If the Lean Look Is Trending, Are We Done With Large Implants and BBLS?

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If the Lean Look Is Trending, Are We Done With Large Implants and BBLS? featured image
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The internet is abuzz with rumors about celebrity bodies: Did Kim Kardashian have her breast implants removed and her BBL reversed? Is everyone in Hollywood on diabetes drugs for weight loss? Why are the Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan low rise jeans of the early aughts back in vogue?

As a thinner aesthetic becomes more commonplace in celebrity circles and on social media, the images we see of leaner figures contradicts the curvy, hourglass bodies that have dominated the cultural zeitgeist in the last decade. What does this mean for the cosmetic surgery industry which has been so instrumental in helping achieve these widely adopted body standards. We talked to top surgeons about the trickle-down effect and whether the lean look has landed at their practices, too.

The Celebrity Influence

Encino, CA plastic surgeon George Sanders, MD says inclusivity is still a major factor in defining today’s beauty standards. “The curvier look is still very attractive in this era of body-positivity,” he notes. “That said, the fashion industry and celebrities are currently trending toward a thinner look. My patients are following their lead.”

Arcadia, CA plastic surgeon Art Yu, MD shares that he too has seen an aesthetic shift happening and it’s not just his patients that have adopted a new aesthetic look. “Most of my patients are getting more and more aware of this trend,” he says. “In the last two years, high-definition body and face sculpting has soared. Three of my 12 employees have lost anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds in response to this fitter, leaner shift, and when it comes to breast and buttock augmentation, small increases and a modestly enhanced breast and butts are preferred. The way the trends are shifting today, less really is more.” 

Practical Breast Sizes

“For breast goals in the 90s and 2000s, most women desired a full C cup whereas today it seems as though patients are wanting a full B to a small C, giving them a more athletic and trim appearance,” says Houston plastic surgeon Henry Mentz, MD

“Many of my patients are also requesting to have their implants changed to smaller sizes,” notes Dr. Yu, who says reversals and implant swaps have been common among people who had their initial implants placed at a younger age. This shift may be due to lifestyle changes that occur in your twenties to your late thirties and forties. “Being healthy and fit is paramount. As more and more people are aware of this fact, it is not a surprise that people are more concentrated on toning their bodies, rather than making the breasts or buttocks more prominent.” 

Bye Bye Big BBLs

Dr. Sanders says the rise of a perkier, less exaggerated Brazilian Butt Lifts has a lot to do with concerns with the popular procedure, but changing celebrity bodies have also had a hand in the type of results people are seeking. “Several prominent celebrities who once sported larger, enhanced butts have now reappeared with a significant reduction in their buttock size. Not only are patients following this fashion trend, but they also have concerns with larger volume BBLs and the associated safety risks. As a result, they are opting for a more conservative procedure.”

However, New York plastic surgeon Roman Rayham, MD says the “big butt” trend remains somewhat of a cultural phenomenon and that won’t go away. The rounder, fuller look is still a popular option, but the approach is more refined now: “As for the BBL, most patients today want nicer, not necessarily bigger-looking butts. I predict it will remain more popular in some geographical areas than others. Many patients now are requesting narrower waistlines just to make their butts look larger in comparison to the waistlines, which can be done with liposuction.”

A Focus on “Natural”

Scottsdale, AZ plastic surgeon Bryan W. Gawley, MD says the best result will always be one that fits best with a person’s proportions and that should remain at the forefront of any trend. “We are definitely seeing a more consistent trend toward natural and balanced surgical goals and expectations across the spectrum of breast, body and face,” he says. “We’ve always focused on natural-looking results and balanced contours and I think society is now catching up and embracing a more natural and proportionate look.”

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