More Blacks are buying into plastic surgery

Posted: June 7, 2008 in Our Expression, Our Health

Blacks Under The Knife

The number of African American plastic surgery patients is on the rise

By Aisha Jefferson

June 4, 2008 — The number of ethnic minorities going under the knife for cosmetic procedures continues to climb, with African American plastic surgery patients increasing nearly 10% last year, according to recent statistics compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. About 847,000 African Americans underwent plastic surgery procedures in 2007, up 8% from 2006, compared with 1,011,000 Hispanics and 767,800 Asians, whose numbers increased by 8% and 26%, respectively, the study reports.

Nose reshaping, liposuction, and breast reduction were among the top cosmetic procedures African American patients requested. Hispanic patients requested breast augmentation, nose reshaping, and liposuction, and Asians requested nose reshaping, breast augmentation, and eyelid surgery.

“Rhinoplasty and most plastic surgery is no longer a taboo for most ethnic groups,” says Brian N. Evans, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who is featured on reality show Dr. 90210. “There are a lot of minority patients who undergo plastic surgery—probably higher than what’s reported.” Evans runs his practice with his wife, Dr. Susan Evans, a Beverly Hills skin-care specialist who also is featured on the show.

More African Americans opting for plastic surgery has to do with greater awareness of this form of operation, Evans believes. “People want to look as good as they feel,” he says. Although Evans admits television shows are a big factor behind the increased desire to undergo cosmetic operations, he dismisses the idea that the majority of people choosing cosmetic surgery do so to do away with their ethnicities. That’s not a realistic objective anyway, he says. “If you were a black person before the surgery you are going to be a black person after the surgery,” he adds.

In fact, Evans says the current trend among his patients is trying to preserve their ethnicity and maintain who they are. Chicago-based plastic surgeon Julius W. Few concurs. “What I find with my patients of color is that they are just trying to find a balance in their life and are not trying to look more Caucasian,” he says. Few, who is director of the Few Institute for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, specializes in the eye area. He sees more than 1,000 patients annually, with African Americans comprising 30% to 35% of his practice. (more…)

  1. Peg says:

    Duane, almost 20 years ago, I had breast reduction surgery, and was terrifically glad that I did. Not only was it difficult cosmetically and purchasing clothing that fit – it also did make my back uncomfortable and my shoulders hurt. Enormous jugs also made exercising tougher than for normally endowed women.

    Just this past week, I had eyelid surgery – a combination of vision starting to get impaired from droopy lids, along with some vanity!

    I think people must be judicious with plastic surgery – and beware of getting carried away. Surgery is surgery – and one must weigh whether it’s worth those risks for a small enhancement in your looks. Personally – I think not; must be bigger improvements in your life than modest cosmetic plusses.

    Nevertheless, irrespective of your race, plastic surgery can be most helpful, if you are diligent about getting an excellent surgeon and informing yourself about all the risks and benefits involved.

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