BY Mark Babatunde, 9:30am June 14, 2016,

More African Women Paying Premium Prices for Bigger Butts?

Butt lifts top the list of cosmetic surgeries requested in Africa's growing market.

A butt lift, also called a butt enhancement or more correctly, a butt augmentation, is a cosmetic surgery procedure undergone by people who, for whatever reason, are not satisfied with the look of their buttocks. Generally speaking, it corrects congenital, traumatic and acquired defects or deformities of the buttocks.

The procedure, which is often tailored to the specific needs of a patient, involves a bit of fat transfer (liposuction), body contouring and some amount of pain, the end result being a fuller, firmer, rounder posterior.

Besides the butt lift, there are a broad range of other standard cosmetic procedures: rhinoplasty, breast augmentations, liposuction and tummy tucks, botox fillers and many more. However, the butt lift seems to be the favourite cosmetic procedure among Africans.

There was a time when a butt lift or cosmetic surgery of any kind required a travel visa out of Africa. Not anymore. Entrepreneurs have been quick to notice the demand, and a market has quickly formed to provide those services locally, consequently reducing the price of the procedure and further increasing the demand. This relatively nascent market has managed to grow exponentially while knocking down conservative stereotypes about plastic surgery or permanent body modifications.

It is safe to say there is no one reason to explain the rise in the demand for butt lifts or cosmetic surgery, but many fingers point to a prevailing media culture that promotes an over-idealized body image.

Other reasons why Africans may procure a butt lift include the more practical ones like improving their general body image to shore up their self-esteem, addressing congenital malformations, a prevalent human desire to roll back the years and the effects of aging, attracting a suitable mate and of course, sheer vanity for a few.

There is indeed no shortage of reasons to undergo a butt lift, especially when we consider that the vast majority of contemporary African designs and fabrics are tailored to highlight the posterior region. In effect, people without a prominent posterior may struggle to find clothes that fit.

In Africa, the typical client for a butt lift is between the ages of 20-40, urbane, educated, with some money to spare and female. Although quite uncommon, men have also been known to opt for a butt lift. Similar to the women’s, their reasons often range from overcoming insecurities about their bodies to attracting a mate. Apparently, men are not the only ones visually attracted to a healthy posterior.

Some dietitians have counselled that for most people, a regimen of exercise, eating right and generally watching the waistline can produce results similar to a butt lift procedure for a fraction of the price. Thus, squats and lunges, two exercises reputed to improve the appearance of the buttocks, have become very popular exercises routines in many gyms and fitness centres in Africa. But exercising can be a slow, long road to travel and the desired effects are not always guaranteed.

In Africa, cosmetic surgery could be a win-win solution for everyone: the women who have their bodies’ worked on, the surgeons who make a career out of it, the clinics that provide the services and the even the larger society. Nigerian-born Modupe Ozulua is the CEO of Body Enhancement Limited and a pioneer in providing cosmetic surgery solutions in Nigeria. She is also the founder of Body Enhancement Foundation, an organization that helps to provide free reconstructive surgery to underprivileged children with a cleft palate.

Many providers of cosmetic surgery procedures and the women who patronize them are quick to correct the opinion that they do it to attract men. They are also keen on correcting the opinion that it is a vanity exercise, arguing that it is pointless to attempt to draw a line between the use of cosmetics in everyday grooming and cosmetic surgery.

Last Edited by:Deidre Gantt Updated: June 14, 2016


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