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Butt injections and plastic surgery in an era of unattainable beauty

Graphic by Audrey Garcia

You may have had a story about illegal butt injections grace your timeline these past couple of weeks and, no, this is not anti-plastic surgery sensationalism, but rather the result of an alarming trend.

The mother and daughter duo, Consuelo and Isabella Dal Bo, broke news this month because of their unlawful plastic surgery business. They were arrested on April 4 in a sting operation led by Houston Police, where an undercover officer paid the pair in advance a whopping $6,000.

The two then made a house call to deliver the injection and were subsequently arrested, but not before offering the undercover cop a Xanax.

The injection consisted of a brown liquid that the two women could not identify. In fact, they were only busted because the Food and Drug Administration was trying to figure out how this mystery drug made its way from South Korea to Mexico to the United States.

Since their arrest, several women have come out to admit to using their services. To recap, multiple separate people have had this unidentified goop injected into their bodies.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. In 2019, a different mother and daughter team killed someone with illegal butt injections. In 2015, another woman was killed because of these underground practices. Luckily, the latest perpetrators were caught before someone could die.

None of the people administering these injections have medical training, or licensure, and none of them should be “practicing medicine.”

It might seem illogical to get a surgery from someone with little to no surgical training, and that’s because it is. We’ve all seen how bad things can go on the reality TV series “Botched,” but also the beautiful transformations on shows like “The Swan” or “Dr. 90210.”

So in our era of no-makeup makeup and Facetune chic, people want to have their own slice of influencer glamor, but without the price tag.

Surgical procedures have increased by 33% and non-surgical operations have increased by nearly 55% globally since 2019. Those figures are staggering.

These procedures aren’t cheap either. Sure, $6,000 sounds like a lot, but the broader scope of butt injections and lifts can cost from $5,000 to $16,000 based on your selection and state.

So, fueled by societal pressure and insecurity, vulnerable people get taken advantage of by cheap frauds. 

Of course, not all plastic surgery is done because of extrinsic motivators, and it’s not wrong to go under the knife. Just do it with someone who can prove to you that they’re a doctor.

The point is, more below-board aesthetic surgeries are being performed locally, all while more people are touring the world shopping for surgeons. For what? To meet an ever-changing influencer beauty standard? 

This, of course, ties in with the rampant consumerism our economy has been facing since recovering from the COVID-19 era and the mainstream of TikTok. Alongside buying products to enhance our appearances, we book appointments with, hopefully, legitimate specialists.

While we wait for our butt-injectors’ next hearing in June, there are plenty of episodes of “Botched” to catch up on and remind us of the good and bad of plastic surgery.

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