Home Standards of Black Beauty Woman Becomes Multiple Amputee After Botched Booty Injections

Woman Becomes Multiple Amputee After Botched Booty Injections

by Erika Nicole Kendall

I asked y’all before, but I need to ask again. Help me understand:

April Brown was once a cosmetologist, fashion designer, and working mother of two daughters.

She’s now a multiple amputee. She says hospitalizations after unlicensed cosmetic procedures led to life-threatening infections.

Professionals removed her limbs last year to save her life.

“I got the butt implants five years ago,” said Brown. “For five years, I lived in pain. Excruciating pain.”

April Brown won’t identify the unlicensed practitioner who injected her with silicone. She will only say it was somewhere near Western and Manchester. Brown tells us, her own lack of self-esteem issues are mostly to blame.

“They call it butt injections,” she says. “These things are done at pumping parties. They call it medical grade silicone but a lot of it is industrial grade silicone.”

Brown’s case recalls similar incidents in Florida.

But Brown feels she’s a survivor, empowered by the words of loved ones who feared she would die.

“We don’t validate each other,” she says. “We really don’t know how our friends feel about us, unless we have very expressive friends.”

Brown envisions a new career as a motivational speaker. Meanwhile, loving daughters Courtney and Dayne are grateful she’ll be home for Mother’s Day. [source]

The video:

Now, when I asked before, I got the following:

have you ever been on the bus and when it finally comes you dread having to stand up because you would have to stand up in front of a bus full of black folks looking at your square ass?

have you ever been at the atm and had a passerby scream at you, you aint go no asssss damn! nooooo ass!

you ever been chilling with your girls and start watching videos like, in them jeans, back that ass up, my neck my back and had a dumb look on your face because, you, a black girl, ain’t go no ass at all?

you ever been talking to your friends and one of them said, damn, yo! she got BODY!

you ever been around plus sized girls that talk about real women having curves and you are plus sized but minus ass?

you ever been reading comments on one of your favorite blogs and see a comment that reads , ”
They have different body frames then southern Black Americans, whereby their weight is sometimes distributed on top. Excerpted from Q&A Wednesday: Can We Talk About Booty Implants, Please? | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss ”

I am southern, I am black, and I don’t have an ass.
It is not a norm in the black community to have an ass.

It is one of the most horrible feelings, and worst insecurities to have as a woman. a black woman.

you cant fill out jeans. you’re constantly pulling up your pants. your constantly being dissed by other black folks.

once my best friend in the whole wide world told me that her girlfriend called people with flat asses sponge bob.


the worst part is that people always say that white girls ain’t got no ass. i work with a lot of white folks and let me tell you. i rarely see white girls with flat asses. they may have little buts. but they at least have a round shape. it isn’t like a continuation of your back.

some days i stand in front of the mirror and slide my hands down my back and hope to feel a curve, and i never do.

black girls without asses are considered less authentic, less attractive, abnormal, weirdly shaped.

you ever go to a club & a guy friend gets behind you to dance and you feel like the world is coming down on top of you because you have nothing to toot.

dancing with no ass can be such a bad experience.

i say all of this to say that to say that people have their reasons for wanting the butt injections. and i can speak for black girls who grew up with a no ass complex.

your daily lipstick, your dove, your shampoo. all of these things have a high toxcity rate yet people use them everyday. think the fda wouldn’t put it on the market? think again and go to the skindeep website and learn that fda only test like 5% or less of most hygiene and beauty products. so while folks are criticizing folks for wanting or getting implants they do shit every day to risks there lives ( texting and driving, flying planes, sky diving)people do what they want to attain the quality of life they want to have. period. we all take risks.
some people dont want to be called and feel like
pancake ass
or white girl ass
or it looks like someone kicked your ass in

this is the kind of ass that lunges couldn’t grow or any other type of excercise. there is a lack of fat in the backside.

I think someone else said they would get butt augmentation in a heart beat. While, I always feel liek I would I dont think I wanna go under the knife. But I wish I could in a way.

It’s been a real tough rode and self confidence is hard to maintain to not have an ass. Our society puts a lot of pressure on asses and stop blaming pop culture because its not always that. sometimes its our favorite blogs that may assume all black women have ass. it could also be our best friends, or strangers on a bus.

So these are the kinds of folk who want/get implants.

…but then, I also got this:

There is no reputable doctor that could perform this procedure in the US, because as of now there are NO approved medical procedures–or rather, no approved safe injectible substances in the United States.

