As the effects of recession rage on the economy, forcing Nigerians to drastically cut down on their expensive lifestyles, the market for breasts and butts enhancement products, interestingly appears to be unaffected and is indeed enjoying a boom with more women, and even teenagers, seeking cheaper means of increasing their feminine parts. RITA OKONOBOH, in this report, examines the reasons behind the boom, why women are desperately seeking enhancement drugs, medical and psychological consequences of such practice.
IN this part of the world, generous boobs and bums are often seen as assets for women. Those who are lucky to have them claim they often get more attention from men. But many of those not so generously endowed, sometimes bemoan their lack of such important ‘assets’ with envy.
Nowadays, it is becoming a fad to see those who are not naturally gifted, with the aid of medical and technological innovations, exploring many of the options available to make up for what they don’t have in terms of the sizes of their backsides and breasts by trying to augment such body parts. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find slim ladies who hitherto had flat backsides suddenly developing or acquiring (as the case may be) very big butts, a feat often achieved with a little amount of money. This, Sunday Tribune learnt is called “packaging”. The fact that people could see through this transformation, as the augmentations sometimes look unnatural, do not seem to faze these size-seeking ladies. Most of them just don’t care as long as they get what they desire.
There are many drugs in the market designed or appropriated for this “adventure.” Sunday Tribune findings show that some of the drugs, especially the one notoriously called Maawu Maawu in the South-West of Nigeria, were not designed for human consumption. Those who claim to know the origin of the drug say that it is used to feed pigs in Europe, but is being converted to human use in Nigeria and other parts of Africa.
Unfortunately, it has been discovered that users of this drug find their whole body changing and growing disproportionately. Few deaths have even been reported from the many side effects of the drug because of its effects on the liver and/or kidney.
Sunday Tribune observed a scene at a barbing salon at Molete area Ibadan, recently, where some unemployed youths converge to discuss politics, sports, job opportunities and ‘girls’. As they chatted, one of the boys suddenly shouted in Ekiti dialect: “keeyii? (What’s this?). His startled friends looked at him, as he immediately pointed in the direction of a petite lady, standing opposite them. “Woo, kini omo yen gbe sehin? (What’s that girl doing with that big backside?).
One of the youth, Biola (not real name) prides himself on being able to recognise from afar real and fake body parts, especially in women. He believed the lady’s buttocks could not be natural as it was too big for her slight bodyweight, especially her legs and equally small thighs.
“That girl must be wearing bum enhancer thatladies now wear to look like Nikky Minaj, Beyonce and others,” he retorted matter of factly, adding, “The curve is too perfect and that is suspicious. Her bum is too smooth.”
A lady occupying the shop next to the barber’s shop overheard their discussion and cut in. “(You) men are no longer thrilled by just boobs; it is the ‘yansh’ that gets your attention these days. So, what’s a ‘yanshless’ girl supposed to do? She would have to buy Yodi of course. It is cheap,” she interjected.
“Bros, I know that girl,” intoned Debo, another youth. “She can’t afford that fake bum-bum you are talking about. She must be using Yodi.”
Could there be drugs that are so effective that would indeed push out hitherto flat backsides? How safe are such drugs and how cheap or otherwise are they?
Corticosteroid or Yodi, the drug so variously mentioned and attested by respondents Sunday Tribune learnt “is the one that most of the girls who are not rich enough to buy fake bums use to reshape and increase the sizes of their behinds,” said a patent medicine seller. “The drug is not expensive, It is only N50 for a pack of 10.”
Another popular drug, Debo told Sunday Tribune is Xasten. “Give me N100 and I will buy two types of drugs that most of the girls in my neighbourhood use to ‘rearrange’ their buttocks,” he challenged. Indeed, he reappeared some few minutes after with the India-made corticosteroid, popularly known as Yodi and another Nigeria-made drug, Xasten.
According to the patent medicine seller, who preferred anonymity, the bum and breast enhancing drugs sell a lot.
“Due to the economic crunch, ladies from poor background now rush to buy Yodi. It is not only the rich that can afford to remake their bum-bum, the very poor can also do. For even as little as N20, a pack of Xasten is available at any patent medicine shop and even in pharmaceutical shop,” she said. Speaking further, she said that demand for both drugs began to surge from the middle last year, especially among young girls.
“Most of these girls often lie that it is their parents or elder brothers who sent them to buy the drugs. All of them tell the same story, as if they had rehearsed it,” she added, claiming that she initially did not know what the young lady-buyers were using the drugs for.
“It was not until my attention was called to what the drugs do to the bums of young ladies in my community that I began to see why they always come for the drugs. I thought the drugs were meant for muscle-building not knowing that they were using for a different purpose.”
As good as many young ladies may find these drugs, situations, Sunday Tribune discovered often go awry with dire consequences as Ms Susanna (not real names) found out. According to her, she had visited a doctor to have an injection to increase her butts. But now she is at the verge of losing the functions of one leg.
