Audrey Johnson* (name changed for story) struggled with her body image as long back as she can remember. Despite countless workouts, a vegan diet and prayers, her stomach flowed over her waist line and, combined with her larger breasts, was the “perfect rectangle.”
Like plenty other women, Audrey would hide her imperfections with angles or larger clothes. “I would only pictures that were from the boobs up,” she explained. “I also would wear clothes that were bigger than my size so that I could hide the fact that I was covering up. I was hiding my waist and not having one. Sometimes I would forget what my shape was and I would wear clothes that were too tight and you would see all the problem areas.”
Audrey was determined to get plastic surgery, but under the right financial circumstances. She decided to finance liposuction 360 with a BBL a.k.a Brazilian butt-lift. From there, she researched other women who had gone under the knife for similar procedures.
“I’d watch videos on Youtube. I was researching and people’s experiences. Everybody was like, ‘I’m so sore.’ So, I thought, ‘I can handle it.'”
A BBL consists of removing fat from other areas of the body, ie: your midsection, your side, upper and lower abs, and upper and lower back and transferring it into the buttocks. The procedure typically costs around $10-$12,000 in New York, which is a hefty price tag for the average working woman. So many women opt to go out of the country to have the procedure done.
“But remember, you’re in a spot where nobody speaks English. You don’t know if they’re going to take good care of you. A lot of people get infections out there and all type of stuff that they deal with.”
Numerous women have died after traveling to foreign countries to undergo plastic surgery, whether it was on the surgery table or during post-care. Kanye West’s mother Donda West infamously died due to “multiple post-operative factors” after undergoing plastic surgery, which is why Audrey stresses the importance of post-care treatment.
“You have to get your money right because you’re going to be spending the same amount of money that you spent for the procedure outside of the surgery. You have to get lymphatic drainage massages not even a week after your surgery.”
She added, “Because the surgery removed your skin from your butt, the skin is not touching your body anymore. So the drainage massages basically push and massage the skin and move the fluid that was pushed into you to melt the fat. The fluid that was pushed into you has to be moved.”
According to Audrey, the pain was almost unbearable at times. “When I tell you I laid on that bed, and cried and cried before, during and after the massages because you develop scar tissue within a week and the scar tissue can lead lumps on the sides of your body. The lumps don’t look straight and sleek.”
A Columbian faja is also of importance after the surgery, which can get expensive because there are different levels to the corsets. Aside from those expenses, Audrey bought a body and BBL pillow because she couldn’t sit on her butt for nine weeks.
“I had to lay on my stomach or sleep on my sides. And I bought a body pillow. Then I had to buy the BBL pillow that I could take with me to Uber. When I was going with clients and stuff, I would have to tell them I have to sit in the front seat of the car because I had a surgery done.”
There were times Audrey regretted having the surgery all together.
“During the massages, they’re literally pressing down on scar tissue, moving things around and you’re feeling hard lumps moves through your body. Like you’re feeling a lump of hardness move and like being pushed and then it sits there until it dissolves after a couple of days and you pee it out. It’s not like a kidney stone, but you could feel the lump move. You can feel the skin attaching itself to the body. It feels like little tingling pricks of needles. It’s like little f*cking spiders.”
Having a trustworthy caretaker matters as well. Audrey’s friend constantly checked on her and fed her medicine, water and checked her bandages after surgery. She even wiped her when she went to the bathroom.
“My friend cleaned me. She wiped my a**. I couldn’t even like physically pick myself up to go to the bathroom. I had her bathe me because I couldn’t for the first three days. She stayed with me. Then my grandmother came and took care of me and every time I would get out of the bed I had to push myself like a push-up. He etched my ads too, so that was painful too because he went into my abs.”
Audrey’s results weren’t immediate. In fact, she was disappointed with her results the first time she looked in the mirror.
“I was sad. I ain’t get it. Like what the f*ck? But at four weeks out, I was looking at it, like, ‘I’m great. You do lose 30% of the fat that they put in your butt. He put seven cc’s of fat in both cheeks. So I think I went down to like maybe like a 3.5 cc’s. If you saw me you wouldn’t be able to tell unless you were like, damn, your waist is mad snatched.”
Audrey is still healing and keeping up with her post-surgery massages. She continues to receive tons of compliments on her new body and feels her confidence increased significantly.
She recommends her plastic surgeon Dr. Charlie Chen at Lexington plastic surgeon. And her post-opp masseuse is a Black woman @BodyBarNJ.