Plastic surgery is growing in the black community

June 18, 2012

Plastic surgery is growing in the black community
Plastic surgery is growing in the black community

A popular saying in the black community is “Black don’t crack.” Among African-Americans this saying celebrates the fact that black skin is likely to have more moisture and be less vulnerable to sun damage than average Caucasian skin. Therefore, the expectation is that black skin weathers better and shows less signs of aging than white skin. In spite of this, BET (Black Entertainment Television) Health News, reports there is a recent and growing increase in plastic surgery in the black community.

BET was inspired to comment on this trend after reading these statistics from WZAK Cleveland: African-Americans accounted for just 375,025 of plastic surgery procedures in 2002. Six years later, 907,141 African Americans underwent plastic surgery. WZAK states that whites still make up 70 percent of all cosmetic surgery patients but that distribution is rapidly changing.

Black icons like Tyra Banks and Wendy Williams may be somewhat responsible for this sea change. These women assert that they’re open to plastic surgery and that other black women should be too if that is what they need to feel better about themselves.

In their commentary, BET is ambivalent about this trend. “Being part of a community that doesn’t traditionally go to surgical lengths in order to maintain its pride is, in a way, a nice thing.” The commentator is critical about blacks getting nose jobs and butt lifts and about blacks getting breast implants because that’s what their neighbors are doing. On the other hand, the commentary states, “If your ‘black’ is cracking and you’d like to do something about it, you shouldn’t let societal pressures talk you out of it.”

If you’re an African-American considering plastic surgery or other cosmetic procedures, make sure you find a board-certified surgeon, dermatologist or other professional who has had experience with your skin type. Further, you can find board-certified plastic surgeons that specialize in performing plastic surgery in a way that is mindful of improving your appearance while maintaining your ethnic differences. Contact surgery.org if you need a referral.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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