The Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL): Why Has It Become So Popular?

A Brazilian butt lift (BBL), gluteoplasty, or buttock augmentation, is a surgical procedure that aims to change both the size and shape of the buttocks. The procedure uses various surgical techniques to achieve personalised results, including fat transfer, implants, or a combination of both.

As the name suggests, the procedure originates in Brazil, and can be credited to Brazilian plastic surgeon, Ivo Pitanguy, who published a paper on buttock lift surgery back in 1964. The name is also in reference to the figures of Brazilian women. Following the advancements in fat transfer technology and the rise of liposuction in the 80s and 90s, advancements in BBLs followed suit.

So, this probes the question – why has it taken 30-40 years for the BBL to become popularised? In the mid-to-late 2010s, it is apparent that the tirade of many women with bottom-heavy body proportions has proliferated. In fact, it is reported that since 2015, the number of butt lifts performed globally has grown by 77.6%, according to a recent survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Well, we can attribute this trend in body stature to socialites, celebs and influencers found on television and social media, and as one of the latest examples of mainstream media’s cultural appropriation. Think the Kar-Jenners, for example. Kim Kardashian – who famously underwent an x-ray in 2011 on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians in a bid she didn’t have implants – may well be considered the pioneer or primary influencer for the trend.

We can also perhaps attribute the BBLs popularity to the fact that it is technically a 2-in-1 procedure. The procedure entails not only just a lift, but it also means that the fat that is injected into your bum is taken from elsewhere in your body – meaning that essentially you can have a little bit of liposuction, too – wherever you want.

Furthermore, the treatment and further acceptance of body diversity in recent years plays a part, too. Gone are the days where the only socially acceptable (white) bodies are the ultra-thin found on runways and 90s television. Today, women of all races are further encouraged to flaunt and embrace their bodies – whether curvy or not – which ultimately renders the Brazilian butt lift as an apt way to accentuate a feminine silhouette.

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