Plastic surgery is becoming more acceptable in Nigeria and people who go under the knife are owning it and talking about it. In December 2017, Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh said that she went through cosmetic surgery because she had always been ashamed of her body.
In December 2018, media personality, Toke Makinwa also opened up about “fixing her body” because she hated it. While women undergo plastic surgery for different reasons, the risks of post-surgery can be scary.
With procedures like liposucturing, tummy tucking, breast lift, breast reduction, blepharoplasty, face lift, thigh lift, arm lift, Botox, Derma filler, fat grafting, skin grafting, scar revision, laser procedures, gynaecomastic, contractive release, burn wound management, acute burn, cleft lip and palate etc Nigerian women are becoming open to re-making their bodies like they have always desired.
Four women at the BBC Africa sat down to talk about the effects of plastic surgery on women and sought to answer whether pressures from society lead women to consider cosmetically enhancing their bodies.
Dr. Foluso, a cosmetic doctor from the Grandville Medical and Laser in Nigeria explains plastic surgery is safer than before. Moreover, some women come to their centres because they don’t like how their body looks.
“Liposuction is not as scary as it looks. It’s a procedure done on anesthesia when a patient is completely unaware, so all the movement is not felt by the patient. Not everybody has the patience to snap back for two years, not everybody can take that time to go through that discipline, so, plastic surgery is safe. We are getting to an era where in Africa, women are embracing cosmetic surgery. It’s not as stigmatized as it used to be, it’s safer now with new technology and liposuction which is the most common is that procedure we do in our centre, Grandville. It involves basically redistributing fats. You take out fats from unwanted areas and you put it in areas where you want them”, she said.
Another kind of surgery that women go for, according to Dr. Foluso is the tummy tucks. This procedure is demanded more by women who have gone through child bearing and do not like the way their tummy looks.
However, one of the hosts argues that more women are undergoing plastic surgery because their spouses are calling for it and are also specifying what their wives should do.
“I feel like as a woman, it should be your choice. It should be something that you’re comfortable with but also have a deeper analysis as to why you’re it, because what’s going to happen when that person you’re with or your husband or society’s definition of beauty changes. Are you going to go back under the knife and take it out because at the end of the day, it is surgery and it comes with its risks.”
A couple of years ago, people were embracing skinny women without curves but now, women with curves are the reigning queens, so, how many times are women going to alter their bodies to fit into what the society wants?
“I feel like this speaks like a deeper issue that revolves around self-esteem and with us trying to be for someone else and I don’t even think that the men’s opinions should count in this discussion because it should always be about us and what we want. I shouldn’t be dictated to whether it’s because you want to see my heart, whether you like me natural, with the makeup on, whether you like me with the bigger butts, that’s to your preference, go find someone who’s got those elements but I should not feel like I need to alter who I am to fit into some man”, the host continues.
According to these women, the society through the eye of the media seems to be controlling what women desire and want to do with their bodies.
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