Women across the US are risking their lives for illegal procedures to make their buttocks bigger,often involving home-improvement materials such as silicone injected by people with no medical training.
Some want to fill out a bikini or a pair of jeans. Others believe a bigger bottom will bring them work as music video models or adult entertainers. Whatever the reason,they are seeking cheaper alternatives to plastic surgery sometimes with deadly or disfiguring results.
Deaths from illegal buttocks injections have been reported in Alabama,Georgia,Florida,Pennsylvania,Nevada and New York. An interior decorator in Mississippi faces trial in the deaths of two women who were injected at her house.
Though there is little data on the procedures or injuries they cause,doctors and authorities say they are seeing them more often. Online forums used to set up the illegal procedures have attracted thousands of responses.
Very big buttocks have been popular in hip-hop videos for years. But Dionne Stephens,who studies race,gender and sexuality in hip-hop culture at Florida International University,said celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez,Beyonce and Kim Kardashian are popularizing the look among an increasing number of women of all races and ethnicities.
For 46-year-old Apryl Michelle Brown,the path to an illegal injection started with people teasing her as a child about having a “pancake butt.” Years later,a woman walked into Brown’s beauty salon in California and told her she could make her butt bigger with injections.
The following week,she was at the woman’s house getting injections.
It wasn’t long before the injection sites got hard and painful. Brown eventually began looking for doctors to remove the material,which she learned was an industrial silicone available at a home improvement store.
After surgery in 2011,a staph infection left her near death. Both hands and feet were amputated.
Today,Brown has a website and speaks on the topic,trying to convince others that they are beautiful the way they are. Despite a lack of data,there’s anecdotal evidence that the illegal procedures are becoming more common.