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Nobody's perfect, and taking drastic measures won't get you any closer


In a country that promotes physical perfection to the umpteenth degree, we Americans strive for that acme of fitness, whether for purely aesthetic reasons or truly for our health, sometimes to the extreme. Nutrition, diets, exercise programs, health equipment; all of it is big business in the United States today. Medicinenet.com reports that Americans spend an estimated $42 billion annually on weight-loss foods, products and services. That’s a lot of Atkins’ Bars and Slim Fast.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to lose weight or maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In fact, it’s a commendable goal. But where the line gets a little fuzzy is the ridiculousness of trying to do so through off-the-wall cosmetic procedures, which sometimes put us at risk for potential health problems, and even death, in our quest for the perfect body.

One such example comes from an article in usatoday.com, the headline of which reads “‘Black Madam’ arrested in bad buttocks injections.” Of course, that piqued my curiosity, and I had to read on. It seemed there was a woman in Philadelphia who called herself the “Black Madam” and was performing illegal buttocks-enhancement injections, a strictly mobile unit of service because she was trying to elude authorities. She would host these “pumping parties” at different locations, usually a hotel or private residence, where she would inject a substance she described as silicone into the client’s buttocks. When the procedure was completed, she would cover the wound with glue and the article didn’t specify if it was of the medical variety. Hmm, sounds very professional. According to the article, she was arrested and arraigned last week and is currently being held on $10 million bail as a “person of interest” in the death of a 20-year-old London woman who received injections last year at a hotel near Philadelphia International Airport.

Having perfect buttocks is right up there with pouty lips on my Richter scale of important physical attributes to maintain or acquire. I mean, it just ain’t happening. There’s this little term called gravity that has to be remembered when I turn around and peer over my shoulder in front of a mirror. And believe me when I say there is no one, not even Dr. Palmer himself, plastic surgeon of the stars (and I don’t mean of the stellar variety), who is going to stick a needle in my derriere with an unknown substance simply “described” as silicone.

Admitting there is no way to hang on to a tight, shapely buttocks for your entire lifetime is the first step toward aging gracefully. Of course, if you’re like me and never had them in the first place, it’s not a big issue. But for some people, cosmetic enhancement ranks right up there with apple pie. But that’s another surgery. 

If people are determined to have these procedures done, I hope they go to a reputable doctor, even if they can’t afford a Dr. Palmer, and always remember one important fact: hotel rooms and Elmer’s are never conducive to successful surgeries.


Angela Rogalski is a print journalism senior who lives in Abbeville. Follow her on Twitter @abbeangel.