Christina Pellegrini
April 02, 2016 12:41 pm

All of our worst fears were realized when Ethel Easter hid an audio recorder in her hair extensions and caught doctors and nurses cruelly body shaming her while she was unconscious on the operating table.

The Houston woman, who had a hernia that was causing her severe stomach pains, was wary of her doctor from the start, saying he treated her “poorly,” according to a recent post on Facebook. When he told her she had to wait two months for the surgery, she got upset and cried. She says he told her, “You’re gonna have to wait just like everyone else.”


Because her health insurance didn’t give her many options, Ethel felt like she had to go through with the surgery using her current doctor. So she tucked a mini recorder into her braided extensions, which she piled on top of her head.

“I had no idea what would go on,” Ethel told Yahoo Beauty. “I was afraid that if I didn’t make it [through surgery] nobody would know why, and I wanted them to know it was because he didn’t care about me as a person. Your life is in their hands. I wanted them to know.”

The recording, which was broadcast by Fox 26, revealed some horrifying statements, especially in light of the fact that they came from professional health care providers in an OR setting. “She’s a handful. She had some choice words for us in the clinic when we didn’t book her case within two weeks,” the surgeon said. And another staffer said, “Precious, meet Precious,” which Ethel believes is a reference to the novel by Sapphire and the movie starring Gabourey Sidibe of the same name.

On a particularly hurtful note, a woman can be heard commenting on Ethel’s belly button and laughing. This especially stung for Ethel, who said that she’s very self-conscious about her belly button.

“When you are lying there and these people have you uncovered and you trust them and they speak like this, it’s a bad situation,” Easter said to Yahoo Beauty. “It’s given me self-esteem issues.”

To prevent something like this from happening to anyone else, Ethel is working with an activist to share her story. Let’s hope that this serves as a lesson to everyone: Body shaming anyone, whether to their face or not, can do irreparable damage. Positivity, please!