Wendy Williams may prefer bigger breasts over a bigger booty as her plastic surgery procedure of choice, but many black women just don’t feel her on that. Instead, some have been literally dying to get the derriere that Sir Mix-a-Lot boasts about in that “Baby Got Back” sample featured on Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.”
Enter Dr. Wright Jones.
Along with fellow surgeons, Drs. Marcus Crawford and Aisha McKnight-Baron—all HBCU graduates, by the way—Jones stars in Lifetime’s new docuseries Atlanta Plastic. Designed to be more resourceful than the many ratchet, Atlanta-based shows, Atlanta Plastic aims to entertain and educate the audience, particularly those of color, about plastic surgery in general.
Growing up in the small town of Hawkinsville, Ga., just outside Macon, Jones was attracted to plastic surgery early after witnessing it restore the appearance of a victim of a tragic accident.
The Root caught up with Jones, who is known as one of Atlanta’s go-to surgeons for the Brazilian butt lift that helps women achieve plumper backsides.
The Root: How did you start specializing in butts?
Wright Jones: During my training at Emory, we rotated through the county hospital, where we had our own plastic surgery clinic … and some of the senior residents had gotten requests for Brazilian butt lifts. At the time, I’d never seen one. It was a pretty new technique. I was intrigued by it.
I’m a black man. I can appreciate butts, and I actually got why they want the Brazilian butt lifts. After I saw my first Brazilian butt lift, I was still a junior resident, but the patients coming in—they were primarily African American—they started requesting me instead of the senior residents. Even though I had limited knowledge, they just assumed that I was better at it, and that I understood.
TR: Did you?
WJ: Interestingly, as time progressed, I kind of agreed with them, because some of my colleagues were like, “Why would they want fat in their ass; why do they want their ass bigger?” So I would have to explain it and explain the cultural standard and the ideal. … During my senior year, I asked one of my mentors, who is a very famous plastic surgeon, what did he think about [me pursuing this area of plastic surgery], and he said that he would do more if he had a demand for it. So at that point, I said, “OK, I want to go get formal training in this,” and I took time off and I went to Miami and I trained with the guy who wrote the textbook for it in the U.S.
TR: Who is he?
WJ: His name is Constantino Venyetta, and that experience was great. I learned how to do it the right way. I learned how to do it in a tasteful way and in a safe way. … I felt like Atlanta was getting a bad rap for having overdone butts, and I wanted to bring something to the city where people knew they can go and get a tasteful, sexy, flattering backside.
TR: With so many black women literally dying to get bigger derrieres, how do you combat that?
WJ: Unfortunately, too many settle for those operations because they’re cheaper … how I combat that situation [is] I try to get larger platforms. I educate my patients. I speak at local meetings, and both professionally and socially about it. I feel like the larger platform we have to get the word out, the better, and that’s one thing I like about this show.
TR: How much does this procedure generally cost?
WJ: The price really varies a lot because different patients have different risk factors. They have different demands. It really varies so much that it’s hard to even give a number to it. It’s like asking how much does a nice car costs. What is a nice car?
TR: But what’s the range?
WJ: It can be as low as $3,000 and as high as $15,000 to $18,000.
TR: Are there factors that prevent you from doing this procedure?
WJ: I can make big, huge, abnormally looking backsides, but that’s not what I choose to do. It’s not something I think is tasteful, so I don’t do it. When people see a butt that I’ve done, I want them to not even know I’ve done it. I want them to think it’s just a woman who is sexy and has a nice backside that complements her body. So I personally don’t do oversized butts because I want people to know when they come to me that they are going to get something that’s classy, that they can look good in jeans or a cocktail dress.
Atlanta Plastic premieres Friday, July 31, on Lifetime at 10 p.m. EDT.
Ronda Racha Penrice is a freelance writer living in Atlanta. She is the author of African American History for Dummies.