their deaths through risky surgeries and procedures performed by unqualified practitioners. Some ladies even choosing to get fillers done in back alley style methods without knowing what is being injected into their bodies, sometimes builder grade silicones, cements, etc. In attempt to save money, lives are being lost and women are being disfigured. (MEADOWS-FERNANDEZ, 2017)