Burkina’s bogus butts

 In Bobo-Dioulasso’s markets, prosthetics shaped like female backsides have become a best seller. According to our Observer, large behinds are very trendy in Burkina Faso these days.




In Bobo-Dioulasso’s markets, prosthetics shaped like female backsides have become a best seller. According to our Observer, large behinds are very trendy in Burkina Faso these days.


The condition of steatopygia – which is to say, having fleshy buttocks – is far from a disadvantage in West Africa. To many, it is a sign of beauty and fertility. But if you’re not quite round enough, no need to despair. Our Observer Bassératou, a blogger who lives in Bobo-Dioulasso, has discovered that prosthetic buttocks are now available for purchase at her local market.

“These artificial buttocks cost half of the monthly minimum wage in Burkina”

I came across these artificial buttocks several days ago when I told a friend, ‘oh, did you gain weight?’. She laughed and revealed her fake behind. Since then, I’ve done a little research on the subject. They are basically prosthetics, made of wool or cloth, filled with foam or rags. There are also some that make your hips rounder. These products are generally imported from Mali.


On the Sya market, there are all kinds of sizes as well as colours available, as women try to match the prosthetics with their dresses. They cost between 7,500 and 15,000 CFA [11 to 22 euros] depending on the quality. For a woman who makes only minimum wage, which is to say CFA 36,000 [55 euros] per month, it’s basically half her revenue.


Despite the high price, there is often a shortage these days. These products actually get used up very quickly. For instance, my friend’s prosthetic, which is of poor quality, is starting to rip. It is common for these artificial buttocks to be worn only two or three times before they become useless .


Photos taken by our Observer at a market in Bobo-Dioulasso.

The trend of curvy derrieres has become a public health problem in several West African countries, especially in the early 2000s, when medication and creams alleged to enhance buttocks became more common. For instance, creams and “C4” pills are sold for this purpose in Abidjan. In Kinshasa, it is Deca-Durabolin, a product intended for bodybuilding, that is presented as the magic bullet for growing your posterior. Several years ago, doctors even had to issue warnings against using Maggi soup cubes as a suppository in order to increase fat deposits…


Some women wear fake hips on top of fake behinds. Photo by Bassératou Kindo.


“It’s a bit ridiculous, but a thousand times better than pills”


Similar medications exist in Burkina, according to our Observer.


Many women buy products on the markets that are supposed to increase their rear ends. For instance, the Bobarabani pill costs CFA 1,000 per box [about 1.50 euros] . However, instructions are often missing, so the consumer doesn’t know anything about the recommended dosage or the product’s composition. Even if it’s a little ridiculous, I think these artificial buttocks are a thousand times better than taking a pill whose side effects are poorly understood.


Above all, this new product speaks volumes about the pressure that women face. In Burkina Faso, some social events are mandatory, such as djandjobas, parties organised during weddings, and baptisms http://lefaso.net/spip.php?article58699. During these occasions, women and girls compare and judge one another: those who do not have generous curves will be mocked. But, just imagine the face of a guy when he discovers the fake ‘asset’ when a woman undresses! African women need to start a dialogue about this.


Artificial buttocks are not just available in Burkina’s markets; recently, there have been reports of similar products in Senegal and Togo.


What do you think of this phenomenon? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.