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Colombian Plastic Surgery, Diets, and My Personal Struggles

I had an epiphany while living in Cali, Colombia. One day everything clicked. I was admiring yet another perfect Colombian behind and I realized it was surgically enhanced. I then realized most of the huge (and beautiful) Colombian derrières I’d been admiring are fake. 

Shortly after, I realized Kim, Khloe, and Kylie’s asses are fake and my world crumbled. Okay, I’m exaggerating. But before this mini life-changing epiphany, I believed The Kardashions would never lie about going under the knife. (lol) From then, I started reevaluating some of my favorite fitness celebrities, Lyzabeth Lopez for example, and realized that maybe, just maybe, EVERYONE’S ASS IS FAKE! *dramatic faint*

I want to be clear, my problem isn’t the fake asses. If you go under the knife or get fat from your stomach put into your booty, it’s cool, I get it. And I support your right to look how you want to look. It’s the lying part that irks me. It’s when someone says doing 50 squats a day with a few weighted hip thrusts can develop your ass into the famous Kardashian and Nicki Minaj “ant booty.” It’s that Khloe and her perfect behind created a show called Revenge Body and deemed herself a role model for other woman wanting to lose weight and build a dream booty. Khloe, I don’t mean to knock you while you’re down, but COME ON!

I understand there is an incredible amount of pressure for women especially in the entertainment business to be perfect, have perfect bodies. But why lie about it? Women are dying from cheap toxic fat injections to make their butts look like a Kardashian booty. Celebrities are promoting fit teas and body wraps but behind closed doors, getting expensive anti-cellulite treatments and enhancement surgeries. Their bodies are not naturally unattainable.

From the title, I’m sure you can gather, I will share the history of plastic surgery in Colombia, my chats and experiences with Colombian women, and my journey to self-love.

The History of Plastic Surgery in Colombia

Colombian women that I’ve talked to say that most Colombian women are super open about their surgeries. It’s part of their culture that dates back to the 70s when illegal drug trade took off. The term “narco-beauty” or “narco-aesthetics” was coined. The famous Pablo Escobar and his entourage paid for women to get plastic surgery to look like the air brushed models in Playboy. The men had such wealth they were able to turn any woman into their ideal woman by adding large breasts and voluptuous curves.

Pablo Escobar was one of the leaders in normalizing plastic surgery in Colombia. Colombian women were (and still are) objectified and feel pressure to be what men desire. Better yet, women in general.

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Stories of Latina Womxn and Plastic Surgery

A friend I met in Cali said she had liposuction when she was younger, almost all of her friends had it done. She felt pressured to keep up. Another Colombian friend claimed she is against all plastic surgery but three of her young female cousins all had procedures done. It’s not as taboo here from what I’ve heard; women will openly talk to you about their implants or Botox.

In Lima, Peru, my Colombian Airbnb roommate had both chest and butt implants. She possibly had liposuction, lip injections, and other procedures, but I didn’t ask. Her body was “perfect.” She went to the gym every single day and wore a “Spanx suit,” which was pretty much like a waist trainer for your entire body. It looked like a surf suit and went all the way down to her knees and covered her arms until her elbows. She was not embarrassed. She wore it under her open robe around the house all day. She cooked all her meals, mostly meat and vegetables along with 2 or 3 protein shakes. She seemed to be doing everything a fitness magazine would advertise, but at night she would finish off bottles of wine.

This was the first time I was exposed on a personal level to Colombian plastic surgery and how “normal” it is. Yes, there’s plenty of plastic surgery in the United States, but it’s more hush-hush, less in your face. At first, it was shocking. I realize now it is a cultural difference that I was not yet accustomed to. Every country has its beauty (or in this case booty) norms.

My Personal Struggle

I’ve gained and lost weight a bunch growing up. I know what it’s like to feel uncomfortable in your body. I grew up with a naturally slim, athletic build. Then at 16 years old, the universe gave me an ass and hips. Older men started to gawk at me. It was a turning point in my life. I began to feel hyper aware of my body and what men liked.

Fast forward to University, I had the all-American experience. I did beer bongs at 7am for tailgate and ate pepperoni pizza bagels as my main food group. I would get horrible hangovers then stuff myself with McDonald’s breakfast for a hangover cure that never helped. By the end of my 4 years, my body was yelling at me to change.

After college, I joined a kick boxing gym. I did a 10 week challenge where I didn’t drink, tracked all my meals, had a fitness coach and kick boxed 6 days/week. I lost almost 20 pounds. I finally felt healthy and alive again. I gained a passion for exercise and nutrition that still exists today.

Six months after graduation, I sold everything to backpack solo in South America (and continued on and off for 6 years.) If you’ve read my bio, you know the details. In South America and future travels, I struggled to stay consistent with diet and exercise.

