Plastic surgery is on the rise. Due to mounting pressures from social media, more and more women (and men!) are choosing to go under the knife. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 11% of women admitted that they were open to receiving cosmetic enhancements.
Experts attribute the increase in plastic surgery to patients having more time to consider it during extended lockdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Some of the more highly-requested procedures include tummy tucks and liposuction, likely due to weight gained during the pandemic.
Also, because people had more free time to browse the internet during the lockdown, screen time also increased. This caused a lot of insecurity in young girls and women who were constantly bombarded with images of the ideal body type. As a result, many girls developed body dysmorphia, prompting various conversations surrounding ways to promote body positivity and healthy lifestyle habits.
Even with the push for more inclusive body representation, plastic surgery continues to trend upward. And aside from the various risks involved with plastic surgery, black women have another thing to consider before going under the knife.
Celebrities are opening up about their plastic surgery experiences, even referencing the surgeons that they visited. Subsequently, celebrity plastic surgeons have become high in demand. But what works for one woman might not work for the next. It’s important that black women consider their unique features before booking an appointment with just any surgeon.
While there are numerous surgeons to choose from, not all of them specialize in performing cosmetic enhancements for ethnic features. To avoid disappointment, black patients should look for professionals who specialize in body modifications for black women. Here is a list of things to consider regarding plastic surgery for black women:
1. Ask for an Ethnic Rhinoplasty
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When it comes to plastic surgery for black women, rhinoplasty or a “nose job” is a common patient request. It’s a well-known secret that many of our favorite black celebs have gone under the knife to change the shape and/or size of their nose.
Although certain celebrities are notorious for their nose jobs, the best rhinoplasties aren’t always noticeable. There are many different shapes and sizes of black noses, all of which are beautiful. But for those seeking a nose job, it’s important to find a surgeon who can bring balance to the face.
Consider consulting with a plastic surgeon who specializes in ethnic or more specifically, African-American rhinoplasty. Like Dr. Jennifer Porter of the Chevy Chase Facial Plastic Surgery.These professionals are more likely to add a natural balance to the face by ensuring that a patient’s nose is proportionate to the rest of their facial features.
2. Consider All Options Before Undergoing a Labiaplasty
Labiaplasty, or vaginal rejuvenation, is a cosmetic procedure that alters the appearance of the labia by removing its excess skin. While the surgery is typically safe, there are always potential risks that come with plastic surgery. It’s important to consider the reasons for wanting to undergo labiaplasty.
For some women, a labiaplasty is a necessary procedure to ease irritation or discomfort caused by a medical condition. For others, societal pressures placed on women to have aesthetically pleasing lady parts can be too much to bear. Whatever the reason, a patient’s decision to undergo surgery should be hers, and hers alone.
Women can also opt for a minimally-invasive procedure involving the injection of fillers or fat to the area to achieve similar results. Additionally, surgeons may use a laser to perform a less invasive labiaplasty with minimal bleeding. Patients should go over all available options with their surgeon during their consultation.
3. Remove Fat From All the Right Places
Black women, like others, want to look and feel good in their bodies. This can sometimes mean opting for liposuction or other procedures that can help remove fat. While tummy tucks and liposuctions are among the most popular body modification trends, “the perfect body” looks different to everyone.
Although many hold American standards of beauty in high esteem, beauty ideals can vary between races. Within the black community, those beauty standards can vary by region, as well. The most commonly requested body type is a natural and feminine one. To some, that could mean slim and toned with delicate, not overly-pronounced curves. However, this black community typically celebrates a more curvy, and sometimes thick, hourglass shape.
When researching surgeons, black women should look for professionals that understand and have experience working with their unique body types. A good surgeon should acknowledge the difference in body types and ideals with the goal of delivering the results that their patients want.
4. Non-invasive Procedures Require Research, Too
Microdermabrasion is another common procedure for black women. It’s a form of skin rejuvenation, which has also become a trending obsession for women. It involves the use of a tool to gently remove the thick outer layer of your skin to uncover a healthy layer of skin that looks and feels great. This minimally-invasive procedure works well for dark-skinned women because it can help to eliminate discoloration, scarring, and other marks such as stretch marks.
It’s not to be confused with dermabrasion, which can actually be damaging to darker skin tones. According to WedMD, people with darker skin typically produce more melanin, is derived from our body’s cells, called melanocytes, Having melanin absolutely has its benefits, but injuries caused by less invasive procedures such as dermabrasion, filler injections and laser surgeries can damage the skin. This can lead to problems with discoloration.
Before opting for any procedure, patients should consult with a professional regarding the short and long-term effects that it could have on their bodies.
5. Remember That Trends Change
There was a time when having “traditional black features” like full lips and big butts was considered highly unattractive. Now that those features are “in style” women of all races are clamoring to get “the look,” leaving some black women bewildered. Such is the case with body trends — most of the time, they are fleeting.
Before going under the knife, patients should take their mental and psychological health into account. With the rise of body dysmorphia, more and more women are choosing plastic surgery as a way to obtain happiness. But there are also a growing number of women who are opening up about their plastic surgery experiences, admitting that while their results were great, they still didn’t feel fulfilled.
Women of all races are feeling the pressure to conform to rigid beauty standards, but black women may be especially vulnerable. It’s important to remember that current body trends are likely to change. In doing so, women can avoid feelings of regret related to permanent body modifications for temporary fads.