Every so often, we become aware of a beauty practice that, for the life of us, we just can’t make sense of; something we actually wish we could un-know. This is exactly what happened earlier this week, when, while minding our own blissfully unaware business, deputy managing editor Yesha Callahan slid us a link to a 2-year-old Viceland video detailing the popularity and practice of chicken stock butt injections among Congolese women.
(Right. That’s exactly the length of the pause we took. Seriously, even two years after the fact, we could’ve gone the rest of our lives without this information.)
To be clear, these are more like enemas than conventional injections—not sure if that makes it better or worse. Using the African pantry staple known as Maggi seasoning cubes (think bouillon cubes) as a suppository or highly concentrated solution, women anally inject the formula in the hopes that the high sodium and oil content will expand the tissue in their behinds, making them appear larger and rounder.
(You can take another pause now, if you like.)
Now, we do our best to respect and learn from all types of cultural beauty techniques, but as you might suspect, this particular practice—while a definite bargain—comes with some definite health risks, including infections and, as one African outlet reported in 2009, even death. And yet, the practice still persists.
But given our fascination with asses here in America—and the lengths to which women of all types will go to enhance them—it’s certainly not difficult to understand why women in Africa would be desirous of larger assets. But once again, beauty standards—or in this case, booty standards—are proving dangerous to achieve. which begs the real question (forgive the pun): What’s the endgame?