Working at a Corporate Gym (hint: don’t do it)

I interviewed at a corporate gym right after coming home from an 8-month solo backpacking trip through Central America. I had experimented with vegetarianism while living with hippies, taught yoga, and got Zumba certified in Guatemala. I was determined to become a personal trainer and fitness instructor. I went in for an interview to teach Zumba and ended up being hired as a full-time assistant manager of the personal training department of one of the largest corporate gyms in the US. My job was to train new members and sell personal training packages. I was SO excited.

Although I had been mostly vegetarian and a #fittraveler in Guatemala, I lost myself while traveling in Mexico. I had gained about 20 lbs in a very short amount of time; too many micheladas and beef tacos. My manager at the gym recommended that I take fat burner pills. Out of insecurity, I ended up taking them. They DO NOT work, don’t waste your money. Not to mention, they are terrible for your body. I knew this, but I was annoyed at my body for gaining the weight back. I felt uncomfortable and ashamed.

Quickly I realized the toxic environment of my new job. Almost all of my male coworkers and managers at the gym were on steroids. You know those buff guys who can’t itch their back because their arms are so big. Yep, those guys. Most all of them (not all) are on steroids. Tell your husband not to compare himself to them. My beautiful, fit female coworkers that every woman would kill to look like, were complaining and comparing their bodies. Some wanted bigger butts, others thought they were too skinny. My manager was recommending clients to go on “chicken and broccoli” diets, aka starvation diets to lose weight fast. It was literally a nightmare.

I realized after a month that I needed to get the hell away from corporate gyms. I refused to recommend starvation to clients to achieve a nice “summer body.” It forces people into a cycle of dieting and gaining their weight back. There are studies that show that most people end up gaining their weight back plus more. It’s a vicious cycle.

Some gyms can be dark holes of disordered eating and unhealthy lifestyles to look a certain way. Those people with beautiful toned bodies at the gym could be struggling with disordered eating, negative self-talk, taking multiple diet supplements or steroids to maintain their “perfect” physique. Do not compare yourself to any of them.

Those people with beautifully toned bodies at the gym could be struggling with disordered eating, negative self-talk, and taking multiple diet supplements or steroids to maintain their “perfect” physique. Do not compare yourself to any of them.

Courtney

In my late 20s, I started eating (mostly) vegan. I let go of regular alcohol consumption. I stopped dieting and restricting. I threw away my scale. I started listening to my body and moving in ways that I enjoy. I go to the gym because I love it. I eat dessert and bread when I crave it. I eat foods that I enjoy and nourish my body. I think about long-term loving myself versus short-term fixes. (note: I am not perfect, I still have my weak days)

Final Thoughts

I learned through all of this, diets and plastic surgery do not make you love yourself. No matter how skinny or toned or huge your ass is, I repeat, IT WILL NOT MAKE YOU HAPPY. Eat foods that fuel you and make you feel good. Throw away the damn scale. Stop restricting yourself and your beautiful body.

If you decide to get plastic surgery, I’m here and loving you in support. It might sound hypocritical, but at the end of the day, it is YOUR body. Regardless of race, ethnicity, and societal class, we are all on this journey together trying to love our bodies and fuel our minds. Let’s be open about our pain, wounds, and love for our bodies. It is a journey we should not have to endure alone.

If you’d like to chat about (literally) anything, email me hello@courtneytheexplorer.com or DM on Instagram. I’m always here.


How do you feel about beauty standards and plastic surgery? Have you witnessed it in other countries? Let’s chat in the comments!

xoxo

5 Comments

  • Jackie
    September 13, 2019 at 7:08 am

    Yes!!! That’s exactly my problem… why lie and give girls around the world fake hope? For example, Lyzabeth Lopez, I knew she had a fake booty from the start, but now she has had a baby and looks great right after giving birth. Now I can bet money on her abs being fake too just like @nia something and @espana- this giving women a fake role mode to look up to when they’re already in a vulnerable state.
    Do what you gotta do, but keep other’s feelings out of it.

    Reply
    • Courtney
      September 19, 2019 at 11:29 am

      Yesss!! I agree! It’s best just to assume everyone has plastic surgery. Thanks for your comment!! <3

      Reply
  • Melissa
    November 14, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    Yes yes yes
    Lyzabeth Lopez ass is so fake like come on! I have been in her fitness classes and seen it in person. I remember when she had a smaller butt and same size legs like come on. It’s sad that you feel you need to lie to yourself and society, I feel bad for everyone ( including me ) who believed that doing squats will build that .She definitely does know her fitness but also that ass doesn’t come from training.
    Juuuust saying

    Reply
  • Felly
    December 27, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Girl I feel the hitting puberty and developing a womens body, such a difficult time for young girl who doesn’t know any better. I’m happy you’ve found your groove with your body, I’m still working on mine.

    Reply
    • Courtney
      December 27, 2019 at 8:47 am

      I struggle sometimes too, it’s definitely a work in progress to change your mindset. Oddly, I think it’s helped living in Asia where I don’t get any male attention (lol), people sort of ignore you. It’s nice. It makes me focus less on my appearance and body. Anyways, I love your photos and modeling pictures. You seem so confident/fierce/lovely. <3 Thanks for reading!! 🙂

      Reply

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