Today's GQ feature on Cardi B is — not surprisingly — getting a lot of attention. Part of that's due to the fact that the chart-topping rapper just appeared on SNL, announced her pregnancy, and put out an album even Oprah can't stop playing. But the beauty world can't stop talking about it for another reason. In the interview, Cardi B does what very few celebrities ever do: openly admits to her butt augmentation. Not only that, her black-market butt augmentation. It's not the first time she's mentioned it, but the story doesn't fail to shock.
When she was 21 (she's now 25) and working as a stripper, Cardi B tells GQ writer Caity Weaver that she decided to enhance her backside for two reasons: 1) her boyfriend cheated on her with someone who "had a fat, big ass" and 2) she was convinced it would make her more money at work. But rather than looking up a seasoned, licensed doctor to do the job in a medical facility (which can be incredibly expensive and isn't covered by insurance), she visited a woman's basement apartment in Queens, New York and handed over $800 for silicone filler injections.
"It was the craziest pain ever," she told GQ, noting that she wasn't under anesthesia or any numbing agents during the process. "I felt like I was gonna pass out. I felt a little dizzy. And it leaks for, like, five days." (This isn't entirely different from another illegal butt augmentation we've heard before.) Still, she says she was happy with the results and planned to return for a touch-up — but wasn't able to for one very scary reason: "By the time I was gonna go get it, the lady got locked up 'cause she's supposedly killed somebody. Well — somebody died on her table."
It's safe to assume the woman administering the procedure was not at all qualified to do so, and while we're relieved that the singer isn't suffering from any complications, that's just pure luck. Wright Jones, MD, double board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Muse Plastic Surgery, warns that these types of procedures are extremely dangerous because "liquid silicone is not approved by the FDA or any medical board for direct injection into the body and it can migrate into the blood stream causing loss of limbs, pulmonary complications, or even death."
Dr. Jones tells Refinery29 that even if a patient survives the initial injections, they will likely experience their body's rejection of the silicone, which could result in foul-smelling wounds called granulomas. "The wound can drain from the deep tissues and out of the skin," he explains. "The rejection may take as long as 10 or 15 years, so many individuals are not out of the woods even when they think that all is well."
If you're considering a butt augmentation or any plastic surgery procedure, stay far, far away from cheap alternatives being offered outside of medical facilities by people who aren't board-certified surgeons. No cheating partner or number on a paycheck is worth risking your life for.