MAKING IT BETTER: Nigerian Women and Cosmetic Surgery….Really?

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I ran into a good friend a few weeks ago and it was the strangest, almost out of body experience. You know when you know something is not looking right on someone and they try to act in total denial, so you are forced to be in denial with that person? Well, I can do that on some things, like too much make up or minimising that amount of weight you have put on. However when it comes to issues dwelling on serious health I try to keep things real and refuse to collude with any falsehood.

So my dear friend who I have known close to fifteen years (I think she forgot that small fact), was trying to convince me that her buttocks which has always been flat (it’s a genetic thing in her family) had somehow through some ecclesiastic intervention had taken the dimensions of the famous Kim Kardashian’s. Her breasts that had also always been less than endowed had also erupted to a point where I could barely see her face. Haba! What in cosmectic surgery’s name is going on here? I asked her what the heck had happened to her body! To add insult to injury and a total insult to my intelligence, she tells me this amazing transformation was due to hours in the gym. Really?? Okay girlfriend, I said this is me. I am in the gym 3 to 4 times a week and have been for several months, it just doesn’t add up. If you could manage to acquire all her front and back extensions in the gym there would be no cosmetic surgeons. So I told her to cut the crap and fess up so we could have real talk. She chose to bid me farewell, still maintaining she had not done any augmentation. I wished her well and gave her my number and told her to call me if she ever needed to chat.

There has recently been a lot of discussion in the press about women and cosmetic surgery and it struck me as rather absurd for this to be a topic of debate for us as Nigerians at this time and stage in our lives as a country in such dire political, economic and welfare situation that we are in. However the more I thought about it the more I asked myself why not? Nigeria by definition is a country of wonderful contradictions and absurdity. We aspire to everything and nothing. We are a people that live on the edge; we thrive on extremes and have no limits or boundaries. We are vociferous and extreme in our views on religion, politics and morality; but in direct contrast many of our daily actions are base, obscene and lacking in humanity.

Interestingly the issue of cosmetic surgery is one that has been and continues to be of great interest in the UK and America. The difference is that as surgery it has almost become the norm and a daily occurrence in the western world and both men, women even some as young as in their early teens commonly engage in some form of cosmetic surgery. The discussions there are usually to do with the pressure women in particular feel they are under to look young and the general aversion the West has to any form of aging and their obsession with youth.

However as a form of surgery people don’t generally tend to die from the procedure (there might be a few exceptions). In contrast there appears to be a growing number of disastrous results with Nigerian women who have undergone the procedure. Not so long ago there was a story of a young Nigerian woman who lost her life in America after having buttocks implants. There have been a lot of questions as to why they are having such negative results and whether it might be because they are not forthcoming with their full health status. There were also stories of a famous female media personality who lost her life several years ago to some form of cosmetic surgery. There were rumblings that the wife of a famous politician lost her life to a face lift that went wrong not that long ago; and the list continues to grow.

Any medical procedure which has not gone on as planned can have distressing results. The negative effects of an operation can leave you feeling extremely depressed and anxious. Regardless of the aesthetic results of any cosmetic surgery, having this form of surgery is usually associated with increases in anxiety and a tendency to depression, with an eventual lack of satisfaction with the results. This increased casual use of cosmetic surgery and surgical procedures can result in a life time of mental health problems.

It would appear that our women might be negligent in doing even the most basic research on cosmetic procedures. They probably rely on encouragement from friends or what they see in magazines and forge ahead on decisions that can have permanent ramifications in their lives. You need to understand what your own health needs are. There are so many detailed questions to ask. How long will the benefits last? Will there be a lot of pain? Will you need anaesthesia? How long is recovery? Is there anything to be done to avoid bruising or speeding up recovery? How many years has the surgeon been practicing, or how many of that particular procedure have they done?

This is your face and your body and cosmetic surgery is a personal, physical and psychological experience. One size does not fit all. Before you embark on something so enormously life changing and probably unnecessary you need to be very thoughtful, careful and afraid.

Some women have cosmetic surgery or try a procedure because someone else has persuaded them to try it. Sometimes the desire is provoked by those feelings of discomfort as the natural aging process sneaks up on us; those innocuous comments that sometimes send women into a tailspin of insecurities and anxieties about their appearance. You need to think clearly and carefully for whom you are about to alter your face or body, in the knowledge that there is no guarantee of the outcome, physically, emotionally and psychologically.

Many women are unrealistic about cosmetic surgery. What are you trying to accomplish? While there is no denying it can do marvellous things for those who have realistic expectations and take the time to do the required investigation and preparations, but it is not a magic treatment or a cure all, and it most definitely cannot give you self esteem on a sustained basis, it is only transient. It will not make an older woman young again and it may not necessarily transform your experiences in life.

Most importantly cosmetic surgery cannot take the place of a warm, loving healthy relationship with a partner, or the strength and courage you derive from well nurtured friendships. Your external appearance will not alter a damaged internal world.

Love yourself and all your imperfections. Lose some weight in a healthy way if you need to. Go the gym if you are able, or just increase your physical movements, walk more when you can. These very simple activities over a period of time can make a lot of difference to your appearance. You are precious and you have only one life to live, so live it with passion and joy!

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8 Responses to MAKING IT BETTER: Nigerian Women and Cosmetic Surgery….Really?

  1. Eric Onuoha October 8, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    It is always good to appreciate who you are. I think most people who go for unnecessary cosmetic surgery have problem with self-esteem.

  2. Dom Dom October 9, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Loving oneself is just the real deal and no surgery can make up for that. Sadly, some people constantly live on other’s approval and always striving to live up to to that regardless of all its consequences

  3. Maduka Justina October 9, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    I love you ma. Need I say more?

  4. Victor Udoh October 9, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Wow. I wish every woman can see this and know that physical appearance is really nothing. Nothing at all.

  5. Elaine Nwosu October 11, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    I choose to work on myself and Love myself all the way.

  6. Maria October 11, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    God bless you ma. God deeply bless you.This is one article I will always read over and over again.

  7. Perpetua Dandeson October 12, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you once again Ma. I wish every woman would see this. I believe this augnentation craze stems from low self esteem. We should learn to appreciate ourselves.

  8. Olakunle Olajide October 16, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I think the major reason for cosmetic surgery is inferiority complex. I really detest it but the world is perverse already.


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