African-Americans have historically avoided cosmetic procedures and surgeries, but there is a growing acceptance of these procedures among black women, according to a recent article on ABC News. Cultural stigmas around cosmetic enhancement have begun to decline as more black women pursue breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, and Botox.
Phyllis Jackson, a black woman who attended a Beverly Hills dinner party where patients lined up for Botox injections, said that she received her injection despite pressure from her peers. “There’s a pressure from the community that, you know, ‘African-American women don’t need to have beauty enhancements,’” she told ABC.
“I think African-American women are still in the closet about having plastic surgery…[but] I think we’re doing it a lot more,” Linda Caradine-Poinsett, another black woman, told ABC. She pursued body contouring surgery to augment her breasts and shrink her waist.
Blacks remain the slowest-growing ethnic group in the world of cosmetic surgery. While part of the reason is due to the stigma, another stems from the beneficial properties of darker skin. “Darker skin has natural protective factors against sun,” Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Julius Few told ABC. “So we don’t see the same wrinkling, because sun exposure typically will cause weathering or cracking or folding of the skin.”
Few also said that black skin has more oil and tends to be much more resilient against wrinkling:
“A lot of people think oil in the skin is bad. The reality is oil in your skin is good. It’s kind of like folding a piece of paper. The more you fold the piece of paper, the more you’re likely to get a wrinkle in it. Well, if the skin is a bit oiler, has better moisture to it, it will tend not to get a heavy crease in it.”
Nonetheless, black skin can be subject to sun damage and wrinkling, and women like Phyllis and Linda seek cosmetic procedures to reverse some of the effects of aging and gravity. But it’s not just the traditional procedures that are capturing the imagination of today’s black women. Butt lifts, which enhance and reshape the buttocks, have become very popular.
“I’ve wanted my backside larger all my life,” one black woman, who asked not to be identified, told ABC. “One day I just woke up and everybody was talking about butt, butt, butt. They’d had this surgery and that surgery… The first question I asked [my plastic surgeon] was, How big can you make my butt?”