Trouble began when she realised that her right lap was going numb and had begun to be discoloured. As she narrated her experience to Sunday Tribune, refusing to allow her picture taken, Ms Susanna in an emotion-laden voice said she was trying to raise funds to travel out of the country for surgery. According to what she claimed the doctors diagnosed, the fluid with which she had been injected was gradually seeping into parts of her lap, and if she didn’t undergo surgery soon, she would lose the leg completely.
When asked why she had not sought professional counsel and services of qualified medical doctor even if she was determined to get the bum enhancement, she explained that she was persuaded by the sights of other ladies who had got the treatment.
“I just wanted to look fine for my wedding coming up in a few months. Many of my friends boasted of having done enhancements, although I did not go with any of them to see how it is actually done. Some recommended creams, but one of them in particular recommended injection, stating that it would work faster and that my fiancé would already be used to my new look before our wedding day.”
Susanna said the friend who gave her the piece of advice also recommended the doctor. “I met her [friend] through the social media and she recommended the doctor. To think he charged so much and all I have left is this… I even went to complain but we exchanged words and in the end, I realised that I had to just sort myself out. I feel so frustrated,” she said.
The craze for the bigger…
Sunday Tribune discovered not even the experiences of Susanna and others like her whose fantasies have turned to disaster have not discouraged many others. More ladies continue to seek means to get boobs and butt enhancement and follow the big bum trend. Speaking on the rising trend, many respondents blamed it on the social media and the collapse of social and cultural values.
A teacher and businesswoman, Mrs Omolara Adegbuji, stated that because of the effect of social media and lack of self control, many women would go to any length to achieve bigger boobs and butts.
According to her, “I think, primarily, ladies feel that men are only interested in the female anatomy and since it is the trend on social media platforms, with many girls parading what is termed the perfect shape, represented in big boobs, small waist and big butts, if you don’t have strong self control, it will be hard not to be influenced to follow in the trend.”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dersh Makeover, Toyibat Hassan, believes that self-esteem and the longing for the perfect body are also at the heart of the trend. “People do it to build self-esteem and also to look appealing to their spouses,” she stated just as Temitope Lawal, a bank teller, supported Hassan’s position, saying that more ladies are becoming more obsessed about their physical looks.
A student, Munirat Bello, stated that “ladies feel that bigger butts and boobs attract rich men, hence they want them by all means. Some ladies also feel that with bigger butts and boobs, they can wear some outfits that will make their figure more appealing to the opposite sex.
Another student, Kafayat Lawal, stated that “the craze has affected both young and older women, whether married or single. Erroneously, some of them assume that if they do not have big boobs and butts, they will not measure up to some social standards. For instance, these enhanced boobs and butts seem to be the major attraction in many popular music videos.
“From another perspective, men, for some reasons, are attracted to women with massive backsides and boobs. While this may be considered unbelievable, it is the reality. However, quantity isn’t quality as the same features that seem to attract men could also irritate some. I would rather tell ladies to be proud of their endowment, whether big or small, and resist the intimidation.”
‘Challenges with travelling abroad has increased local patronage’
Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer of Grandville Medical and Laser, a plastic and aesthetic surgery centre located in Lagos State, Dr Ayobami Aranmolate Ayobami, who affirmed that there was indeed a marked increase in patronage for butt and boob enhancement, stated that it was probably as a result of the challenges people had with travelling abroad for such medical treatment.
While noting that it was expected that women who patronised quacks or go through shortcuts to achieve bigger breasts and butts, such as using cheap drugs or creams, especially when not prescribed by a qualified personnel, could find themselves battling health challenges, he stated that “there could be the case where these drugs or creams do not work due to ignorance of what is contained in such products. As long as these are products that can be absorbed into the body through swallowing or rubbing on the skin, there could be effects.
“(The issue of) women increasing breasts and butts is not a new thing. It’s just that now that many people cannot travel abroad like before, they now patronise local alternatives.”
Another medical practitioner, Dr Victor Adeyefa, Medical Director, All Souls Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, confirmed that the cheap drugs are muscle-building drugs, but are being abused by ladies seeking bigger breasts and/or buttocks, saying such abuse could be dangerous.
“Dexamethasone tablets are used to build muscles all over the body, be it biceps, thighs, buttocks, among others. If it builds ladies’ behinds, it is expected to also do that with bums and other body parts. Dexamethasone is a hormone in the body that builds body muscles, but excess hormones in the body usually result in cancer. So, whoever abuses such drugs risks having cancer. In fact, the cancer can hit any part of the body. It may not even be the buttocks
“It is advised that ladies especially should allow their body parts to grow normally because the parts will still naturally develop themselves. But for those who use drugs, especially Dexamethasone tablets, they are courting trouble because later in life, their artificial buttocks will still come down,” the medical doctor warned, noting that contentment is the only prevention for the cancerous consequences of illegally acquired buttocks and breasts.
- Additional report by TADE MAKINDE and ZAINAB ABDULAZEEZ.