Blacks Under The Knife

by Aisha Jefferson ,  Black Enterprise | 2008-06-04

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.

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