The Body You've Always Wanted: The Perfect Butt

Photo Credits: Bernd Vogel/Corbis

The second part of our Ideal Body Series deals with the buttocks. We all have things about our body we dislike, and for many women, their rear (or lack there of) prevents them from feeling confident in their own skin. That's why we've got two great ways that will help you achieve a beautiful butt, better body proportions and a big boost in your self-confidence.

1. For Instant Results, Try Butt Flattering Pants

Who It’s Good For: All body types

The right pair of pants can make all the difference in how your butt looks. “When it comes to finding the right pants to flatter your butt, it’s all about size—too small is never good,” says New York stylist Jenny Altman. “And good underwear helps, too. You need to wear something flat and seamless, even under jeans, to avoid visible panty lines, which can make the butt look old and frumpy,” she adds. Altman suggests donning mid-rise jeans, with a skinny or straight leg, since they are most flattering, and to avoid “mom jeans,” which “have a waist that comes up really high and makes the butt look really long (and lets the tummy stick out).” If your backside is on the large size, avoid pockets with over-the-top details or large patch pockets. On the other hand, those with a flat, shapeless butt should stick with pants that fit well and have a simple pocket and clean stitching and washes, which draws attention to the inner and outer thighs. “Pants that lack pockets make any butt look flat. The pockets should be proportional to your behind and lay flat—something too small will make your butt look bigger, and pockets that dart out will make it look wider.” Sure, there are all types of butt-enhancers out there—from silicone inserts to padded underwear, which may help to some degree—but wearing the right pair of pants can give a more natural look.

2. For Longer Term Results Without Surgery, Exercise Daily

Who It's Good For: Those who want to tone and tighten without going under the knife

Tired of walking on that treadmill and getting nowhere, literally? Breezy Experience the great outdoors on a bicycle. You’ll get the aerobic exercise your body needs in addition to lower-body strength training that can help trim and tone the thighs, buttocks and beyond. “I highly recommend outdoor cardio exercise,” says L.A.-based celebrity fitness trainer Greg Isaacs, author of The Ultimate Lean Routine. “Unlike machines in the gym, bike riding forces you to generate your own power to propel yourself forward, which helps engage the muscles and drives up your heart rate. The result is that you’ll burn more fat.”

3. For Long Term Results, Consider a Butt Augmentation

Who It’s Good For: Those with a flat butt from the waist down and those who want more fullness.

If you’ve always felt like your backside was a little deficient and wanted to take fat from one place and move it to your butt, now you can. But not everyone is a candidate for the procedure, sometimes referred to as the Brazilian butt lift. “You really need to have enough fat that can be suctioned out and transplanted into the backside. If you don’t have enough fat, an implant can be used, but they, too, have risks and complications that can arise,” says La Jolla, CA, plastic surgeon Reza Sadrian, MD, who stresses that this is one procedure that can have a tougher and longer recovery period due to some limitations on sitting or laying on your backside for several weeks. In the past, before the notion of fat caught on, implants were often the method of choice for augmentation of the buttocks, but most experts agree that fat makes for a more natural-looking end result since it’s softer and more compatible with the body. In order for a good outcome, it’s imperative that any transplanted fat be placed near the muscle so that there is good blood support.

And don't miss out on parts 3 (Thinner Thighs) and 4 (Tighter Tummy) coming soon!