Black Women

The Hidden Dangers of Cosmetic Surgery Highlights The Death Sentence Over Black Women

Unrealistic societal standards push Black women into dangerous territory, — it’s time to push back.

Quintessa Williams
Published in
6 min readJun 5
Amara La Negra Silhouette Illustration | Photo Courtesy of Nappy Afro

Historically, the cultural stigma on aging provided that African Americans, — specifically women, — rightfully shunned the notion of cosmetic procedures and surgeries to enhance their appearance. African Americans are widely known to carry protective genetic benefits that often prevent us from wearing our true age on our sleeves.

However, in more recent times, cosmetic surgeries are on a constant rise in our community, — specifically where Black women are concerned. Since 2010, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported that over a million African Americans had cosmetic or plastic surgery procedures each year and accounted for about 8 percent of the total 13 million who underwent cosmetic procedures.

An industry once prevalent in mostly white communities has become more popular amongst African Americans within the last decade. And not only have Black women come to embrace undergoing cosmetic surgeries, but we have also become the industry’s most exploitated target.

It is evident that those who display an aesthetically pleasing appearance tend to have high self-confidence and a more positive outlook on body image. To seemingly achieve this, cosmetic procedures such as plastic surgery, liposuction, tummy tucks, facelifts, and Botox, claim to serve as a fixture in perceived body improvement. However, most cosmetic procedures carry serious risks such as abnormal scarring, hematoma, blood clots, complications from anesthesia, and nerve damage.

But for Black women specifically, the risks present a death sentence.

On May 31, 2023, Jacky Oh, (real name Jacklyn Smith) passed away after an alleged “Mommy Makeover” procedure with a surgeon in Miami, Florida. Smith was the longtime partner of Wild N’ Out comedian, DC Young Fly (real name John Whitfield). She leaves behind Whitfield and three young children. She was only 32 years old.

A mommy makeover refers to a set of cosmetic surgical procedures that help women regain…



Quintessa Williams
Writer for

Freelance Writer & Journalist 📝📚| #WEOC | Blackivist | EIC of TDQ | Editor for Cultured, WEOC, & AfroSapiophile. Bylines in ZORA, Momentum & GEN Publications.