Butt lifts, tummy tucks, and facelifts, oh my. Plastic surgery is constantly changing, what’s in and out, and recently the Brazilian Butt lift, or BBL, has come into question. So, are BBLs in or out?
With its rise credited to Kim Kardashian, whose body has become iconography for many, is she also credited with its fall? Is “heroin chic” back? Or are we looking towards a future with many more butt lifts? Dr. David Shokrian, who offers the surgery at Millenial Plastic Surgery in New York, lent a hand in discussing this.
A Brazilian butt lift, for those unfamiliar, is a specialized fat transfer procedure in which liposuction is used to suck fat out of areas and reinject it into the buttocks to change its size and shape without using implants. Its name comes from Ivo Pitanguy, who pioneered the surgery in Brazil in the 1960s.
The BBL became popular amongst Black and Latina women who have long held their curvier features in high praise. In recent years the BBL has seized its place as one of the most asked-for procedures. It all started with musician Nicki Minaj who boasted her BBL, then the two figures who tipped the scales completely were none other than Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. Kim’s iconic Paper magazine cover is still discussed today, and people still debate the mystery of Kylie's body transformation from 2015 to now. Coincidentally buttock augmentation surgeries increased by 90.3% between 2015 and 2019.
Although Kim and Kylie refute the media's conviction that they have undergone buttocks augmentation, people everywhere use them for reference as the ideal body type coined "slim thick." In 2020, surgeons performed 40,000 Brazilian butt lifts on patients demanding the so-called slim thick look, and in 2021, over 61,000 buttock augmentations were performed.
The numbers show BBLs aren’t going anywhere soon and that it isn’t just a fad, but people are still wondering, with the return of Y2K, is the return of a slimmer figure following close behind? Models like Bella Hadid and Kim’s younger sister Kendall Jenner sport wide hips and tiny waists that have shifted into a demand for the "skinny BBL." Many women are trading in their sizable bottoms for more subtle curves, including Kim Kardashian.
So what do the experts think? First-class plastic surgeon David Shokrian says that, on the contrary, the BBL is the most popular procedure asked for at his practice and is still rising. Shokrian has performed over 5000 surgeries, not only BBLs but breast lifts, facelifts, neck lifts, and eyelid surgery, to name a few. However, BBLs are still raising eyebrows because of the risks and recovery time prospective patients must consider.
Initial recovery ranges from four to six weeks, and BBLs can only be safe if researched and performed correctly. Dr. Shokrian is all about perfecting his craft. He has learned from the most outstanding surgeons who have passed down to him decades of experience. Luminaries of plastic surgery have taught him the best maneuvers while ensuring that safety is always at the forefront of his procedures.
Dr. Shokrian has increased the safety, recovery, and overall outcome at his practice with awake surgeries. Awake surgeries consist of local anesthesia instead of putting patients to sleep, which leads to fewer complications, less downtime, less pain, and an overall better review from his patients. Shokrian advises his patients against extremely animated looks; he knows when too much is too much. He believes that aesthetic surgery is made to enhance the natural parts of a patient, and it is always important to align a patient's and doctor's goals for the best outcome.
Another service Dr. Shokrian offers is non-surgical BBL procedures. This procedure is filler-based; hyaluronic acid or calcium-based products fill small areas of the patient's buttocks and hips. Although these products aren’t permanent, they provide a base or scaffolding for the body's collagen and elastin to work their magic. Shokrian uses radiesse at his practice, and essentially the body will create more collagen in the injected areas for a long-lasting result. The procedure's biggest perk comes with zero downtime and recovery, just 30 minutes at his office.
Dr. Shokrian presents an effective alternative to surgical BBLs, but it still depends on the patient and their goals. Sometimes surgery is the most effective, lasting option, and other times non-surgical technology, like Evolve, produces tight, trim, and toned bodies without surgery. Everybody is different and unique, so talking to the right surgeon is vital.
What is the best advice from Dr. Shokrian? "Love yourself and who you are in this moment, be positive and stay positive before and after surgery, and understand that you are unique and your procedure is unique to you, don’t think of plastic surgery as a way to look like someone else; think of it as a way to look your absolute best!" No matter the discussion of what plastic surgery or body image is trending, Dr. Shokrian emphasizes that patients' motives for surgery should be influenced by themselves and no one else. He says to make a plan that best suits your ultimate desires, just don’t overdo it.
For more information on Brazilian butt lifts and Dr. David Shokrian, check out Millenial Plastic Surgery’s Instagram or visit their website millennialplasticsurgery.com