Yesha Callahan

Open Thread: Is Booty Worship Killing Black Women?

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Earlier this month Dallas resident Wykesha Reid went to a ‘salon’ for her fourth butt injection. The next morning, she was found dead in the salon. According to the woman who raised her, Reid was obsessed with getting a bigger but.

“Everybody else got big booties,” Patricia Kelley, 70, said Reid told her. “So she wanted a big booty.”

“Your butt’s getting too big,” Kelley recalled telling her. “But she got hooked on them booty shots.”

Reid isn’t the only woman who made the decision to head get injected with god-knows-what, by some back-alley ‘salon’. Nowadays it seems as though people would rather risk their lives, getting their asses inflated with things like fix-a-flat, then a) being proud of what they have b) finding a reputable cosmetic surgeon.

From The Root:

The average cost of a buttock augmentation performed by an accredited plastic surgeon: $4,383 with implants—about $250 less if supplemental fat is grafted from another part of the body.

The average cost of illegal butt injections rendered by unlicensed anybodies who use superglue, motor oil, cement, silicone, sometimes Fix-a-Flat to compose the vilest of concoctions: as little as $500, but the side effects are frequently causing horrid disfiguration. Most tragically, black women are literally dying for big booties.

There always exists some impossible benchmark to which we must aesthetically aspire in order to qualify our beauty. If it’s not the shade of our skin, it’s the gold standard of hair length and texture. If it’s not the gold standard of hair length and texture, it’s the composition of our facial features. If it’s not the composition of our facial features, it’s the shape of our bodies.

It’s sad to think the black women are now risking their lives in pursuit of bigger butts. Is it really that serious?

Clutchettes: Given the recent deaths, why do you think black women are willing to take such big risks?

Image Credit: WFAA/The Reid Family

  1. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    *shrugs* I’ve never been very buxom. It used to bother me but my grandmother said “It takes all kinds or people in the world to make it go round.”
    I’m cool with my cupcakes.

    Sidenote: I remember looking at some vintage Black pinups (60s 70s) and they although they did still have an apparent button, it wash’t nearly as big as booties are expected to be today. It was interesting to see the cultural shift.

    • March 30, 2015 - Reply


      Everything is a result of the foods we are putting into our bodies. When you compare LA women to Dallas women to Atlanta women it makes no sense how the majority of black women in each city have similar dimensions. It’s processed food, and hormones in milk, and chemicals for sure. When I was vegan, I didn’t look like this at all.

      • March 30, 2015 - Reply


        Hormones in our food is a MAJOR culprit. I’m vegan and the amount of crap the food industry gets away with is criminal.

        The saying “You are what you eat.” is very applicable to the modern diet in the US. It’s not just what you eat it’s how much you eat. And since processed foods leave you less satiated than whole foods, you eat more of it. However, processed foods are more calorific per portion. It’s its own disaster.

        • March 31, 2015 - Reply


          I had a Haitian roommate tell me once that when she went home to Haiti to visit family, she ate more than she usually does in the States and she always lost weight and felt more energetic. It’s incredible how much bad stuff is in our diet here in America.

          • March 31, 2015 - Reply


            Isn’t that something?
            And the worst thing is is all of this is almost inescapable. It’s systemic. Bad food = bad health = sick people = more money for the Rx industry– among many others.

            • March 31, 2015 - Reply


              I want to go vegan for my health and weight loss. It feels like I have to get rid of everything in my diet!! How did you ladies start because I am struggling.

              • March 31, 2015 - Reply


                Start off slow. If you’re a heavy meat eater to begin with start by cutting red meat–that’s the biggest culprit. Then cut other meats. Pork. Chicken. Fish etc. Also while you’re cutting off those foods make sure you replace them with fruit and veg. Do NOT starve yourself. Think of it as balancing an equation. When you take away you add.

                After you’ve gone vegetarian. Cut out eggs. Be sure to read up on all egg derived products as well. They can sneak those things into foods too. Next but dairy. This is probably hardest because of casein in milk. It’s literally addictive.

                Go on some vegan blogs and discover some new foods. There’s lots of foods out there. Mother Earth is bountiful lol and more importantly, be patient with yourself. You’re bound to have some slip ups here and there. That’s okay. It’s hard to deprogram our minds to not be meat centered.

                Hope this helps!

                • March 31, 2015 - Reply


                  Thank you PrimmestPlum for your quick response. I will start off slow.

                • April 1, 2015 - Reply


                  RE:  It’s hard to deprogram our minds to not be meat centered

                  It’s really about societal norms. We just have to have a mental shift.

