Wendy Williams recently made headlines by stating that women in general — and black women in particular — are “jealous” of her (bravery?) decision to have so many plastic surgeries. “They are jealous,” theGrio reported about Williams’s interview with XO Jane. The daytime talk show queen elaborated to the online mag: “Because if I said to that person, ‘I got the doctor and I’m going to pay for it. Choose three things you want to do,’ believe me, they would get it done. They are very jealous and scared. Scared of what their other friends would say, or to break out of the box and be different. And being black? Ugh, please. My people will not go for any kind of surgery. We are supposed to be natural. Ugh, whatever.”
Yet, Williams does not have the story exactly straight. In fact, theGrio has reported on the rise in African-Americans seeking plastic surgeries — and surgeons learning more about our faces to help us sculpt and nip in a way that preserves what some doctors call our “ancestral features.” In other words, getting a nose job that looks appropriate on an African-American, rather than replicating the disasterous results of unfortunate stars like Lil Kim and Michael Jackson.
But those disturbing black celebrity mugs do paint a cautionary tale in one snapshot, a story stark enough to make many fear serious surgical procedures. Yet, there are many far less invasive “operations” black women (and men) may want to explore that can help us preserve our youthful appearance, maintain glowing skin, and otherwise keep our appearance in top form — without general anesthesia. Ebony.com explains:
At the mere mention of a Black woman undertaking the cosmetic knife, images of Lil Kim haunt our minds. However, the Queen Bee should really only serve as a cautionary tale for those that take the nip and tuck a little too far, because many minimally invasive cosmetic procedures are quick, painless and worth it. Dr. Chynna Steele Griffin of Atlanta’s Aesthetic and Dermatology Specialty Centre detailed several enhancements that you’ve secretly already googled.
BOTOX: Wrinkles are something that happens when you move your face. Lines form on your forehead or in the corners your mouth when you smile. Eventually, those lines stay. Botox is really meant to be a preventative treatment. I’m 34 and I get Botox because I have a really expressive face. Though we’ve all seen some horror stories, you’d have to get a full face of Botox to be completely frozen or have a paralyzed face. In actuality, you’re only supposed to get shots where you have wrinkles, but you rarely hear about it when it’s done well. Cost: $250 – $350 (by unit or area)
FILLERS: Essentially, filler puts your face back where it used to be. As Black women, our cheeks and other parts of our face move and begins to sag. Injecting filler into those areas adds volume and provides a more youthful appearance. Though most women want to use collagen or fat for these areas, we’ve found that they can actually be a little unpredictable. We use a safe synthetic called hyaluronic acid. It lasts for nine months to a year. Cost: $500 – $1000 (depends on the area)
Beauty expert Kimberly Walker goes on to detail more interesting procedures — in particular scar therapy — that could appeal to most African-Americans. Aside from the costs, which are still considerably less than major plastic surgeries, these comparatively superficial alterations run very little risk, and might even be worth the investment.
Studies consistently show that people judged to be conventionally attractive earn more, and receive better treatment in many social circumstances — meaning most areas of life. As blacks need to arm themselves with as many tools to make it as possible, subtle plastic surgery might be an important part of one’s arsenal.
While Wendy Williams might have voiced an undercurrent of resistance against plastic surgery in our community, her image is evidence of a shifting trend towards blacks’ greater exploration of seeking “enhancements” that might improve one’s ability to navigate life. While there still might be more of a taboo about getting “work done” among blacks, the tide seems to be turning in a trend that ABC News confirms.
Might you join in and enjoy some of the social benefits of being a bit prettier, or a tad more handsome? If you believe in the old adage that “black don’t crack,” then it must certainly be the case that a bit of minimal plastic primping might transform your visage into ebony gold.
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.