Jane: Kai! This sun no dey smile today at all at all. Abeg make I enter road wait for okada…. While waiting
Anita: Omor! Na who be this? Longest time
Jane: I tell you. No talk, no see
Anita: How you dey na?
Jane: I dey fine jareee….. Only say e remain to marry
Anita: I see. Ehen…. E get one day I bin see your selfie for Facebook. You been just dey anyhow. I look your face soteeee I conclude say your nose resemble melon. How you wan take get husband with this kind firewood body? I been dey your shoe 7 years ago but one Dr Wazobia na him butter my bread comot me from that wahala.
Jane: Flabbergasted with mouth wide open and lost in thought. So my nose resemble melon? She rhetorically asked.
Anita: E be like say your mind no dey here as she taps Jane
Jane: Ehen!…. Emmm…. Emmmm so how the doctor do am for you?
Anita: Na cosmetic surgery oh!
Jane: Chineke! Cosmetic wetin?
Anita: I say cosmetic surgery
Jane: Hmmmmmmm! No be that thing been kill Stella Obasanjo when we been dey secondary school? Me, I no fit do am
Anita: And you wan marry? You go old for there. Make I dey go abeg
Jane: Abeg wait first. Na wetin I talk dey make you vex?
Anita: You no wan serious na
Jane: Like how much?
Anita: One million naira
Jane: You wan kill me. I no get that money
Anita: No worry, na my customer. I go tell am make him reduce the money to 250, 000 naira
Jane: Sighs… oya, make I go prepare make we go the hospital jare. By thunder by force, my body must resemble Rihana and I must marry dis year
Anita: Correct babe, make we dey go.
Jane: Okada…… okada…….
The fictional conversation between Jane and her long-time friend Anita summarizes the chemistry behind the increasing interest for body enhancement among women.
Plastic surgery, also known as “cosmetic surgery” is the practice of performing operations to repair or replace skin, which has been damaged, or to improve people’s appearance. The word “plastic” originates from the Greek word “plastikos” meaning to mould or reshape.
The history can be traced to documentations about the use of surgical means for correcting facial injuries more than 4000 years ago. Plastic surgery however began in ancient India where physicians used skin grafts for reconstructive surgery as early as 800 B.C.
In Nigeria, the specialty has come a long way with a checkered history that dates back to the post independent era, beginning with expatriate surgeons like Mr Michael Norbert Tempest at the University College Hospital Ibadan. During the early stage of practice, the main base was in the Southern part of the country before it spread to other parts of the country5. These centres helped in correcting defects among victims of the civil war but as years past, the prominence of the industry waned.
The industry regained prominence again with Modupe Ozolua in 2001, when she launched her cosmetic surgery business followed by an aesthetic lasers in 20073. Many women craved for body enhancement then but after the death of Stella Obasanjo because of complications from a cosmetic surgery at a clinic in Puerto Banus, Spain on the 23rd of October 2005, there was a drastic decline.
From my observation, the recent crave for plastic surgery can be traced to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global lockdowns and rising use of technology. As the movement restriction provided an opportunity for more video chats, Zoom usage jumped 67% between January and mid-March 2020. Ladies leveraged upon its use to satisfy their needs for social interactions with friends and families. As these women conversed, they started noticing defects in their body parts prompting their search for remedies. Being helpless and desperate, their flip through the pages of Instagram and other social media outlets expose them to advertisements by plastic surgeons showing viral videos of them performing plastic procedures on their patients with testimonials. According to Dr Libby, “When webcams record at shorter focal lengths, the result is an overall more rounded face, wider set eyes, broader nose, taller forehead, and disappearing ears, obscured by cheeks which trigger a sort of dysmorphia that pushes patients to seek cosmetic procedures to improve their appearance on video conferencing calls”.
No wonder, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, facelift surgery became the top three cosmetic surgical procedures within the same year. Like honey comb that never satisfies, these ladies then migrate from breast to butt, nose, eye, fore head, face lifts, lips treatments until they are transformed into “selfie goddesses”.
