In Ivory Coast, a woman’s beauty is defined by how big her bottom is. In order to acquire the ‘bootylicious’ bottom, some squirt creams onto their behinds, others pop pills while others adorn padded panties.
Women who have a ‘botcho’ the Ivorian slang for ‘vast rear end’ are seen as wealthy and healthy hence, some have to do everything possible to achieve the curvaceous look. For the emerging middle class in the nation, this has become routine and has contributed to the growth of businesses dealing with such products.
In a country like Ivory Coast, the skinny catwalk queens are no role model to a community of women whose desire to enhance their bottoms is overtaken by the risks that come with growth enhancer pills and creams.
"You need to have good hips to be dubbed a beauty in Ivory Coast," said a saleswoman named Sarah. "Men like women with a bit of bottom best."
A report from Agence France said that infused Press, pills, creams, and broth- infused suppositories, are big business in the country. At Treichville, Abidjan's biggest market, shop owners do a steady trade in ‘grossifesse’ (butt boosters).
The side effects of the pursuit are also so real as the pills are made from corticoids, which can cause high blood pressure and diabetes, Fatima Ly, a venereologist in Dakar told the news agency.
There are creams made with shea butter or cod-liver oil and don’t have the same health risks. However, they are expensive for a country where the average person makes only a little over $100 a month. According to sellers, despite the cream enhancers going for between 15,000 to 25,000 CFA francs ($25 to $45), the products do not last long on the shelves. Women on lower budgets prefer ingesting broth cubes because they are greasy in hope that it will enhance their rears.
The safer and cheaper option is using padded pants to give an illusion of a larger bottom according to local reports. Despite its safety, it has its own set of problems. Nigerian men are not so happy with the pads which are sold in stores and sometimes by hawkers in the street. Men have expressed their disgust and feelings of being misled by their women who adorn the cloth.
One Nigerian man, Adelani Makinde filed for divorce just hours after his expensive wedding, after discovering that his bride’s bottom was not as ‘big and round’ as it had appeared during their courtship. On the grounds of false pretense, Makinde promptly filed for divorce.
For women who have a financial footing, they opt for booty-boosting surgeries abroad or get plastic surgeons flying in to perform the ‘booty miracle’. Parisian plastic surgeon Robin Mookherjee is one doctor who flies to Dakar every month and claims to have treated "hundreds of women patients" from west Africa, notably from Ivory Coast.
History shows that black women with larger breasts, hips, thighs and bottoms have been items of ridicule, hyper-sexuality, and denigration. But since the legendary butts of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian, it has become an essential part of beauty coveted by many women from different races, who would do anything in their power to have such booties.
Image credit: Getty Images/Sia Kambou)