So…again. She’s lost multiple limbs. She said, “I got the butt implants eight years ago, so for five years I lived in excruciating pain.”

She “won’t identify the unlicensed practitioner who gave her the injections?”

Help me out? Also, can you please “validate” someone you love today, before she goes to a pumping party to get validation, in the wrong way, from the object of her desire?

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Monica May 21, 2012 - 10:11 AM

I know full well what it’s like to be a black girl with a flat booty. It does create insecurity. Mine isn’t even *that* flat, but compared to the cultural expectations it isn’t “good enough”. All my life I have to hear “you still don’t have any ass though”. My boyfriend gives me compliments on my butt and it’s hard for me to believe, especially since my ex used to call me “Spongebob Square Ass” smh I kid you not. Lunges and squats have helped give me shape, but I will never ever have a large butt. I happen to have found someone who accepts it. Thankfully, I will not get ANY cosmetic surgery because it’s a risk I’m not willing to take. In the grand scheme of things, I simply HAVE to find validation elsewhere.

Jocelyn May 21, 2012 - 11:02 AM

I feel sorry for this woman because society tells us if we don’t look a certain way we aren’t attractive and now we are doing anything to make that happen. I have also been talked about because my butt is not flat but it isn’t as big as the stereotypical “black woman’s butt”. But as I lose weight I rather find ways to shape my butt but I refuse to “try” something life altering as these butt implants have become.

Vee May 21, 2012 - 11:06 AM

OMG my heart goes out to this lady. May she be an inspiration to other women dealing with insecurities.

Daria May 21, 2012 - 11:48 AM

My dad used to call me “suction butt” since I would put such an emphasis on having perfect posture and I had a flat ass. Maybe if I slouched more…? Anyway, I’m 33 now and after years of being embarrassed by not having an ass and missing out on the high-waisted jean trend because they made my ass virtually non-existent, I’m finally doing heavy squats, weight lunges, and deadlifts and, although it may be muscular and not “phat”, I am very happy with the butt I’ve built from scratch. My little sister, on the other hand, went and had surgery to augment hers.

BlackBerry Molasses May 21, 2012 - 11:48 AM

I remember a few years ago when my mother, best friend and I went out for a walk (this is when I first started exercising) and MY OWN MOTHER announced “Christina has NO butt!” This coming from my African watermelon booty-ed mother, who I favor so much in the face– this crushed me. It hurt. And when I told her she was like “Oh, get over it.” But I couldn’t get over it.

I think part of my weight training motivation was a quest for ass. When I asked my other big bootied friends where they got theirs and they were all like “Pork.” or “I was just born this way I guess”. Well, I don’t dine on the swine and I was not about to try and eat my way to an ass because its not guaranteed that the fat will go there. Based on my body type, when I gain it goes straight to my boobs. I have more than enough.

So I became best friends with lunges, squats, the gluteal setting in the elliptical, the stair master… all in a quest for a bigger booty. What I got was a more shapely booty that became more prominent because I lost weight around my waist and lower back.

I don’t know if my ass will ever be like my mom’s. Even when she was small, she had a booty and I’m built more like her sister who is busty and flat bellied. At least now, I have something that fills out jeans and dresses and toots skirts up nicely. But the insecurity remains. Whenever I see women with more ass and hips than me, I lust after her curves. I don’t think it will ever go away…. because the one woman I look up to as my closest body aspiration told me mine wasn’t good enough.
She’s surely forgotten she even said that… but I never forgot.
Its real out here, but I’m learning to love, accept and care for myself every day.

Stefanie May 21, 2012 - 3:55 PM

We must validate ourselves. but reading this story has made me vow to think twice when I want to talk about a woman who does not carry fat/weight on the butt…

Kaila Heard May 21, 2012 - 5:14 PM

I would like to think that stories like this would lead people to self love, embracing their unique curves but I don’t think so. I remember when there was a slew of articles and “specials” about the hardships women who had undergone botched breast implant surgeries were facing….and breast surgeries remain among the most popular surgeries to this day.
I think messages about ‘loving yourself whether you look like the ideal or not’ appeal mostly to people who are willing to buck the norm or rebel against the system.
Otherwise, a lot of people want to have the advantages that having the ideal assets provides. And even with my body loving principals to uphold, I understand.
Whew, this was just a long way for me to say that this unfortunate outcome will not be the end of butt pumping surgeries.