                  • April 1, 2015 - Reply


                    You are right about that! I will check out Sweet Potato Soul blog. Thank you KnottyNatural 🙂

              • April 1, 2015 - Reply


                Check out the Sweet Potato Soul blog! She’s a (curvy) vegan with great recipes. Also, check out pinterest

    • March 31, 2015 - Reply


      As a young teen during the Seventies, I remember Pam Grier, Azizi Johari, Freda Paine, the sister who played Thelma on Good Times, and a number of other women I saw in bikinis or nude, a fair number of them were pretty flat by today’s standards. Although we black men have always appreciated a full fanny, the ass fixation is a byproduct of stripcclub and hip hop culture, and really blew in the late 1990s.

      • March 31, 2015 - Reply


        Yeah, even the dancers in that Baby Got Back video have very small rear ends by today’s standards. I used to read another online message board where one male poster would have these women with bizarre body proportions, like 25″ waist and 56″ hips and cottage cheese thighs for days. Got to the point where even the guys in the threads asked him to stop posting photos of those nasty looking females-lol.

  2. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    I am sad to read that women are dying in the pursuit of a bigger booty. I remember being teased growing up for being dark-skinned with coily hair and a large posterior. I didn’t fully embrace my features until I was 27, but it took A LOT of emotional and spiritual work, especially being confronted with daily message in the media and in the real world that my black wasn’t beautiful.

    Honestly, this is such a complex issue that crosses psychological, racial, economic, sexual and societal lines, and I don’t think it can be adequately covered in an open thread on Clutch.

  3. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    ‘The bee bit my bottom, now my bottom’s big’

    If it’s good enough for a Simpson, it’s good enough for you. What do you want me say when all involved know how stupid this is? Sometimes you can’t ‘love yourself’ back from the brink of insanity. Gee, I wonder why this is illegal? We’ve all got horrible pressure on us to achieve the impossible, but only some of us (of those who have the resources) go to these lengths. I’m sorry for what happened to her, but we can’t do the thinking for all women.

  4. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    Everyone is just thirsty nowadays. They need attention and it doesn’t matter what type of attention they get. I was a curvy fifteen year old. The things that 26 year old men would say to me really used to make me feel violated. I heard, “You look old enough to fk” so many times that my comeback was, “And you look old enough to go to prison!” The first time a man told me that, I cried. The second time I was ready for his azz.

  5. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    I know I am out of my depth talking about this, but people don’t think about the obvious: exceptional beauty is exceptional because it’s exceptional. In other words, it’s not something everybody has. If every white woman looked like Scarlett Johansen, she would not be rich. The goes for Tyra banks looking like every sister walking down the street.

    That said, I don’t want to judge. I am not going to say that my appearance has not impacted my life, but I certainly have not been impacted over my looks like a woman.

  6. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    This is insane.

  7. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    Some people want love and social acceptance. Therefore, some women have the injections and risk their lives as a way for some of them to attempt to achieve some form of popularity or great social standing. Other women just want it because of other diverse reasons too. This is a complex issue. If someone wants these types of surgeries, then that person must get it from qualified experts.

    Doctors must have proven credentials in order for these doctors to perform such actions and not only that. The doctors doing it will have to prove that they know what they are doing by individuals studying their track record. Any faux doctors doing such acts against women should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We all send condolences to black women and any women who has passed away from botched surgeries. The human body is beautiful. Stories that describe black women, who have died as a product of mishandled procedures, are heartbreaking. This is why we have to promote people to have inner love.

    Inner love is about a human being accepting themselves internally (flaws and all). Inner love is about the appreciation of our diverse characteristics, but realizing the unity that we all have in the human family. Inner love is related to altruism or the Golden Rule too. So, our outer physical image will change, but our soul and our conscious actions must be bounded by legitimate principles of love, truth, compassion, strength, honor, and integrity. That is very important to inculcate in our thinking.

    • March 31, 2015 - Reply

      I rarely comment on clutch but I want to say, I enjoy reading your responses because they are positive and uplifting :). I agree with everything you said.
      Some people do not want to work on inner love which takes longer than quick instant glut shots. It is very sad but it is not worth dying over. I know this sounds old but we have to love ourselves and find other qualities that are worth admiring besides the physical.

      • March 31, 2015 - Reply


        Thank you.

        I enjoy reading your words as well. We certainly live in a new century, a new decade, and a new millennium. These times definitely mean subsequently that we can establish edifying information and we can outline succinct inspiration as a way for us to carry onward. Action is vital in our journey too. Constructive, forthright, and comprehensive is a necessity for results to accumulate. Our cause is just. We want liberation and freedom to exist for all black people. Internationally, we want the entire human race to live in world filled with tranquility, peace, and justice. Inner love is important, because human life is more valuable than property and any inanimate object. If a person lacks self-acceptance and has a failure to have love for their being, then that person will difficulty in loving others. I’m an optimist by nature, so I will continue to show positive and uplifting words. 🙂

        That’s my M.O.

