We like big butts... and we cannot lie. Just take one look at America’s favorite reality stars in 2016 Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose, Blac Chyna — they all have, excuse our candor, massive derrières and no one ever stops talking about their backsides. Every time we turn around it seems a new star’s tush has blown up to a questionable proportion. The rise of the Instagram “model” hasn’t made it any easier to ignore either; it’s as if there’s a procession of identical rears every time you scroll your feed. They're constantly in our faces and whether you love it or hate it, its an epidemic you can't ignore. Specifically though, it got us wondering just how all these perfectly round rumps sprung up overnight.
Squat challenges? Genetics? When you consider the rise in popularity of the ass, and their subsequent rise in size, you start to think: they can’t be real, right? Well, certainly not all of them, anyway. Butt conspiracy theorists will have you thinking surgically enhanced bottoms are the only thing someone moderately famous is sitting on. There are several sites that will dissect angles ad nauseum trying to prove the validity of an ass. But for us, what matters is not the if, its the how. We’ve done some of the digging for you so you whether you’re an interested party, a curious cynic or are an aspiring Instagram model just one nip and tuck away from the ultimate success by today’s social media standard — a teatox sponsorship, you’ll have the facts behind behinds.
We spoke with Board Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Melissa Doft, MD, who specializes in a broad range of cosmetic and reconstructive treatments and knows a thing or two about how to get that backside that is so wildly popular. First things first, butt implants are SO last season.
“Implants are a lot less popular because they can get infected. They can push on the sciatic nerve, which is basically the big nerve that exits out of the buttocks and runs down the leg through part of your leg muscles. So they can be painful. And then it’s also a much larger incision that you’re putting this implant through, says Doft. She also explains that, ironically, its 20-something Hispanic and African-American women who are more commonly looking to get work done to their rears, and darker skin means darker scars.
So if implants are out, what is the next best thing? “Fat grafting has definitely gotten more popular in the last 10 years, maybe even 15 years,” informs Doft. With fat grafting on the buttocks, aka butt injections, it’s basically taking a needle and injecting fat so there’s virtually no scarring. It is obviously the preferred choice, especially with those who are melanin blessed. And what’s more is how simple it all goes down. Doft walks us through it:
“The operation is really two parts. The first is to remove the fat that is around the buttocks. This is defining what the outline of the buttocks is going to look like. So it’s taking some fat from the upper thigh, from the waist line, from the lower back, and when that’s not enough a lot of times liposuction will be done to the tummy or inner thighs, to really get that volume to inject. Then it’s put into syringes. Different doctors have different methods on what they like to do with the fat. Some people center fuse it, some people will wash it, others will do nothing to it — I prefer to be on the side of doing a minimal amount. I believe if you injure the fat cells too much they’re less likely to live. So I’m sort of a minimalist in that sense when it comes to how I handle the fat grafting. And then you take that fat and inject that into the buttocks. Really the way that you want to inject is to create a rounder, more voluptuous tush.”
Handle With Care
And if you’re wondering if the recovery is as simple, the answer is yes. “Liposuction is kind of like having a bad, bad black and blue. It’s not that it hurts so much, but it’s more that it’s sore. You feel like you’ve just been in a bicycle accident or just feel beat up, but it’s not that it’s crazy painful. It’s just uncomfortable. Most people will take pain medicine for the first few days and then you’re usually OK. The other thing about having the fat grafting done to your buttocks is that most surgeons will have patients sleep on their stomach, so for people who are used to sleeping on their backs sometimes that’s a little bit different. But that’s because you don’t want to hurt those little fat cells.”
The recovery time is about a week. That’s right, after about seven to 10 days grab yourself a boppy pillow (you know on those U-shaped cushions that moms use to nurse their babies) and head back to the office. And scarring is not so much. The tiny tubes used for liposuction are about 2-3 millimeters, which barely leave any marks and the actual injections are only small needles. In Doft’s words, “Not totally scarless but close to a scar-less surgery.” Even more amazing is you see the results right away.
“It’s not like botox, where you have to wait a week to see because you're basically taking volume from one area and putting it somewhere else. So you see that difference immediately. But right afterward, you’re swollen. The swelling usually takes about six months to resolve. You know the first week you’re going to be most swollen, the second week a little less and then it’ll gradually go down,” the MD said.
While fat grafting is a one and done deal, there is that little bit of unpredictability on whether how much fat you’ll lose and how much fat will survive, so there are some instances where a patient will return 12 months later for another session. Since surgeons have gotten comfortable with fat grafting and more comfortable with putting in larger amounts of fat, a second round is not typical. And still, when compared to butt implants, fat grafting is the undeniable choice.
So it’s no wonder fanny inflation is on the rise. But don’t be fooled by the how easy, breezy the whole thing sounds. Doft wants women to safely reach their #BootyGoals by stressing that this is a real surgery with real complications. “Sometimes people think of it almost as getting your hair cut or putting on makeup, the scars aren’t that big, it’s only fat, so that’s why I mention what some of the complications are because they are real.” Serious complications like fat necrosis, oil cysts, infection, and then there are several incidents where people have died, usually of a fat embolism, meaning that a piece of the fat gets into a blood vessel and then travels to the lungs. We’re not just talking about those shady situations that happen in basements and other countries. Doft recalls cases in the United States where patients have gone to a professional and the results were fatal. “Sometimes it’s just a matter of bad luck or injecting at the wrong angle, or something just happens. That’s why it’s really important to go see a doctor who does a lot of them and who is a board certified plastic surgeon. Don’t go to just anyone to have this done,” she cautions.
Ready. Set. Buy. Or Maybe Not?
OK, so you’ve heard the results, ran the risks and let’s say you’re ready to purchase your brand new booty. One of these babies can run your pockets anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000. The costs varies from doctor to doctor and by region. Doft Plastic Surgery is located in New York City and charges on the higher end of that spectrum. But go to Miami where Brazilian butt lifts are the norm and pricing will be on the lower side. “Everyone wants to be smaller in New York so nobody wants to keep that fat. They all want it thrown out, so it’s not as popular here. It’s also a little bit more seasonal in New York, so they’re more common in the springtime or the wintertime, when people are getting ready for summer. Summer is when people want to wear bathing suits and are more exposed, so I usually don’t do any then.” That means butt shot season is upon us!
Remember, as with any fat on your body, as you gain and lose weight, the fat cells will swell and shrink. Dr. Doft states that fat grafting and implants are the only surgical options that are approved in the U.S., so stay away from silicone fillers, which can lead to infections such as TB and do more damage than good.
So either you’re now thoroughly convinced or not to get that ‘Gram worthy booty. We'll leave you with this, trends come and go. If you’re looking at your rear as your latest accessory, consider these wise words from Heidi Klum: "In fashion one day you're in and the next you're out.”
For the past 10 years, Yusef has been dictating all of the beauty trends we emulate via his most famous client, none other than Rihanna. He started out his career as a performer, but he ended up behind the scenes. In Hairstory, he details his rise in the industry from aspiring singer to creative directing the hair for Fenty x Puma.