Never in my natural born life have I ever heard…

On Feb. 18, [Wykesha Reid] returned to the salon for a fourth injection, despite warnings from loved-ones who insisted her butt was getting too big. At 7 the next morning, police discovered Reid’s lifeless body at the business, which had been cleaned out. Reid’s cellphone and purse were also missing.

Last week, Dallas police issued arrest warrants for the salon owners, Denise Ross, 43, and Jimmy Clarke, a.k.a Alicia, 31. Law officials say they’re searching for the two on charges of practicing medicine without a license.

The Dallas News spoke to ex-clients of Deep Ellum, who say it was a well-known facility for quick butt enhancements. They say patrons’ buttocks would be injected with hydrogel then sealed with super glue. The visits would last anywhere between 15 to 45 minutes and would cost between $300 and $500, sources say.

“I want to see them on trial for murder,” Reid’s 20-year-old daughter, Keaira Reid, told the Dallas News. “I’m very mad because anybody could have called 911.” [source]

There are a couple of important things to point out here:

1) As family members, weeeee would want to see the people who harmed our loved ones go on trial for murder. That’s a capital offense, and it essentially means you’re getting locked up for a very long time. The city officials, however, see it differently. They’re looking for the culprits on the grounds of “practicing medicine without a license,” which doesn’t carry a similar penalty. This is worth paying attention to – not only how this plays out, but how all of these play out. In other words, if someone you love dies from being involved with this, you should be concerned about getting the full breadth of justice you deserve. While someone has been charged with homicide with regards to injections before, the fact that this could be anything other than a manhunt for a murderer is jarring to me.

In other words, it’s likely that whomever does this to you will not only get away with it, but they’ll likely not even be fully charged to the degree they should.

2) The salon packed up and left around her, leaving her there. To me, that implies a) she had an instant negative reaction to the hydrogel she had originally been using; b) she assumed that because she’d been using this stuff, that she should have no issue going back for more; c) these people she’d been a repeat customer to couldn’t even be bothered enough to call to help save her life. (Also worth noting? They stole her purse and cell phone on their way out.)

3) Here’s what I think is happening, here — just an assumption: The hydrogel slowly breaks off due to consistent impact involved with general daily function (the impact of sitting and standing repeatedly, or mere sexual activity, so on.) The hydrogel ultimately finds itself traveling your blood stream, causing itself to get stuck in your blood vessels, ultimately depriving the body of oxygen. Even temporary deprivation can cause strokes, heart attacks, and the unhealthier you are – the higher your blood pressure, the worse off your diet, and so on – the more likely this is to happen to you.

4) The original article from Dallas News mentions that she “became addicted” to getting the shots, using words like “ghetto” and describing these kinds of addictions as exclusive to only black women. Oh, like how women become addicted to botox and collagen and other ‘beauty enhancing’ forms of plastic surgery? Addiction to body modification by way of plastic surgery is oftentimes less about the actual modification itself, and more about the benefits, incentives, and praise one receives once the modification is complete. It’s complicated and frustrating, but a black woman being emotionally attached to the praise she gets from having an enlarged booty is no different from the white women who, stereotypically speaking, become emotionally attached to the praise they get post-Botox session.

5) This is also worth pointing out:

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, a woman told police she felt “intense pain” and “was told to be quiet after screaming in agony.” [source]

As we talked about the last time I wrote about this booty injection nonsense, this is part of the stark contrast between black market injections and surgery completed by licensed professionals. Something as minor as pain medication that correlates with the procedure you’re receiving, instead of someone ignoring your cries of pain or, ultimately, your untimely passing.

Stop doing this. Stop your loved ones from doing this. Staple them to a seat and force them to stay there, for all I care. There’s no telling how many black women are out there literally dying from this – how often is it newsworthy? how often is it mistaken for something else? how often are the bodies of the deceased searched for this kind of thing? – or how these practices are actually worsening our collective health. If there’s one thing doctors know that black market practitioners don’t, it’s which procedures can potentially kill you in your current state of health, and which ones won’t.

It’s not worth it. It truly isn’t.

For more discussion on booty injections: