The pursuit of a fatter ass is not only leaving women limbless, but also killing them. Over last couple of years, countless stories of women receiving butt injections and implants from bootleggers have brought attention to some women’s pursuit of the perfect butt. Most recently, stories from women in the United States have made news headlines, but even abroad, there are women who’s beauty endeavors have turned fatal.

Beauty is big business in Venezuela. Earlier this month, Venezuela’s Gabriela Isler was crowned Miss Universe.  The country also holds the Guinness World Record for the nation with the most international beauty queens. But the price of beauty comes at a price.

In the past 12 months, 17 women in Venezuela have died as a result of receiving illegal liquid silicone butt injections.  At only $8 a pop, Jesús Pereira, the president of the Veneuzelan Plastic Surgeons Association, estimates that 30 percent of Venezuelan women aged 18 to 50 have undergone the procedure. Pereira also said that 100 percent of these cases become complicated, “It could take four days or it could take 20 years, but eventually the patient will become irreversibly sick.”

A recent article on the The Atlantic, tells the story of the founder of NO to Biopolymers and her recent death:

Mary Perdomo, the president and founder of the NO to Biopolymers, YES to Life foundation, died several weeks ago as a result of the buttock injections she received four years ago. The mother of three had used her worsening illness as a method to teach fellow Venezuelans about the fatal risks the phenomenon poses.

In 2009, Perdomo underwent the standard procedure of having 560cc of the poisonous biopolymer injected into each cheek. Three months later she began to have trouble sleeping and later discovered tumors that had formed in the affected area. In 2012, the health campaigner was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease: a direct result of her body’s reaction to the foreign chemicals. She died earlier this month following a heart attack.

Perdomo’s legacy lives on through the various organizations that work to educate young Venezuelans about biopolymers.
Beauty is big business in Venezuela and it’s not too hard to get access to illegal injections, when you have access to the internet.

“It’s very simple,” said one internet vendor. “You have to transfer the 350 Bolívars ($8.50) into my bank account, and I’ll send someone out to deliver them.”

“What we do is completely illegal, so you can’t come to the place where we stock the substance,” she said. “But we’ve never had any problems with the police, nor has anyone who has ever bought this product from us”.

In a country who’s beauty trade is worth $2.5 billion dollars annually, imagine how many others will die from an $8 injection. The pursuit of beauty isn’t just a big business, but a deadly one as well.

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