A FEW NIPS AND TUCKS HERE AND THERE
By: Talent Buthelezi
Plastic or cosmetic surgery is a fast growing trend not only in South Africa but in Africa as a whole.
According to an article published by Face2Face Africa, “…In countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Sudan and Kenya more Africans are going under the knife to remove excess fat, breast lift and tummy tucks.”
Smangele Zuma, a 3rd year Somatology student at the Durban University of Technology, said that she wouldn’t advise anyone to have plastic surgery unless the procedure was done for medical reasons such as an injury etc. “I feel like people, especially black Africans, are being influenced by the Western culture. The extent that people go through for a relatively thinner waistline is outrageous. I’m not saying that Africans shouldn’t take care of themselves but there are far better ways of improving one’s body image than plastic surgery,” said Zuma.
Thoba Mthimkhulu, a 3rd year MBChb student at the Nelson .R. Mandela School of Medicine, had different views to those of Smangele, saying that everyone has the right to choose what to do with their bodies. “If it will help you feel better about yourself and body then by all means- go for it. Plastic surgery can however be a scary proposition. I’ve read a number of articles on people who become addicted to plastic surgery and end up with undesirable faces,” she added.
A rumoured plastic surgery addict is African American rapper and actress Lil’ Kim whose face has been continually changing for the past decade. In her most recent appearances, Lil’ Kim looked lighter in complexion, with a much fuller face with a distinctive nose- this is all according to the Daily News online publication published on 2/07/2013.
The most popular form of plastic surgery that Africans have fallen in love with is breast implants. This form of surgery hasn’t only captured the hearts of South Africans. Tourists from different parts of the world have started flocking into South Africa because plastic surgery is considerably cheaper here. An industry of cosmetic surgery tourism has emerged. According to Surgical Attraction website, the concept came about when companies offered ‘package deals’ to tourists involving cosmetic surgery combined with a holiday.
There are no official statistics held regarding the South African cosmetic surgery industry, however the numbers that continue to come out of the USA are very interesting , and the trends are quiet similar to those in S.A, according to an online article published by F.H.F (First Health Finance). The article also stated that in 2007 alone, roughly 80 billion Rand was spent on cosmetic surgery in American.
“Having plastic surgery performed on one to enhance physical appearance is basically criticizing God’s creation and not appreciating what God has given you, it’s like telling God what he has given you isn’t enough,”said Zinhle Motaung, a university graduate.
A survey conducted at the Durban University of Technology’s City campus revealed that most students think the idea of plastic surgery as a beauty cosmetic/treatment method is “hideous”. An argument between science and religion ensued. “Why are scientists playing God? These days it’s hard to tell the difference between what’s real and fake. Unless a person was brutally assaulted or hurt, plastic surgery shouldn’t be an option”- said Sean Thabethe, a 2nd year Interior Design student.
Online psychologists say “The biggest pro of cosmetic surgery is that it can build self-esteem and confidence”. They continued to say that this in turn makes it easy for people to interact with you and vice-versa, which makes your life socially active if you were introverted due to your physical appearance. Plastic surgery can also have negative effects also. “While a plastic surgeon can do his best to fix your physical appearance he/she cannot fix who you are in the inside”. Psychologist’s stress that people looking into going under the knife should really weigh their options based on the pros and cons of surgery and should find a surgeon they are comfortable with.
While surgery can be a great thing for you physically and have a positive emotionally, it can also be ones biggest nightmare. Best advice is to think twice before going under the knife.