J May 21, 2012 - 7:24 PM

Men make me sick. LOL My husband said that I don’t have an ass, but guess what? He doesn’t have an ass either and his ass is wider than mines, so take that. LOL Personally I don’t think men really care…they may prefer a nice round one, but in the end it doesn’t matter because I’ve been married twice. Besides you should never let anyone validate you. It’s just the way God made us.

Vana May 21, 2012 - 8:00 PM

I hear black men say all the time that they want a woman with a phat behind. So it is no wonder why some black women want to do this to themselves. I have never gotten negative feedback on my own behind. But if I ever did, it still would not motivate me to do something like this. But I understand the pressure and the ridicule a black women with a flat behind might face. It can be really painful and she may do anything to remedy the situation. And unfortunately there are people waiting to profit from such insecurity and put black women’s lives in danger.

Tanya May 21, 2012 - 8:29 PM

Very sad story, I understand her to a certain point. I’ve known since I was in the 7th grade that I lacked a behind, I purposely wore long shirts to cover it. As I became a woman I had more chest than behind and the men I dated claimed not to be into big butts but big thighs(I have but that’s another story,lol). When I work out in the gym I purposely focus on making it a nice shape, I know I will NEVER have a behind you can sit a drink on but just maybe it might be nice enough to get a second glance. Our society is so superficial, it eats away at so making people’s self esteem. You have to be be strong-minded and or spiritually grounded not to be sucked in by society’s approved body image.

Eva May 22, 2012 - 10:29 AM

This is very sad. I think people should think twice before making comments about another person’s body. Even if you have a “phat ass” people still make comments. They say that first I leave a room, and then my ass leaves five minutes later, ask is that a pillow back there, people need to think before they speak.

Susana May 22, 2012 - 11:37 AM

Life is not all about having a butt!! Having a healthy body is. As black women we need to learn that whatever shape we are, we wonderfully and fearfully made by God. We are truly loved as we are. It is so sad to read such stories. lives destroyed in the quest for additional beauty. May the Lord help this lady to realise who she is. The future has no limits.

Rose May 24, 2012 - 9:05 AM

It all started with the “dis-covery” of Africa by the Europeans and the Huttentot Venus. Black women have been grossly stereotyped as having very large buttocks ever since, regardless of the vast evidence that counters it. Sadly, now we have women dying and attempting dangerous surgeries to acquire an appearance that in no way will increase thier intelligence, social graces, or personality. But since we have been socialized to believe that our appearance and appeal to others is of the upmost importance we have now turned these “ideas” into realities. Love your body, self, and everything that comes with it!

Nyota Vargas May 24, 2012 - 10:34 AM

I have a few issues with this, first she won’t mention who committed this crime against her, and she lived for 5 years in pain for some booty? My butt has always been big and I have never been happy about it. My booty has always been a focal point and I’ve been embarrassed about it. I can imagine going thru something like this for what boils down to peer pressure, plain and simple. Women come in all shapes and sizes and we should be celebrated for that. There has to be more to life ladies

Nyota Vargas May 24, 2012 - 10:37 AM

I meant can’t imagine

NYREDDBONE July 19, 2012 - 5:54 PM

The first thing I thought about is “VERY LOW SELF-ESTEEM” from both the amputee and the girl from the book “Shot Girls”. I agree with Rose, the Europeans exploited the Hottentot Venus for having such a voluptuous body, and today women continue to be exploited, particularly African-American women. I have some junk in my trunk that I admit needs some work, which I am taking care of. My father’s family has “FLAT” butts and my mother’s family have “OK” butts so I have to be honest in saying that I am sometimes envious of women with more curvier behinds, but I KNOW that what I want and need is not in a syringe or on someone’s unsterilized table or even a sterilized one for that matter. I sit and watch men look at women with “phat azzes” and I crack up litterally. A man will break his damn neck looking at some azz…but they will only do what we allow them to do and if we continue to alter our bodies to please them, then they will continue to want it how they want it. I believe exercising and staying healthy and fit should be our main goal, and having a “phat azz” is a definitely a caveat.

Mey August 25, 2012 - 7:41 AM

I have been teased by my mom, sisters, and friends about my lack of booty. My ‘friends’ used to sing “I found you miss NO booty” whenever I was around… and they made sure men knew I was flat too :/ . Every girl I knew had some sort of butt except for me, and I’m from Nigeria! I’m supposed to have the big behind(which they pointed out as well), but even though their teasing bothered me, I never wanted to drastically alter my backside. Sure I would’ve liked a little curvature there but I’ve never been envious of huge butts as I don’t think they are very proportional to the rest of the body(I’m big on proportion…stems from my negative stance on my overly large boobs). I have noticed a bit of distinction between my back and butt lately which I must credit to weightloss through diet but not exercise(I hate lunges…and workouts in general).

