America loves big butts, and the numbers don't lie. Sure, the first thing people may notice is that dreadful blemish on your cheek or extra fat on your chin, but times are changing. A few years ago, it may have sounded like a backhanded compliment but make no mistake: Ladies and gentlemen, butts are IN and they are breaking the Internet.
Going back in time, there was a period when American women took drastic measures to lose that butt, sorry Sir Mix-A-Lot. After all Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, didn't become one of the world's youngest self-made billionaires for nothing. Even the latest workout regimes focused on shrinking that back side. When the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), announced that butt-enhancing procedures were one of the fastest growing cosmetic surgeries in 2014, there was one thing to blame: the unleashed beast better known as social media.
From Jennifer Lopez insuring hers, to Kim Kardashian taking X-rays of hers, to Beyoncé coining a new word in the English dictionary about hers, these images have been re-tweeted, re-posted, re-shared and recycled back to the surgeon's office. “It is incredibly evident that more and more patients are desiring a more “plump rump,”” says Dr. Stanley A. Okoro, M.D., F.A.C.S., double board certified plastic surgeon who performs between 100 to 150 buttock enhancement surgeries a year.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has announced the latest numbers for butt enhancement procedures. Are you ready for this jelly? Between 2013 and 2014, the butt augmentation (with fat grafting) went up 15 percent, butt lifts went up 44 percent and butt implants went up a massive 98 percent. Does this mean that big boobs are out of business? Before you decide whether you prefer an hour glass, or apple bottom figure, here are six things you should know about the ever-growing butt industry:
But first, let me take a belfie
No, no that isn't a typo, it's a butt selfie. Let's face it, it's no easy feat trying to take a picture of your own backside, but have no fear Instagram lovers, the belfie stick is here. “The relationship between social media and plastic surgery has grown so intertwined that one may even say that the “selfie” is the gateway drug to cosmetic surgery. Online forums, discussion boards, social media apps and the insatiable appetite for impressive visual spectacles spark interest in plastic surgery to the masses,” says Dr. Okoro.
Forget the peace signs, forget the kissy faces, and forget the unique planking poses. With over a million likes, Kim K's butt selfie in the itty bitty white number not only garnished over a million likes on Instagram, but also left Kanye West wanting in on the #NoFilter action. “Mainstream culture jumped on the bandwagon with the constant exposure and discussion of wardrobe of celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Serena Williams and Kim Kardashian,” says Dr. Earl Stephenson, Jr. MD, DDS, board certified plastic surgeon and dentist at Signature Plastic Surgery. Both Dr. Stephenson and Dr. Okoro blame celebrities like Kim K and social media for bringing big butts to the main stream.
I found you Ms. New Booty….on Instagram?
With stars like Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea and Kim Kardashian regularly flaunting their assets, it's no shock that butt enhancing procedures have become more and more coveted. However, combined with social media, there's an extra plus, especially for the career-oriented patients: “With their identity protected and the ability to share intimate details about their bodies and personal surgical journeys, other potential patients are able to relate to and gain interest in surgical enhancement,” says Dr. Okoro. Despite what you may think, these other “potential patients” aren't just video vixens, but also the mother of three or executive business women looking for that extra boost to the back side.
Watcha gonna do with all that junk, all that junk
There are three surgical approaches to enhance the backside:
The Brazilian Buttock Lift Package (BBL): Talk about efficiency, “this procedure can essentially address two issues with a single surgery,” says Dr. Okoro. First, if involves liposuction of the upper and lower abdomen, love handles and lower back to produce a sleeker waistline. Then “instead of discarding the fat from the liposuction, surgeons process the fat so that it can be grafted by injecting into the buttocks for better shape and size” says Dr. Stephenson. What this means is a zero chance of rejection because the procedure involves recycling the patient's own fat. The best part is that it's all done through a tiny incision, about the size of two pencil points. Average recovery time : One – two weeksButtock augmentation with implants: This is a great option for those who don't have enough body fat to graft their own buttocks or for someone who just wants a shapelier butt. It involves a custom-sized implant made of silicone, placed within the gluteal muscles in order to achieve a natural look. Dr. Okoro also points out this placement within the gluteal muscles, makes it less likely for the implant to be manipulated/displaced by the patient. Average recovery time : One – two weeksGluteal Lift: This option is usually reserved for patients who have had a massive weight loss resulting in a lack of volume or drooping buttocks. “The excess skin just above the buttocks is removed via surgery. Some of the excess underlying tissue can be used to plump up the butt,' says Dr. Stephenson. After the skin is removed, the buttocks are sewn back up to a higher position giving patients that coveted lift. According to Dr. Stephenson, this procedure leaves a noticeable scar. Average recovery time : One – two weeks
Big butts mean big money
At this point, you may be wondering how much damage a big butt can do to your bank account. As Fergie points out, her humps got the boys spending, but it'll cost you too ladies: Prices of the procedures vary regionally but roughly, Brazilian butt lifts start at $10,995, while butt implants and gluteal lifts start at $4,500.
Cuz your waist is small, and your curves are kickin'
Ok, let's be clear. It's not just about having a big butt, it needs to be curved with gravity defying angles protruding from a comparatively thin waist. This is the difference between the work of a board-certified plastic surgeon and one who injects butts with rubber cement – a shapely butt with tight curves is key. With these gravity defying expectations, it's no wonder the BBL is the most popular of gluteal enhancement procedures. “Using several types of liposuction customized for the individual patient, we flatten the tummy, sculpt the waistline, and define the buttock and hips area with fat grafting,” says Dr. Okoro.
Sounds great, right? Well, how much fat are we talking? According to Dr. Okoro, it's a tough question to answer because it depends on how much fat the patient has, the patient's body type/shape, current buttock counter and desired look, etc. Taking all that into consideration, a rough estimate would be approximately 500 – 1500 cubic centimeters (cc's) of fat from other areas put into each buttock cheek. Let me help you visualize: a can of coke is 350 cc's and a liter of soda is 1000 cc's, so somewhere between a can and a liter of soda on each butt cheek. Baby got back!
All about that bass
Yes, we all know Meghan Trainor is all about that bass, but in in the world of plastic surgery, there's also room for treble. While statistical data shows buttock augmentations on a rise totaling 16,873 procedures in 2014, the numbers still pale in comparison to breast augmentation and minimally invasive Botulinum toxin (Botox) procedures. In 2014, 286,254 breast augmentations and whopping 6,673,668 Botulinum toxin procedures were performed.
Buttock enhancements are not going to be replacing breast enhancements any time soon, but it's important to note buttock enhancement procedures are steadily on the rise and here to stay. "In fact, we may have only seen the beginning of it. There has been a cultural shift in society about the idea and variety of what constitutes beauty. Although it may not be for everyone, it is most definitely not a fad,” says Dr. Okoro. Ladies and gentlemen, let's give a round of applause for the derriere.
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