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Tummy tucks and breast reductions are increasingly popular procedures among professional women in Kenya. With expensive weaves and other beauty trends also becoming more common, the new middle class is affording career women here new ways to stay competitive and boost their self-esteem.

NAIROBI, KENYA – Four-inch heels click steadily across the floor, supporting swaying hips that are hugged by an impeccable suit. The woman approaching flicks strands of her long mane back into place with her French-manicured nails. The scent of a French designer fragrance leaves a trail of where she has been. The clicks come to an end as she struts into her corner office and sits down in her leather seat behind a mahogany table laden with pictures of loved ones and trays filled with files waiting to be attended to.

The woman, Anne, 40, who declined to give her last name for personal reasons, is the ambassador of a new league of Kenyan women – a rising crop of well-educated and sophisticated corporate leaders here. In addition to reflecting the rise of Kenya’s middle class, they also reflect the country’s booming cosmetic and beauty industries.

Anne is a civil service professional. She has a successful career and a happy home. But she says her self-confidence plummeted after the birth of her third child.

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