ATLANTA (CBS46) –
A new documentary airing on BET investigates the increasingly popular and sometimes fatal trend that is globally impacting the lives of many women of color: black-market cosmetic surgery.
Several of the women featured in the show are from Atlanta. I spoke to an Atlanta woman who is all too familiar with these procedures.
For decades, the ideal female body type was tall and thin. In recent years, however, the rise of video vixens and reality TV stars have reshaped and influenced the female image in a profound way.
Today, thousands of women are resorting to risky surgeries to get the perfect shape and gain attention. This obsession with enhanced waists, hips and backsides is the focus of the new BET show.
Janelle Butler is not featured in the documentary, but for her this story is personal. Her struggle started nine years ago after giving birth to her second child.
"I felt insecure and I was going through postpartum depression," she says.
In a quest for perfection, she looked into butt augmentation procedures.
"All the girls are doing it. It’s cheap. Call this person, they meet you, you can get a hotel room, they can come to your house," she says.
Not knowing the risk, Butler got what she thought were hydrogel silicone butt injections.
"And it gives you an instant plump," she says.
But with the new-found confidence also came slight complications
"It just kept getting bigger, my butt," she says. "I started to lift weights and build muscle, and do all that stuff. I would think, God, I wish I didn’t have this silicone in my butt."
In January, she decided to have the procedure reversed. A TV show paid for the surgery, but things got dark and almost deadly.
"So within 24 hours after surgery, I blacked out and I was in the ER because I had lost so much blood," she says.
But the nightmare wasn’t over as the complications kept coming. Butler developed necrosis, which is the blackening of the skin, causing the cells to die.
"The necrosis took skin tissue and almost some of my muscle all the way," she says. "They had to take it down to my muscle, like, they had to scoop out the dead tissue."
Aside from a destroyed spirit and excruciating pain, the necrosis left her with a hole the size on a fist on each cheek.
"But now I have to get more surgery to look normal. I don’t look normal right now. I am completely disfigured. I have to wear butt lifters and but pads," she says. "You have a daughter, I have a daughter. I don’t want my daughter growing up to live up to these false expectations…I would just tell them to embrace those insecurities, practice daily affirmations of self-love because that’s where it initially starts."
Now, she travels and makes appearances warning ladies of risky surgeries and she’s planning to come out with her own documentary.
In her case, she didn’t have any dire complications from her initial surgery. This happened when she chose to remove what she added, but the lesson is if she would not have gotten injections to begin with, she would not have been in that position to even want to have to get something removed.
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