Since the advancement in technological use due to the pandemic, lack of self-esteem among ladies, advertorials by plastic surgeons, peer pressure and the poor output by modern cameras contributed greatly to the rising crave for plastic surgery. Therefore, remedies to be employed needs to be positioned to accurately address these salient issues.
Firstly, women should be taught the virtue of self-love and esteem from an early age irrespective of accompanying physical defects. Nature has made women uniquely beautiful but failure to be equipped with this fore knowledge makes them under appreciate themselves. Families, religious, cultural and educational leaders saddled with the responsibility of training the girl child should inculcate these priceless values to re-orient the mind-set of the female gender to overcome future temptations to seek cosmetic surgery.
From my interactions with ladies, I came to understand that public perception and negative influence of peers often exposes them to depression and exploitation by botched cosmetic surgeons. The public needs to be enlightened to avoid using derogatory comments capable of deflating the self-esteem of women.
In addition, role models and celebrities from whom many of our ladies model their life after should avoid the practice of body enhancement and be drafted into the fight. Ladies craving for plastic surgery often develop interest for the procedure while watching music videos and movies. Unknowingly to these unsuspecting ladies, these celebrities visit professional plastic surgeons where there is a 100% chance of having a successful procedure. Being poor and unable to raise the required amount to seek professional treatment, they resort to services of botched surgeons charging peanuts. In the process, complications arises leading to death. Celebrities should join the fight against body enhancement and crave to be exemplary models that are follow able.
Furthermore, due to the high cost involved in performing these procedures, fake doctors are gradually migrating into the profession. It is pertinent for the government and regulatory agencies saddled with the responsibility of monitoring the practice of plastic surgery to identify and close down fake cosmetic clinics, train and retrain more specialist surgeons in the field and punish defaulters.
Finally, a lady who suddenly notices she has a false big nose during an online video chat will make every effort to get a pointed one through plastic surgery even if she is not financially equipped. Technological giants like zoom, Tecno, Facebook and Twitter tasked with the responsibility of producing cameras and hosting online videos should make effort to refine the output their devices and websites send out. More research should be employed for these devices to give a perfect representation of their users pictorially of via video.
At the cosmetic clinic
The environment was crowded with many ladies trooping in and out with bandages over their faces. Jane and Anita sat under a mango tree waiting for their appointment number to be called. In the process, Jane gets busy with her phone. As she flipped from post to post, she coincidentally stumbled over some essays from week 48 of the CMONIONLINE writing prompt regarding cosmetic surgery. After reading the essays from Oluwatimilehin Folarin, Esther Ojetunde, Chukwuemeka Oluka and Ekoja Solomon, she quietly came to the logical conclusion of cancelling the doctor’s appointment for a plastic surgery.
Doctor: Next patient please
Anita: Na us oh! Oya stand up make we enter
Jane: I no go fit do dat thing again. If you… If you see wetin…
Anita: See wetin
Jane: If you see wetin I just read online emmmmm
Doctor: Next patient please
Anita: But the doctor dey call us
Jane: Make we dey go house jare. I don change my mind.
Anita: Are you out of your senses. You think say me I no get wetin to do with time wey you make me waste my precious hours for this hot Friday abi. Me I don dey go
Jane: Anita…. Anita wait for me
Anita: Mtcheeeeeew….. Wait for who?
Jane: Teary but determines to avoid the plastic surgery. Okada…. Okada… Abeg carry me go housing estate. How much?
Okada: 200 naira
Jane: Oya make we dey go
Okada: Vrooooooooooom vroom vrooooooooooooooo …………………….
- https://www.pulse.ng /lifestyle/beauty-health/plastic-surgery-why-do-people-in-nigeria-get-body-enhncements/w2k6kcv
Solomon wrote in via firstname.lastname@example.org