Style Made Simple: Nipped and tucked


South African black women like Khanyi Mbau, Uyanda Mbuli, Felicia Mabuza-Suttle and Connie Ferguson, Tselane Tambo had botox on different body parts.

For instance, Khanyi Mbau reclined on the surgeon’s table and endured botox, chemical peels and tissue fillers as part of an intense series of anti-ageing and skin rejuvenation.

Added to this is the laser lipolysis (a less invasive form of liposuction that uses lasers to liquefy fatty deposits) to reduce her hips by 20 centimetres on either side . . . just so she can hike her shorts up in summer.

Then there are cases of botox, breast
implants and liposuction that other celebrities have had done — Pamela Anderson, Khanyi Mbau, Tara Reid, Janet Jackson, Lindsay Lohan, Kelly Rowland, Tori Spelling and Victoria Beckham are but some of those who went under the knife for breast implants.

One of the international group TLC’s hit songs, Unpretty, released back in the ’90s, contained the lyrics You can buy your hair if it won’t grow. You can fix your nose if he says so.

You can buy all the make-up that Mac can make. Simply put, you have the free will to change your body.

Robert Rey of Dr 90210 fame gave advice for and against plastic surgery after his nose was done twice because of a hook, then had his chin done after he was hurt in a jujitsu match.

“The key to plastic surgery is that a little bit is great, but a little too much and you look ‘surgerised’, to the mirror you look great, but everyone is laughing behind your back and remember, the mirror is not reality, it’s two-dimensional and it reflects your mind,” he said.

While on his visit to South Africa last month to launch his cosmetics range, Rey said of Khanyi Mbau:

“You are a hot chick, but instructions are not suggestions. If you don’t do what your doctor says, your breasts can get hard and crawl to your neck. You look great, just be careful not to get addicted to plastic surgery.”

Rey’s reality series, Dr 90210 since its first aired on DStv’s E! Entertainment channel, official station ratings places it at some 27 000 viewers with an estimated 90% of the viewership mainly comprising women.

But can watching a reality show on the subject really convince viewers to go to such extremes to maintain their beauty?

This growing trend may be linked to images of body-beautiful celebrities and people’s desire to be like them.

There is no difference between the requests of black or white women. Women of all ethnicities have more or less the same requests: the removal of lines and wrinkles, improving skin tone and texture, treatment of pigmentation and acne as well as weight loss and body contouring.

White women are interested in liposuction on their tummies and thighs. However, black South Africans say “Don’t take the Zulu out of my bottom,” while white women favour a thinner silhouette. Hispanic and African-American women want to be curvier.

While the nip-tuck trend is only now beginning to gain momentum in Africa, African-American singers and actresses whose visages have visibly changed over the course of their careers include Beyoncé to Alicia Keys and Vivica A Fox to Halle Berry.

Fox, in particular, seems most determined about altering her looks. Starting in 2006, her surgery shopping spree includes numerous collagen injections to puff up her lips, eyebrow lifts and cheek eyebrow and breast implants.

Lil’ Kim had a brow lift, her nose chiselled down, her cheeks puffed up and her breasts ballooned. Kim’s need to remodel herself into a preternaturally shocked Chinese doll has rattled her fans so much.

“I love botox,” says talk show host Noeleen Maholwana Sangqu who kept a diary of her first experience with botox, tissue fillers and skin peels. She says:

“Some people would say that you should grow older gracefully. Count me in on that one. But growing older doesn’t mean one cannot try new things which, ultimately make you feel good.”

All those celebrities willing to go under the knife have made plastic surgery more acceptable and commonplace among the general population. Black women accounted for 16% of plastic surgery patients, and by 2006 that figure stood at 23%.

White women, though, still form the bulk of the market for cosmetic procedures and experts point out that when black women succumb to cosmetic enhancements, they are not necessarily seeking to look like their lighter skinned counterparts.

BOTOX® blocks the transmission of acetylcholine from the nerves to the muscle. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which sends a message to the muscle telling it to contract or tense up.

With the flow of acetylcholine blocked or significantly reduced, the muscle can no longer retract and it relaxes.

As a result, the wrinkled areas smooth out and soften. I wonder if I will ever need to be nipped and tucked or have Botox… as I near my thirties?

Until Next week. Stay fabulous.