Over recent years the number of breast augmentations have dropped by 20%, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. Meanwhile, buttock enhancements have been rising by as much as 15% a year since 2013. As celebrities like Kim Kardashian promote a love for bigger bottoms, this obsession is not abating. This celebrity culture and the proliferation of pornography are behind this modern adulation of achieving a rounder, perkier bottom. Instagram is the biggest platform for this obsession with #squats having over 16.3 million mentions and #glutes with 4.6 million mentions. 

Today’s ideal bottom is unnaturally bubble-shaped and as able to defy gravity, the perfect round shape that protrudes out from the lower back in a prominent ‘C’ Curve. 

This sudden obsession with larger bottoms has led to a surge in cosmetic surgery, such as the Brazilian butt lift, where a woman’s own fat is removed from other parts of the body and injected back into the buttocks. There are also an option of implants, which are inserted under the skin to increase the size and shape of the bottom. Worryingly, however, is the number of women that died as a result of this invasive surgery. 

The rise of surgical horror stories in the press and on social media has led to women seeking less invasive treatments. 

It is believed the original obsession with a female’s cleavage is due to the fact they resemble the appearance of the buttocks, providing sexual attraction at the front of the body. Females generally have a rounder and more voluptuous bottom caused by the oestrogen that encourages the body to store fat in the buttocks, hips and thighs. Evolutionary psychologists believe that rounder buttocks evolved as a desirable trait because they visually indicate a woman’s youth and fertility. They signal the presence of oestrogen and sufficient fat stores for supporting a healthy pregnancy and lactation. Fuller buttocks also indicate the shape and size of the pelvis and also indicates youth. 

This symbol of fertility and beauty has been recorded in history as far back as 24,000BC when the Venus of Willendorf was made with exaggerated buttocks, hips and thighs. 

Larger buttocks were important to the ancient Greeks that built statues such as the Venus Callipygous that emphasises the bottom. A bare rear was also considered erotic in Ming China where they were compared to a bright full moon. 

In the 1800’s Victorian women wore corsets and bustled skirts to give the appearance of smaller waists and bigger behinds. The corsets were a risk to health, crushing organs, breaking and changing the shape of rib bones and causing shortness of breath and even fainting. The weight of the skirts and bustles also caused lower back and hip problems. 

By the 1920s, a new trend emerged towards flatter and more athletic bottoms. This started to change in the 1950’s with film star Marilyn Monroe being the poster girl of the decade with her voluptuous curves. Post war rationing ended, and women started to embrace their curves with dresses cinched in at the waists, drawing the eyes to the bottom. Wide hips were celebrated for fertility and the resulting baby boom shows how much this attribute was valued after the war. 

The 1960’s set a new pace for the idea bottom, with petite pixies such as Twiggy leading the new trend. Feminine curves were out, and flat bottoms were all the rage. Fashion such as drainpipe trousers and capri pants, popularised by Audrey Hepburn just wouldn’t look right on women with a rounder bum. This fashion trend continued through into the 1970s and a smaller, perky behind was favoured. In the 1980s a more athletic look was envied with rise of supermodel Cindy Crawford, and the Athena tennis girl poster as the icons of the era, leading to a rapid rise in aerobics classes focusing on legs, bums & tums. 

In the 1990’s, just a mere 20 years ago, women were requesting liposuction at cosmetic clinics to remove fat from their bums and thighs. Ten years later as we moved into the millennium, Kylie Minogue donned those tiny gold hot pants and a new era for butts emerged, with a fashion to flaunt the ‘underbum’ becoming acceptable. The rise in stardom of Jennifer Lopez created a storm of bigger is better when it came to bottoms. 

Today we aim to achieve this fuller, rounded look through the use of clever clothing, exercise, beauty procedures, aesthetic treatments and surgery. Making the demand for treatments on the bottom one that shouldn’t be ignored by aesthetic clinics.