Beauty standards and trends come and go – this is no secret. When it comes to body types, we all witnessed the shift from “stick thin” bodies as most desirable to “the Era of the Big Booty” as it was dubiously ushered in by various fashion houses around 2014. Since then, the number of Brazilian butt lifts (BBLs) globally performed has grown by 77.6%, perpetuated in no small part by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and Cardi B to name a few. And although culture critics are citing the end of the BBL era, in South Africa it has only just taken root and is growing despite it being a contemptuous subject.
There’s also been a lot of criticism about the commodification of black body types and whether BBLs are a form of ‘Blackfishing’. But plenty of black women welcomed the trend, opting to undergo the procedure themselves. In South Africa, more and more celebrities and influencers are openly sharing their BBL journey. For most of the general population though, BBLs and the true cost of the procedure remain a mystery.
What is a BBL?
A BBL, also known as a Brazilian butt lift, is a cosmetic procedure that enhances the buttocks. During the procedure, surgeons remove fat from other areas of a woman’s body, such as the stomach, hips, or thighs. They then transfer the fat into the butt to produce a larger, more shapely bottom. The result of the procedure is an “hour-glass” body shape with a cinched-in waist. Just a casual scroll on popular social media platforms such as Instagram will present you with endless BBL aesthetic pictures.
How safe is the procedure?
BBL is also known for being very dangerous – the mortality rate from BBL is estimated to be as high as 1 in 3,000; this is greater than any other cosmetic surgery. Assessments are supposed to be undertaken prior to surgery for risk factors like being overweight, blood clotting disorders or any cardiovascular issues. During the procedure, patients run the risk of fat, which has been removed from other areas of the body, being injected into one of the deep blood vessels connected to the heart or lungs, resulting in cardiopulmonary collapse, which can cause infection, strokes or even death.
Recovery is another challenge even though patients are given plenty of pain medication to ease the pain of the surgery.
Typically, BBL patients will not be able to sit or lie down for at least two weeks after the surgery. Surgeons claim that BBL can take a minimum of two months to fully heal.
How much does a BBL cost?
According to The Citizen, plastic surgeon Deon Weyers revealed that a BBL in SA can cost in the region of R100 000 and more.
For this reason, many celebs and influencers travel abroad to countries like Turkey in the hopes of going under the knife.
Local celebrities and influencers who have undergone the BBL procedure