The disavowment of Black women’s bodies: the rise of the Brazilian butt lift

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nijah Imani Toshumba (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Sarah Cervenak

Abstract: In this project, I want to breakdown the fascination and phenomena of the Black woman's body, precisely the assumption that being a Black woman or girl automatically means you will have a very pronounced butt. I wanted to understand from other Black women's perspectives what it means to feel more valuable when they have the ideal 'thick black woman' body and how that affects them in their daily decisions. I look to social media as a foundation to see the impact that Instagram, YouTube, and cultural expectations influence the decisions of young girls and women. This desire to have a larger, rounder behind has taken on a life of its own, as we see with the surge of the very dangerous and sometimes deadly plastic surgery procedure the Brazilian butt lift (BBL). The BBL is not new to the world of plastic surgery and augmentation, but it has seen an increasing rise in social media access. More and more women are seeking out the BBL, traveling, and even documenting their journeys to share with other women who may be interested in the procedure. What I am most interested in is the 'why' why are these women, specifically Black women willing to put themselves in a position that could end with pain or death, especially in a society that is so quick to marginalize them and their bodies. From the historical approach, I examine how the Black woman's body has been violently used for medical purposes and how this new phenomenon of the BBL is, in a way repeating this history.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2020
BBL, Black, Brazilian, Butt, Lift, Women
Women, Black $x Social conditions
Feminine beauty (Aesthetics) $x Social aspects
Buttocks $x Social aspects
Buttocks $x Surgery

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