The Perfect Bottom
So when did this obsession for the perfect bottom begin? Perhaps as early as the 1960s when the male population lusted after celebs such as Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot? Or back in the 80s, when 'girls-next-door', Felicity Kendal and Anneka Rice were voted rears of the year?
It would appear, however, that more recently Jennifer Lopez has a lot to answer for. When J-Lo first arrived on the scene, her derriere became almost as famous as she did. With rumours rife that it was insured for millions of dollars, even as much as one billion dollars (a fact which J-Lo, though amused, vehemently denied) the publicity it generated had women all over America desperately seeking ways in which to achieve the 'perfect' J-Lo bottom. Now other celebs such as Kim Kardashian, Sofia Vergara, Beyonce Knowles and even our own Duchess of Cambridge's sister, Pippa Middleton, are ensuring that either the larger, or more perfectly shaped, posterior remains unrivalled in its appeal and is consequently becoming one of the most popular body enhancements in the US today.
Of course, back in the 60s, women could only admire the curvy screen starlets and dream of having similar body shapes. But now, thanks to major surgical advances and also some non-surgical options, those dreams can indeed become a reality - providing you've got the necessary cash. And it's not just American women who are jumping at the chance to place their bottoms on this crowded little bandwagon either. One only need watch popular reality shows such as The Only Way is Essex to see how much this look is gradually being sought after by women here in the UK. You would be hard pressed to find a female character in the show that doesn't have fake boobs, fake tan, false nails, hair extensions, eyelashes, impossibly white veneers - and the latest fad on the scene, a fake bottom!
The most extreme action available with regard to enhancing your body is of course cosmetic surgery. If you want fast, noticeable results and can afford to pay for them, then this is thought to be the only way to gain the perfect posterior. Various clinics across the UK will now carry out this surgery, often with attractive interest free finance options available.
Buttock implants are silicone implants, similar to traditional breast implants, which inserted into a pocket shaped by the surgeon positioning them depending on the result you want to achieve. These will ultimately provide a fuller, firmer look to bottoms that are naturally flat and shapeless. However, this procedure can be pricey, with some clinics charging over £7,000. Many will be cheaper, but just be very wary of prices that seem too good to be true and always make sure the clinic is reputable.
There is thought to be around a two week recover period following this type of surgery, so plans should be made to take a fortnight off work, with strenuous exercise being avoided for at least six weeks.
Another surgical option available without using implants is the buttocks lift. Bottoms can sag over time, the same as breasts, and pregnancy, loss of weight and general ageing resulting in the loss of elasticity in the skin can all contribute to this. A buttock lift is often performed where the size of the buttocks is sufficient but there is excess skin present. Although this procedure is performed under full anaesthetic, you should be able to return home the same day. However, some swelling and bleeding may occur and you will be advised to wear supportive (elasto-bandage) underpants until fully healed.
Recently doctors have issued warnings regarding PMMA or hydrogel bum injections warding potential patients off undergoing this tempting non-invasive treatment however there are still a couple of options available including Macrolane, HA filler from Q-Med/Galderma. Macrolane hit the headlines recently when promotion of its use to enhance breasts was discontinued due to it potentially causing issues for radiologists examining breasts however it can provide an effective and less invasive alternative to implants. There are also some clinics that will even inject your own fat into the body to plump out those tender areas if patients are slightly cautious of introducing a foreign element in to their body.
There really are no other effective methods of enlarging or enhancing the bottom, although you will no doubt find countless websites claiming to have magic lotions and potions that can achieve this.
One slight fad that patients found popular was the “Brazilian Butt Thread” which used specially designed sutures to lift around the buttocks, enhancing and plumping the cheeks. Results were however slightly unimpressive and due to the wear and tear a bum usually experiences on a daily basis they were relatively short-term at best.
Exercise will give your bottom a larger, more muscular appearance without surgery and a little research should point you in the right direction with regard to the type of exercise that will benefit you the most. Yoga is excellent for toning and shaping the buttocks area, as well as the rest of the body.
Finally, if surgery is not for you and you're not keen on exercise, various department stores and websites now sell buttock enhancing pads and silicone inserts that are inserted into specially adapted underpants. This works on a similar basis to the padded, or gel, bra. Although not much good on the beach, this is a great (and safe) option for those special nights out where you want to make an impression. These may not provide a long term fix, but for all would-be Pippas, Beyonces and J-Los out there who don't have their cash, they might just help for a while!