‘I look better lighter’ – Khanyi Mbau on her transformation


It seems no matter how much of a grilling Khanyi receives about her looks, she isn’t about to stop doing what she wants any time soon.

Her cosmetic journey started in 2011 when she had breast implants, followed by an eyebrow lift and a procedure to push back her gums and whiten her teeth.

She has also had liposuction (and invited the media into the surgery to witness fat being sucked from her bottom), removed hair follicles from the back of her head and implanted them on her eyebrows and on spots around her head where she lacked hair.

She’s also confessed to using Botox to freeze her wrinkles and to using fillers to give her nose a better profile. All these procedures were done in the name of “finding the fountain of youth” and “looking for a Photoshopped look”, she says.

“I’m looking for the closest thing to perfection.” She doesn’t do it to stay relevant, Khanyi insists – she doesn’t need to.

“Relevancy chases me – I’ve been relevant since the age of 13.” Yet she won’t stop until she’s achieved her ultimate goal: “I want to be a doll.”

Khanyi has been blasted for being “un-African” for her love of skin-lightening techniques and playing into the hands of those who don’t regard dark-skinned women as beautiful as their lighter-skinned counterparts. But it’s got nothing to do with that, she said last year. She has nothing against dark-skinned women – she just believes being lighter skinned helps her career. “I look better when I’m lighter.

“I believe the brighter you are in appearance, the more you will stand out,” she said in an interview in 2016. “At the end of the day, I’m an entertainer and a celebrity and to make money I need to stand out.

“Am I telling other women to lighten their skins? No. Why put yourself under pressure to look a certain way if it’s not going to help you or make you feel better about yourself? If you’re a bank teller your appearance shouldn’t affect the way you work. But for me, it’s an investment. I’m a pro-aesthetic person.” She says she’s “in the business of selling beauty”.

“I also believe people have the right to do whatever they want to look beautiful. All I want is to maintain my looks. They are what people know me for.” What’s more, the Metro FM presenter tells us, she believes she has reached her goal of looking like a doll.  “I look like what I planned to achieve. Nothing was a mistake.”

Neither skin lightening nor cosmetic surgery has been bad for her career and it’s been excellent for her state of mind, she adds. “I am a huge fan of a healthy skin. It’s a sport for me. My career is determined by how I feel about myself and very little about how people feel about me. Which has led me to all this success.”

Khanyi has admitted to being a fan of the intravenous glutathione/vitamin C drip, which is injected directly into the body. Glutathione is an antioxidant found in plants and some bacteria and is capable of preventing damage to cells, including skin cells.

A combination of glutathione and vitamins, minerals and fluids hydrates the skin and reduces melanin production, which gives the skin its pigment.

Music megastars Beyoncé and Rihanna are said to be fans of the drip and are believed to have started the global trend. According to Chanel Gordon of the Lightsculpt Aesthetic Clinic in Johannesburg, which offers the treatment, people who visit the clinic are usually “health conscious” and want help with pigmentation marks.

“The treatment works from the inside out, targeting pigmented areas of the skin. It has become popular because it also cleanses the liver, kidneys and thyroid, giving the patient energy,” Chanel adds.

Khanyi has no desire to stop using anything that helps to keep her looking like that doll she so wants to resemble.

“If you want to slam me for wanting a brighter, more glowing skin, then why not also attack people who pluck their eyebrows, change their hair colour or shave their legs. I’m not hurting anyone and it’s making my life easier. At the end of the day, choosing to have lighter skin really is just skin-deep.”

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