Several years ago, Anivia Cruz-Dilworth was a successful plus-size model in high demand. The picture of flawlessness she presented to the world, however, came at a steep price. Now, the former model, whose career ambition drove her to elective black market plastic surgery, suffers from nonstop physical and emotional pain, brought on by the loss of her career as well as the disfigured state her body has been left in.

The Huffington Post reports that Cruz-Dilworth, who’ll be appearing on Iyanla, Fix My Life this Saturday, never imagined that her modeling aspirations would lead her to such misery. She was signed with Wilhelmina and was in high demand. But in order to stay competitive, the model decided that she needed a larger behind, so she did what many other models do when they want to enhance their looks but can’t afford to visit a surgeon in Beverly Hills: she got her fillers from an unlicensed practitioner who used substances that should never go into a human body. “I was on a couch with a red cookout cup,” Cruz-Dilworth told Iyanla Vanzant. “I didn’t have the money, and I found someone that was affordable.”

According to Cruz-Dilworth, the injections were so cheap and convenient that they actually became an addiction to her and she’d make an appointment whenever she saw an imperfection or a “dent.” But while the model thought that the injections would help her get more jobs, they began hindering her.

“I wanted a modeling contract. I started getting butt injections... And then, I couldn’t keep the weight on anymore. I started slimming down,” Anivia says. “The butt was so big and the body was getting so small. I wasn’t booking anymore jobs because I couldn’t fit anything.”

And then, to add even more complication, Cruz-Dilworth’s butt began to hurt so much that she couldn’t even sleep through the night. She’d developed a condition called granuloma, which occurred after the silicone in her body began to migrate all over, causing masses and the excruciating pain Cruz-Dilworth still experiences today.

“My nerves are damaged because of it. I have scar tissue inside of me. I have severe swelling,” Anivia says. “I was maybe at about 42 inches around my hips, but now because of the swelling and inflammation, my hips are like a 47. This foreign substance is a part of me now.”

Cruz-Dilworth, who’s also been accused and tried for performing illegal plastic surgery on other women, knows that there’s nothing she can do but choose to accept her body. And while she’s not on the show to be a cautionary tale for others, she, like other people who have been left permanently disfigured by black market medical procedures, is a reminder of how dangerous surgery like this can be.


Contact the author at mark.shrayber@jezebel.com.

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