Mental Health

In Kenya, Cosmetic Surgery Makes High-Priced Inroad

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Few Kenyan women have enough money to even consider cosmetic surgery. But doctors say higher-earning women are beginning to fuel demand. One woman says she's had four procedures in the past three years.

Kenya cosmetic surgeryNAIROBI, Kenya (WOMENSENEWS)--Leaving a trail of French designer fragrance behind her, a woman clicks across the floor in four-inch heels while flicking strands of her long mane back into place with French-manicured nails. She struts into her corner office in an impeccable suit and sits down in her leather seat behind a mahogany table.

The woman, Anne, 40, who declined to give her last name to protect her privacy, is a successful civil service professional. But she says her self-confidence plummeted after the birth of her third child.

"My belly bulged, and it was hanging," she says. "I did look bad."

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Her mother said her big breasts would suffocate her baby, and friends commented on her weight gain. She tried going to the gym, but says it wasn't working fast enough.

Then a man at a car dealership in Nairobi, Kenya's capital, recommended cosmetic surgery--or aesthetic or plastic surgery, as surgeons here refer to it. Anne had reservations but soon found herself visiting Dr. Stanley Khainga, one of only seven certified plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeons in Kenya.

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I find it really quite immoral that women are paying large amounts of money for cosmetic surgery in a country where famine and extreme povery is rife. I totally object to the notion of female economic independence meaning that women can afford to pay for beauty treatments. Body Image and beautification issues are not signs of female advancement.