“Big Butt, Big Business”
Rapper Sir Mix a Lot won a Grammy for his mega hit “Baby Got Back,” belting out in the lyrics, “I like big butts and I cannot lie!”
Listen to FM radio two decades later and still, the top hits reveal an obsession with the rump. There is even a “booty” contest going on right now on
a popular radio station in Los Angeles, where women are asked to send in photos for a chance to win a prize.
Interestingly, a large backside used to make the carrier… the butt of every joke. Now, both cheeks have turned and big ones are all the rage. These days, women who fail to fit the new standard because they are less endowed are even targets for ridicule.
Bullies mock them using coded slang terms, like “Beijing,” to point out the deficiency. Petite now means lacking. That can certainly crush self-confidence and shake up a woman’s swagger. Just when you thought you were okay, it’s back to the operating table, and this round of must-do modifications is to get more junk in the trunk.
“Year of the Butt?”
Buttock enhancements are shaking up the world of cosmetic surgery. In 2014, board certified surgeons performed ten million surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in the United States. Buttock enhancements alone soared 86 percent from the year before, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, one member calling 2014 the “Year of the Butt.”
The pressure is on to achieve a body like Jessica Rabbit, or a celebrity-type real person, known partly because of their backside.
Rapper Nicki Minaj certainly dilates some pupils, and Kim Kardashian is cashing in with the so-called “hourglass look,” the modern reference for a body type that studies indicate occurs in only eight percent of all women!
The popularity of the look continues. Fans want to look like the celebrities and some celebrities believe the exaggerated look can give them an edge. Last year alone, 18 hundred Americans underwent buttock implant surgery to achieve instant gratification and a dramatic change. That may not sound like a lot, but implants were up 95 percent over the year before. R & B singer K. Michelle is one star who did have the procedure and is open about it.
Interestingly, Minaj and Kardashian were about 18 and 20 years old when a large butt first bumped the size two skirt to the back fashion pages.
The procedure continues to pick up steam, but with a twist. The more popular version of the procedure is the “Brazilian Lift,” considered a non-invasive approach by which fat is transferred from an area of the body and used to pump up the buttocks.
One of the pioneers of the procedure is Doctor Julius Few from the Few Institute in Chicago. A renowned plastic surgeon for more than twenty years, he has been performing the Brazilian lift for more than a decade. “In Brazilian popular culture having a larger behind is something that is sought after, by men and women,” said Few. “That’s why it’s called ‘Brazilian.’ I use the sculpting analogy of taking away from one area to add to an area that is deflated or saggy to build it up. It’s interesting maybe even ironic, especially in the United States that having a fuller behind is desirable. I have women who said when they were in high school and had fuller backsides that they felt self-conscious. Now it’s the thing women are looking for: a big change.”
The Brazilian lift is relatively quick and patients can get back to normal activity in two weeks, he says, even patients who play sports. However, the first week during recovery can be a bit tricky,
as patients are discouraged from sitting for more than 15 to 30 minutes at a time. The cost can average about $15,000 or more, depending on the extent of the procedure. The Few Institute website offers photos and information on enhancements.
Brazil is still the leader when it comes to so-called “glutueal enchancement.” Typically patients there have silicone implants, according to Doctor Few, who will not perform that surgery. “The big danger with implants includes infection,” Few says, “ that can be brought on simply by the pressure of sitting down. When you sit on that implant, that creates pressure against the skin that can cause the skin and particularly the fat under the skin to potentially get infected like a bed sore. The bigger the implant, the bigger at risk you would be.” Doctors like Few warn that there can be serious problems when patients have procedures carried out by unlicensed practitioners.
Watch Doctor Few with more, in a special on “bootleg butt enhancements” on ABC News.
Will Big Bottom Business Bottom Out?
Aside from the drawbacks with implants in particular, Doctor Few believes the life span of the current trend in general is also somewhat shaky.
“I think having a disproportionately large backside is something that is likely to go out of style or change. The other part of it is there is a challenge in terms of issues like clothing. Not everybody can afford to go out and afford to buy custom clothing.”
It turns out that is why R&B singer K. Michelle decided to remove her rather large implants partly she indicated because of the difficulty with clothes and she believes it can hurt her chances of being taken seriously as an actress.
Doctor Few went on to say, however, that a form of the trend for larger behinds will flourish. “It may not be the dramatically oversized buttock, but I think the concept of having a well proportioned buttock is here to stay.”
Coming Soon: Instant Enhancement
For women who are cautious and patient, an even quicker fix is already in the works. “What’s on the horizon as products get better and better are injectable agents that will do kind of what fat has done, so literally,” Doctor Few says a procedure on the way that allows doctors to plump up buttocks by injecting a bio-compatible filler the way they currently plump up lips.” He said research is underway and the product is likely two to five years away.
Women who would rather wait can enhance the rear through specific exercises. It turns out distance running can be a set back. “For example, squats and stair climbing enhance the gluteus maximus muscle and so that can make the buttocks lifted and more round and fuller,” noted Doctor Few, “but for people who are big distance runners who are very, very thin, that can be an issue because literally the act of running can sheer away at the buttock area and make it more flat.
The bottom line is, the perfect rear end can be achieved, the old fashioned way with a visit to the gym, or the doctor’s office. Interestingly, at some point, the financial cost will be about the same.