Though white women remain the demographic most likely to seek cosmetic procedures, the surgery that’s been omnipresent online for the past several years is one more often associated with Black women. Gluteal-fat grafting, typically referred to as the “Brazilian butt lift” or just BBL, is a complex procedure in which fat is suctioned from certain parts of the body (usually the midsection, back, and thighs), then purified and injected into the hips and buttocks to create or enhance an hourglass figure.

The open hostility toward women seeking out dramatic body modifications underscores an old truth. Like the virulent fatphobia and transmisogyny directed at those who do not fit into an idealized archetype of a Black woman’s body, the hyperfixation on surgery stories serves as an uncomfortable reminder that there’s still no right way to have a body if you’re a Black woman.

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