I don’t know, I just don’t think the butt is all that interesting or worth it…. I mean people only see it when you’re walking away from them(in general)…

Janine November 9, 2012 - 11:26 PM

This is one of the reasons that I worry about having racially-centered standards of beauty (yes, all standards of beauty are culturally centered, but I’m sleepy and can’t think of a better term). What I mean to say is, things like: white girls are tall and slim-hipped, black girls have booty, Latinas have curves, etc etc. yes, people in these groups TEND to be more LIKELY to display x trait, and yes we should value and celebrate those traits, but I wish it could be done in a way that is accepting of diversity within those groups. Too often we celebrate our diversity and accidentally exclude people who are diverse, but don’t have x y or z ‘characteristic’ trait. I have a pretty big booty for a white girl, and it made me feel horribly until I heard two black girls in my high school comparing each other’s measurements and the one cheering because she was BIGGER! It made me feel really accepted, actually.

Erika Nicole Kendall November 10, 2012 - 5:57 PM

“This is one of the reasons that I worry about having racially-centered standards of beauty (yes, all standards of beauty are culturally centered, but I’m sleepy and can’t think of a better term).”

I would even take it a step further: I think the problem is that we all believe there’s only one way to be beautiful, and leave no space to accept and even embrace other understandings of what can be beautiful.

For example – I have a head of massive curly hair… and though I will probably never ever apply heat to my hair ever again, this doesn’t exclude me from admiring someone’s straight hair. I’m happily brunette, and that doesn’t preclude me from being able to admire a natural born redhead. I have brown skin, and can still admire the skin of someone who is 98% cacao dark chocolate-toned, or even someone Wednesday Addams-fair-skinned, you know?

I just think we’re too invested in trying to bolster something that doesn’t bolster us in a positive way as a “melting pot”-esque community.

Diana November 9, 2012 - 11:52 PM

OK…I will just say that her story is in the Essence magazine which did cover more than that video clip. From my understanding of what she said in the magazine, the woman who gave her the shots was a client of hers and it seems like they were friends. The other lady never claimed to be a doctor or anything like that, the girl just wanted a bigger butt and she was injected by this lady. I totally get it, she approached the lady about getting the injection..she was aware..so I don’t think she has to mention the lady to get her in trouble. (I dont know if what is being done is illegal). Many many people’s self esteem is so much lower than we would ever imagine and the truth is we as human beings (not everyone) try a lot of crazy things..ie…heroin, cocaine, smoking…–knowing the consequences!! When I was young, my big nose used to get talked about all the time..and I remember thinking I am going to get that nose changed when I grew up..but a little voice told me that the reason God gave me a big nose is because if my nose would of been little and cute…then I would of been too cute, too vain, cause I sure nuff had everything going on for me! Show ya right:) Unfortunately….everyone does not hear the voice.

Erika Nicole Kendall November 10, 2012 - 5:53 PM

“I don’t think she has to mention the lady to get her in trouble. ”

Yeah… that’s crazy. If you’re out here doing ridiculously shoddy work, certified/licensed/whatever or not, you deserve to be put out of business. Friendship or not.

Dedra November 10, 2012 - 10:03 AM

It’s true that black men especially love big butts–I know hearing songs like “doing da butt” “thong song” and “I like big butts” don’t help, this is still xtreme. My sister is the same and I’m the opposite. But grew up self conscious because my MOTHER would comment on the jiggle and shake. There are other ways to enhance and it’s not worth risky surgery. I have horrible saggy huge boobs and would have surgery in a heartbeat if I could afford to. They are a hinderance to my life. I know this hurt her quality of life also, but to this degree? This is a horrible ending to this story.

Ceej March 13, 2013 - 8:33 PM

This woman used to do my mother and sisters hair. In order to understand WHY she may have let a friend give her the injections, you have to understand the beauty culture in here in LA. Beauty standards are multiplied here 10-fold. Especially for Black women, even moreso for dark-skinned Black women. An increasing number of men (of all races) here prefer their sistas look like supermodels but with big tits and ass. That whole “thick sista” thing has gone the way of the dodo in So Cal.