        Bless you.

        • March 31, 2015 - Reply

          Bless you too truthseeker 🙂

  8. March 30, 2015 - Reply


  9. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    Motor oil and cement for booty injections?
    Man.. I wanna laugh, but seeing black women be the biggest participants in this suicidal tomfoolery makes me sad.

  10. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    Nobody has even touched on these brain dead women pay people who are not doctors and put their lives in danger to inject toxic substances like “caulk and other stuff that will kill you into their bodies. I just don’t know what to think about this insanity. It’s unnatural looking so what is that about? These folks are lost ones for certain.

    • March 31, 2015 - Reply

      @Mary Burrell

      Although it is not as common, men fall for this backyard surgery sometimes too. I remember maybe two years ago, a man died when he allowed someone to inject some substance into his penis to make it larger.

      • March 31, 2015 - Reply


        What the damn?!?!

        • March 31, 2015 - Reply

          @Jo 'Mama' Besser

          It happened.

  11. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    I think because having a big butt is the “in thing ” a lot of women are willing to go these plumping parties for bigger booties. I remember back in the day having big breasts were the “in thing” remeber women going to get implamts. *shrug shoulders * love yourself first and accept yourself for who you are.

    • March 31, 2015 - Reply



  12. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    Saartje (Sara) Baartman aka the hottentot venus was born in 1789. somewhere around 1809, she was sold and her “keeper” put on shows for the european rich and famous — ” … nude, with her jutting posterior … she provided the foundation for racist and pseudo-scientific theories regarding black inferiority and black female sexuality … the shows involved Saartje being “led by her keeper … exhibited like a wild beast … obliged to walk, stand or sit as ordered.”

    the 21st century. women are dying to be like sara.

  13. March 30, 2015 - Reply

    No, but it is killing black women who think their self – worth is tied to the size of their behind. It’s funny because I still remember growing up how big butts were teased and ridiculed by society at large. You couldn’t pay a lot of women, especially non black women, to get a big butt now you have sisters dying over it. It’s just sad because deep down I think these women were not really chasing the esthetic of a big butt but the popular association with it now a days i.e. The Kim Kardashian/instagram effect .

    • March 31, 2015 - Reply


      Yes, that is sad. Sisters ashamed of a big butt until a white woman gets famous for a fake butt, and now sisters are literally dying for an ass.

  14. March 31, 2015 - Reply

    Deadly beauty practices are not a new concept. Its across all cultures since beauty is different for different races. It’ll be something else 10+ years from now.

  15. March 31, 2015 - Reply

    I blame instagram for the plummeting self-esteem of many. People log on and see random ass people being idolizing for having light skin, curly hair and usually a Dr. J Curves (the plastic surgeon most of these women go to) enhanced butt. People want what’s not real just to feel better about themselves because of how increasingly vain we are getting as a society. Plus, it used to be where people weren’t interested in “fake” things and now people seem to relish in things that are obviously not real. Being injected by inorganic things defies logic. This is so unreal to me. SMH!

    • March 31, 2015 - Reply


      ^5 to your post.

    • May 22, 2015 - Reply


      Agree! For a while I was really stressed out that I didn’t have this perfect curvy shaped body, with a larger behind. In fact on top instagram insecurities, I got a lot of flack from other Black women, saying I wasn’t Black enough because I didn’t have a crazy huge ass! Eventually I got past all this but long story short, just love your body!

  16. March 31, 2015 - Reply

    If anyone can answer this one:
    How does an augmented rear feel like?
    For me, it doesn’t make sense to risk a life just for a bum that doesn’t even feel like a real one.

  17. April 1, 2015 - Reply

    My mom and I were talking about this the other day. I think that people are so starved for attention and validation, and social media is only making it worse. We see these “models” who seem to be making money and getting attention from wealthy and/or powerful men, and some women will do whatever it takes to get that. Also, there’s a cultural standard that says “real” black women have big hips and backsides, and it can be hard if you don’t fit into that mold. I hope that black women begin to work on true self-love and realize that physical attributes don’t have any bearing on your beauty.

  18. April 2, 2015 - Reply

    The irony is that while ALL shades of women are getting butt injections, the non-blacks actually have the insurance &/or cash/credit to obtain a medically safe (if you can call it that) procedure from a licensed doctored. Women of color (black, hispanic) are percentage wise of less means and more likely to go the back-alley/dirty hotel room route…..

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