Have you heard of Yodi – it’s the Yoruba street word for a drug guaranteed to give the user a big bum. I first learnt of it in an article I read in one of the dailies about the drugs women were using to enhance their butts. The story which profiled uneducated women aroused my curiosity as to what exactly they were using and I thought to ask my then secretary who lived in Lagos Island if she had heard about it. To my shock, she said she had and that it was very cheap and with a small amount of money she could buy some for me. So I gave her N100 and she came back with 20 tablets of Prednisolone a steroid used to treat conditions such as arthritis, blood problems, immune system disorders, skin and eye conditions, breathing problems, cancer, inflammation and severe allergies.
Predisolone is a drug I was familiar with and hated with a passion, it had been part of my late sister’s treatment regimen for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus ( SLE or Lupus) an autoimmune disease and its known side effects amongst others are infections, insomnia, mensural period changes, growth of facial hair, glaucoma, ulcer etc. It also causes puffiness and swelling in the face and different parts of the body and I suspect that is the main reason why otherwise healthy people were using it to enhance their bodies and attain an “enviable figure” on the cheap. I told my secretary about the side effects of the drug and elicited a promise from her that she would not yield to the temptation to use it on herself as she had affirmed that she knew people who were using it and that it had worked wonders on them.
If I thought I had heard it all , I was taken aback some few weeks ago, when I read a tweet about the death of a woman who had died after injecting bullion cubes( Maggie , Knorr) in her bum as a result of an increase in her blood pressure linked to the sodium content of the cubes. My curiosity was again piqued as to what the connection was between flavoring cubes and a big bum. Further investigations on the internet revealed that it was a common practice especially in Congo where women had discovered a cheaper but more deadly way of enhancing their bodies. I watched a video where a user revealed that they ground the cubes into a powder, mixed them with saline solution and injected them directly into their buttocks. Also widespread especially in poor countries is the practice of injecting biopolymer silicone directly into the body especially the breast and bum area.
The Body enhancement industry has loyal adherents all over the world, no thanks to celebrities who enhance their bodies in a bid to retain their youthfulness. The list of parts enhanced are wide- tummy tuck, face lift, nose, lip and ear correction , toe shortening, body piercing , etc and it cuts across women of all ages and even men who undergo surgery or weight loss to reveal their pectoral muscles. The newbies to the services being offered are those which relate to the private parts such as vaginal tightening surgery’s which are touted to make the vagina feel like that of a virgin’s and Penis enlargement which add extra length and width to the man’s private part.
I understand what drives people to enhance their bodies, no one wants to grow old and haggard, we all admire people who don’t look their age and wish our own bodies do not show the wear and tear of the years we have spent or the situations we have gone through. Also, surgery can enhance our health physically like in the case of a gastric by-pass where one’s health is threatened or where it lessens pain like a reduction in one’s breast size. It is also a fact that cosmetic surgery can boost one’s confidence and ensure societal acceptance as someone who is rich enough to afford surgery within certain social circles but it can be an insidious problem if not properly checked.
It is my personal opinion that most people that undergo cosmetic surgery just for the benefit of changing the way they look have deep rooted issues which they sincerely believe can be cured by the surgery. Please don’t get me wrong , I like to look good and there is nothing wrong in putting your best foot forward appearance wise but cosmetic surgery will not change you or solve your personal attitudinal and esteem problems. They will not make people like you better, nor will life suddenly become easier. They will not make you look like someone else and there is the likelihood that the results you get may not be what you envisaged and will not make you happy. If you doubt me ask the ghost of Joan Rivers who was said to have done cosmetic surgery a whopping 348 times and was still not happy with how she looked. Also there is always the risk of mistakes, irreversible damage and death added to this is the fact that the immediate and future impact of surgeries on the body is largely unknown as no one can tell for sure if these procedures may cause an alteration in our bodies system which may not be revealed for years.
I personally find it irritating the way most ladies look like each other nowadays, the same bleached skin, fishline lips, bum shape, rigid brows etc. there is no originality, nothing that makes them stand out uniquely. So whilst it is a personal choice it will do us good to ask ourselves why we want cosmetic surgery. Are we doing it for ourselves, to better our physical bodies and make them work better or are we doing it to make someone like us or stay with us. Do we just want to correct slight aging irregularities or mask our insecurities? Are we aware that there are risk factors of permanent damage to our bodies or even death? Are we aware of the expense involved and the fact that we may need top-ups in the future, do we know we can become addicted to it and subject our bodies to numerous surgeries as we set out to correct the effects of one surgery with another?…
Finally , are we aware that beauty on the outside does not sink below the skin and that surgery will do little to help the way we esteem ourselves and how we feel in relation to others. The truth is that beauty from the insides always shows up and enhance our outsides the way a smile lightens up our faces.