Pumping parties of various types were part of the norm a few years ago. Women were having tupperware-like parties for botox injections, teeth whitening, collagen lip injections, eyebrow threading, etc. I can see why getting butt injections in your home might seem like no big deal at that time.

kiki March 14, 2013 - 10:52 AM

a 4 year old girl once asked me why my butt was “flat like that.” i was shocked, but not thinking, i just answered, “because my phone is in my pocket.” i took it out and showed her. she said, “no, it’s flat.” and she meant it. aanndd, she knew she was wrong because she said, “please don’t tell my parents.”

a friend of mine has also coined a portmanteau especially for my bottom: flass. flat + ass.

it’s cool. my bottom is the least of my worries. if i was ever to consider injections, and i’m not, i wouldn’t go to some “pumping party” or shady motel room. i’d go to someone licensed to perform the procedure. even then, i would have to understand the risks involved.

SavvyMom March 17, 2013 - 10:21 PM

I was called “Turkey Time” even when I was at my thinnest at 125 because I am short with big legs…I was called “Lil Fat Rascal” by a male coach in high school…I was called “THE DARK ONE” whenever I was with cousins who were lighter.. and yes, my minister grandfather put the icing on the cake with…”You soo pretty to be so dark”.

Bullying and Teasing have been going on forever and it really sucks.. We have to be our own best cheerleaders and be grounded spiritually to get through these times..

Terra April 8, 2013 - 2:27 AM

Wow!!! Just when ya think your all alone!!! Lol!!! I am a very light skinned woman. I’m not biracial. My hair is not “good hair”. And my butt is flat!! And it’s a real tender spot for me. And I can relate to all of you ladies. From the insults from friends to the white girls at work. And I considered some kind of augmentation. But you know what? If darker skinned girls broke from the stigma that lighter skinned girls are prettier. And full figured women broke from the stigma that skinny is the only thing that’s sexy. And now everybody’s dumping their relaxers to go naturally nappy. Than why are we finding it so hard to understand that are ass is not what makes us!! I’m so glad I read this:-)

Kaneka August 30, 2013 - 12:24 PM

It is amazing what squats can do for a set of glutes… #ijs

Karen November 9, 2013 - 4:03 PM

This is horrifying. And, it sucks for white girls who have no ass, too. AND not much in the boob department, either. Even at my heaviest. But surgery is terrifying enough when it’s necessary. And (thanks to you for your insistence on this point) squats DO help. So, oddly, does losing weight. My smaller middle makes my tiny butt look larger in comparison. 😀

Aria November 17, 2013 - 9:54 AM

If big butts were the norm amongst any group of people, they wouldn’t be seen as big. They would just be BUTTS.

Anonymous January 25, 2015 - 10:47 PM

This article is so sad but I totally relate to her sense of inadequacy. My Caribbean roots romanticize big round booties and I don’t have one. It is terrible the way ADULT women talked about my body growing up. This ideal has only gotten worse in recent years (Nicki Minaj..I’m looking at you). All women need to know that body parts are not a fad, and don’t dictate whether you’re beautiful or not and doesn’t dictate your worth.

Cameo July 18, 2016 - 10:40 AM

I know its an old story but women are dying frequently all over the world.I’m a black woman who grew up the skinny one.I need to eat or my body is Muscle Bond.I was just physically fit.As I started to grow my chest and feet did but my butt was little.As I got older and filled out I liked my shape but its not a Big Butt ot small I think God made it right for me.

Now I grew up with pagers and cellphones werent not existing.Now if you dont have the Best Body Biggest Body or The Nasty Pics Youre not Poppin on Social media or you’re not Wifey Material.Because Im not doing what everyone is or Exposing My Body I have no Social Media Life.I have lost ppl I love along the way because they didnt accept me or If i take a picture its not Good Enough.Of what they see.But nobodys perfect because the world would b

I searched the internet of booty models who had inspired me to change the booty I feel will change my Status.I felt Depressed Not Accepted and This Would Change My Life.I Thought FOR 10 HOURS STRAIGHT.NOW Coming To This SITE THANK GOD MAKES Me Say No To FAKES! Fake drs.Fake Silicone Fake Faith & ppl are Selling These Procedures……

There is nothing wrong with us Accept for the World of Vulchers who tells n sells us if u buy this you’ll be Bigger Smarter successful happier popular or Better! They forgot The Scares & Nightmares!!!

Love yourself Live Life on Purpose!!! R.I.P.to all the Women who died in these Illegal Procedures.No Booty is Worth a Life Sickness or Pain

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