Just a few years ago, the raciest of red carpet gowns featured cleavage-crammed necklines that dipped down to stars’ belly buttons, and perhaps a strategically placed slit that revealed the dangerous upper portion of the thigh. Fans didn’t dream they’d one day be witnessing their favorite reality TV star bounce her nearly nude, oiled-up derriere around on Snapchat — the app didn’t even exist then. It’s a different story in 2016, however.
With the voluptuous rear ends of the likes of Kim Kardashian (and every Kardashian-Jenner, for that matter, except Kendall and Caitlyn), Iggy Azalea and Nicki Minaj in our faces at every swipe through social media — and barely clothed on every high-profile carpet — it appears that breasts are passe and booties are in. Even Queen Bey has gotten into the habit of flaunting her bottom half in intricate gowns that cover her derriere only in sheer fabric and sparkles.
L.A. celebrity trainer Ky Evans — who’s worked with Sophia Bush, Marcia Cross, Rosario Dawson and Ronda Rousey — credits this booty moment to high-profile women’s increased focus on looking and feeling strong. “The glutes pay a huge part in that,” he tells Pret-a-Reporter. “Women are embracing their inner athlete and warrior more than ever. Men are still ego-based when they train, but women will get down and dirty and have a way higher pain threshold,” he adds.
Indeed, it’s a tough road to try to build up one’s butt through mere exercise alone. “It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears — there is nothing like training your glutes and legs to failure,” he says. Evans trains clients in the Lagree Method, and focuses on hitting each of their three distinctive butt muscles — gluteus maximus, gluteus medium, gluteus minimus — every other day.
“A well-toned butt isn’t just nice and curvy, but it’s also one of the strongest group of muscles in your body and can help improve posture; alleviate lower back, hip and knee pain; improve athletic performance, increase bone density and help [aid] fat loss,” Evans says. His fool-proof go-to? Squats (“a classic and still the best exercise for the butt — there are so many variations, like pop squats, sumo squats, Bulgarian split squats”).
While Khloe Kardashian, Karlie Kloss and other stars have documented their time logged in the gym building up their booties, there is of course another route: the Brazilian butt lift, where fat from another part of the body is injected into the rear end to enlarge and lift it, says Dr. Stafford Broumand. The board-certified plastic surgeon at 740 Park Plastic Surgery began noticing a significant uptick in requests from patients for better butts starting around five years ago.
In 2015, butt implants were the fastest-growing type of cosmetic surgery, and on average last year one was performed every 30 minutes. And it’s not only women. According to NYC board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman, men are interested in shapelier backsides, too, and are coming to him for Brazilian butt lifts, which conveniently also help slim down their love handles.
Dr. Broumand says the patients looking for buttock augmentation include “professionals in the entertainment industry, millennials invested in pop culture and patients who culturally find larger butts attractive,” he tells Pret-a-Reporter. Many bring in photos of Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Amber Rose, Kylie Jenner and Iggy Azalea, he says, adding that he does not judge and finds that patients report feeling sexier after the procedure.
As for risks and dangers, there are none that come with having a surgically enhanced larger bum, says the doctor, only potential problems with the surgical procedure itself. Of the options, the Brazilian butt lift is safer than butt implants. And even as celebrities are getting more honest about what they do to get glam (see Bella Thorne’s tattooed eyebrows!) and treating Snapchat as a personal confessional, don’t expect to see anyone admitting to having actual work done on their derriere.
Even this summer when Kanye West’s wife admitted to having “butt injections,” she quickly clarified they were shots of cortisone for her psoriasis. Fortunately, Evans says, “It is absolutely possible to change the shape of the butt [through exercise]. Being one of the largest and most powerful muscle groups in the body, when trained properly it will change. And when done consistently, everything about the athlete will change.”
Perhaps that’s why certain stars have been so transformed in recent years.