By William Payton
In Miami and across America, women are turning to back-alley charlatans to plump their derrieres with all manner of toxic sludge, from industrial-grade silicone to sidewalk cement. Far-fetched as it may sound, illegal butt injections are a growing problem. Buttloads of Pain, a short film from rebel-documentarian and current media sensation Vice, chronicles the seedy underworld where these back-room procedures take place.
The practice of injecting dangerous substances into the body to enhance body parts is nothing new. But, as Vice investigative reporter Wilbert Cooper reports, the problem has taken on new dimensions in certain regions where protuberant butts are practically worshipped—namely, South Florida and South America. Because of the underground nature of their application, no one knows for sure how many women (and men) are playing roulette, yet law enforcement and plastic surgery organizations alike are all sounding the alarm bells. According to Vice‘s exposé, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has stated that complications from these procedures are poised to become an American epidemic.
In the dingy back alleys of Miami and other cities, faux nurses use filthy needles to inject caulking, industrial-grade silicone, mineral oil, and even cement into the butts of people determined to achieve enhancement, but lacking the resources to pay for legitimate treatments. Their wounds are sealed using equally dangerous methods, such as Krazy Glue. Black-market butt injections are popular because they are far cheaper than legal fat transfers, with a shorter recovery time.
The side effects often take years to manifest, but when they do they are devastating. In the documentary, Oscarina Busse describes her backside turning purple, and the outer layers of skin peeling off like an onion. Boils, polyps, and even necrosis are just some of the other potential side effects. Many others have experienced serious infections, and some have gone into septic shock. In a few cases, people have died.
Due to liability issues, too few plastic surgeons are willing to remove toxic waste from the buttocks of those suffering the consequences of illegal butt injections. One exception is Miami’s Costantino Mendieta, MD, whose practice is almost solely devoted to butt-related procedures. Fortunately for Oscarina, Dr Mendieta has been relatively successful in bringing her back to health. Unfortunately, most other victims are unable to obtain or fail to seek treatment, and therefore face years of debilitating symptoms.
In South Florida, where the prominent backside is an object of obsession, the demand for black-market butt injections has reached dangerous proportions. Buttloads of Pain concludes with a trip to the backside’s ultimate shrine, infamous strip club King of Diamonds. If it’s true, as the dancer known as “Seven” asserts, that a stripper can make three times the money in Miami after receiving illegal butt injections, law enforcement may have an uphill battle.
But at least in South Florida law enforcement has taken notice of the problem. Oneal Ron Morris, aka “The Duchess,” the transgender grand dame of illicit butt injections, was charged with and plead guilty to illegally injecting women with substances that caused bodily harm in two women. She faces charges of manslaughter for the death of another woman.
Buttloads of Pain can be viewed at Vice.com. The second season of Vice premieres March 14 on HBO.