Summer is in full swing, and a myriad of bikini bodies are starting to flood the shorelines, many showing off the new summer must-have: a big booty. For many, a curvaceous profile is almost as important as sunscreen.
Some women have naturally larger derrieres, but cosmetically-enhanced rear ends are becoming increasingly popular through butt augmentation procedures.
CNN Health recently reported buttock augmentation is now among the fastest growing cosmetic surgical procedure, up 15 percent from 2013. Butt implants are up 98 percent from just last year.
Butt augmentations help embolden those who have insecurities about their bodies and feed the vanity of those who seek to build the perfect body using the celebrity butt of their choice.
The increase in butt augmentation procedures has been attributed, in part, to the influence of celebrity culture on the way women view their bodies. Butts rule in the entertainment world and undoubtedly were a part of the total package that helped triple threat Jennifer Lopez and reality TV maverick Kim Kardashian, who will be speaking at an event about the objectification of women, rise to celebrity stardom.
At the advent of summer, Cosmo issued “15 Reasons It’s Better to Have a Big Butt,” reinforcing the pressure on women who do not have big butts to get them. Among the reasons listed by the magazine: it just makes you pretty.
“It makes you biologically more attractive.”
Cosmo also argued that, “A big butt is like a drug,” citing a study that monitored male brain response to before and after photos of women who had butt augmentation surgery.
“The sight of a large woman’s butt activates the reward regions of the male brain that are otherwise activated by drugs, alcohol and food.”
But being pretty costs a pretty penny. The average cost for a buttock augmentation procedure ranges from $10,000 to $20,000.
The high cost of a butt lift, coupled with increased demand, made room for less qualified opportunists to enter the black market and create a viable, though dangerous, alternative: butt injections.
Black market butt injections cost a fraction of legitimate cosmetic procedures and can start as low as $2,500, even less in some areas. Butt injections can include the use of fat, hydrogel, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), or the most common, silicone. Silicone butt injections are not FDA-approved and not medical grade. Some are even mixed with tire sealant or baby oil.
The financial cost of the black market butt injection is only a fraction of what consumers pay for bigger butts. Butt injections may cause tissue hardening, pain, breathing problems, and blood clots, as reported by Live Science. Butt injections may also result in death. Butt injection deaths have been reported in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and New York, according to an earlier CBS News report. Butt injection deaths are in the news with more frequency, including the most recent death of BET staffer Kelly Mayhew.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommend procedures be done by board-certified doctors operating in an accredited facility, not a hotel room, basement, or garage. For those who do not want to subject themselves to the dangers of black market butt injections, but who do not have the money for costly cosmetic procedures, experts recommend building a bigger booty the old fashioned way — through diet and exercise, specifically squats.
[Photo credit: Taylor Weidman/Getty Images]