By Elizabeth Adegbesan
The effects of forex scarcity are not a story importers of wear and other fashion accessories for women would want to recite these days.
The collateral damage to the whole scenario is on boutique owners and fashionable ladies who patronise them.
No matter the condition, women will always want to look good and where the cost of beauty accessories will hinder their mission, they improvise. For them, there’s always a way out.
That is the case today. As the cost of accessories that help women look well shaped like hip pads, butt pads and double-padded bras go gaga, so many ladies are now resorting to weight-gain drugs to get their shapes back.
Whether in good or bad economic conditions, women have always adopted different alternatives to either shed or add weight.
Most slim women in a bid to look chubby in some areas of their body have resorted to wearing artificial body enhancers such as fake buttocks underwear, padded hips shorts and double padded brassiere, which do not have many side effects. But all the items are now very expensive.
Others have adopted shedding weight, which includes exercising, dieting or skipping meals, while many others also prefer consumption of some proteinous meals.
But as the cost of food soars and exercise periods suffer due to the bad economy, which requires that many women double their business commitments to keep their families, another measure must be taken.
Economy & Lifestyle discovered that the preferable alternative now appears to be weight-gain creams.
A close monitoring of big pharmacies in Lagos shows an influx of young ladies of all body sizes, shapes and weights. And, out of curiosity, we sought to know.
Miss Ruth Toluwalase, a student, who opened up to us said: “As a student, I cannot afford the money to buy artificial body enhancement wear anymore. They have gone way out of my reach. From the N5,000 I used to buy a hip and butt pad, it is now over N20,000.
“So someone introduced me to this cream, which costs even less than N5,000 but works magic for me. This is about the second bottle I have applied, but you can see for yourself that I look pretty good.
“With other drugs, which I have been assured, do not have many side effects, I am good.”
Mrs Chinwe Okafor, a mother of one, said she had to resort to other multivitamins to increase her weight after her body refused to become chubby after breastfeeding her last baby.
She said: “When I gave birth I was hoping that I would be chubby during the postnatal period. But to my surprise, I wasn’t. I was just normal. As you can see, I don’t even look like I have given birth. Before then I was using body enhancement wear such as tight with padded butts and padded hips, which cost less. But today its cost has risen. I had to resort to weight gain powder, which I put in my food.
“I wanted to go on a diet that would increase my weight but when the dietician rolled out the cost, I took to my heels because there were other important bills to foot instead of feeding with all my money for the sake of getting fat.”
For Esther Ifaleye, taking multivitamins to gain weight is the norm among some of her peers.
“Taking multivitamins for weight gain is something that both young and older women are practising now.
“Some of my friends take powder, syrup and tablets. Others use weight gain cream, which enlarges their hips, arms and other parts of their body.
“None of them has complained to me about any side effect.
“I also use the weight gain cream for my laps and buttocks instead of wearing artificial hips and padded buts which sometimes shift in the clothes you are wearing and make people know that it is artificial butts. It is very embarrassing.
“But with these natural butts, I can wear anything I want and boldly move about.”
Mrs Sandra Jonathan, a unisex undergarment seller in Idumota, said body enhancement wears are now more expensive than before.
She said: “Everything is expensive now, including body enhancement wears. The cost of these undergarments also depends on their quality.
“There are those of padded pants, double padded brassiere, padded butt and hip tights among others.
“The wholesalers are citing the depreciation of foreign exchange as well as cost of imports and logistics as reasons for the rise in the prices of these undergarments.
“As a retail seller, I earn less profit from sales and sell in threes.”
Mrs Romoke Shotunde, a pharmacist, noted that there are natural foods such as nuts: almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, raisins, dates, prunes, whole milk, full-fat yoghurt, cheese, cream, extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, oats, brown rice and others that assist in weight gain but the costs of these foods are making people who want to gain weight go back to multivitamin supplements.
She said: “For some people, gaining weight can be difficult.
“Some people add organic protein powder to some of their meals to add weight. Some of these weight gain drugs also come in tablets and syrup forms and cost as low as N3,000, which is an affordable price when compared to artificial body enhancement wear.
“While some over-the-counter weight gain pills might be effective, it is better to consult your doctor before taking them because they can have serious side effects and risks, such as joint swelling, drowsiness, vomiting and blurred vision.”