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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

BBL… Boob Job… Lipo… Tummy Tuck… all words we’ve grown familiar with over the past decade. Especially if you’re a woman. We’re living in an era where someone’s biggest physical insecurity can quickly become a thing of the past simply by going under the knife. It’s extraordinary how someone can change their entire appearance with a few surgical procedures. We’ve witnessed celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Iggy Azalea, and the Kardashian crew transform their bodies and/or faces with a surgeon’s help (even if they deny it) and we’ve seen how so many people influenced to do the same. Many people followed the “bigger is better,” trend when it came to getting their bodies done, as a very curvy and voluptuous body with a flat tummy is what was “in,” during the mid to late 2010s. But now, the pendulum seems to be shifting as many women opt for a more natural and less extreme look. This brings forth the question:

Is plastic surgery a thing of the past?

Let’s Talk Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery has been around for a very long time, and as medicine is constantly modernizing and making new advancements, so has plastic surgery. But as plastic surgery has modernized, I think it has become extremely exploitive of women’s societally curated “insecurities.” The plastic surgery industry capitalizes on women not loving the way they look due to societal standards or whatever look was trending at the time. This is not a bold statement considering that in 2021, women accounted for a whopping 94% of all aesthetic plastic surgery procedures (According to the Aesthetic Society). The truth is in the numbers. Women feel more inclined to get work done on their bodies and faces. The 2010s era of exaggerated bodies and facial features is no different. When Kim Kardashian first revealed her new glutes, she sent the internet into a frenzy. Soon after, many other women followed suit and got their butts augmented and their tummies shrunken, taking influencing to another level with that one. 

Nicki Minaj also has been an unintentional promoter of the BBL trend and has even spoken about getting illegal butt shots early in her career in an interview with Joe Budden. “I didn’t feel complete or good enough. This is what you’re supposed to look like in rap culture, and I don’t look like that,” the artist mentioned. Nicki Minaj is not alone in her sentiment, as many women often feel pressured to alter the way they look to fit into a societal, categorized, unrealistic mold of beauty. The different forms of media being continuously consumed daily also has a huge effect on the way women view their bodies and plastic surgery, as so many women feel compelled to change the way they naturally look due to comparing themselves to celebrities and not feeling good enough in their own skin. I think that often many women have ignored or pushed aside the health risks and complications that may come with having plastic surgery, as long as they have their desired outcome. Of course, no one should be shamed for having plastic surgery, and it is a choice that women can make on their own, but we can never ignore the impact societal standards have on many of our choices. 

I Guess Thin is “IN”

Lately, on social media, we’ve seen the Kardashians and other influencers get their breasts and butts reduced as they opt for a more slim and natural look. Kim, Khloe, and Kylie have stunned many people as they have grown noticeably skinnier in butt, hips, and breasts, insinuating to many that they may have gotten their BBLs and breast implants removed. Kim Kardashian also made headlines when she confidently stated that she lost 16 pounds in 3 weeks to fit into Marylin Monroe’s “Happy Birthday Mr. President,” dress. The removal of these Kardashians’ curvy bodies, so they can start having a more natural and thin look had many people guessing that it is the beginning of the end of the BBL era, and some plastic surgeons would agree.

“People now want to be moderately breasted and to have these curvy but very fit and muscular bodies, And so, I think that’s a trend from the very voluptuous feminine look we have seen previously,” said Ashley Amalfi, MD, who specializes in breast and butt procedures. The exaggerated bodies achieved through plastic surgery are becoming something of the past. Plastic surgeons have noticed how there has been an increase in women getting their implants removed or reduced to make them more proportionate to their body size and shape as opposed to the curvier, voluptuous, over-the-top look. According to surgeons, plastic surgery procedures are still being performed at a high rate, but more women are opting for more minimally invasive procedures and body contouring. So… although the big butt, big boobs, flat stomach and small waist trend of plastic surgery is dying down, women are still getting plastic surgery procedures done, but electing a more understated look.

Why The Shift in Trends?

I think there are several reasons why the era of the BBL is coming to a halt. To start, I think it’s important to note the way Black women have been ridiculed and degraded throughout history for having naturally bigger butts and curvier bodies, but there was an ample amount of praise for white and nonblack women with bigger butts that they obtained through surgery and according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, white people account for 78% of all aesthetic plastic surgery procedures. Black women have constantly pointed out this double standard, but for years it seems like they have been screaming into the echo chamber. Secondly, people realize how unsafe plastic surgery procedures such as the BBL can be. Patient death isn’t uncommon when it comes to the BBL procedure, as Brazilian Butt Lifts have the highest mortality rate of all plastic surgery procedures. Are you willing to risk your life for a booty?

Part of me also believes that the shift in the body surgery trends has to do with status and influencer culture. At first plastic surgery seemed like it was something for wealthy people, like celebrities. Having visible plastic surgery signified a level of status and inaccessibility that regular people were not in reach of. But as surgical enhancements have become more accessible, the wealthy seem inclined to separate from the rest. Fashion trends also have something to do with the shift in surgical procedure trends. Currently, many early 2000s trends are coming back to the forefront such as low-rise jeans, mini skirts, and very tiny tight tops, which have women believing that “thin is in,” and having lots of curves is out, but remember there is still a large number of women who have naturally curvier bodies, so are trends telling them that their bodies are no longer “appealing,” now that the Kardashian crew has abandoned that aesthetic?

Like everything else in this lifetime, trends are constantly progressing, resurfacing, and transforming. For people with money, it is easy for them to change their bodies at will with the help of a surgeon, because they have the resources to do so, but everyone does not have that luxury. In my opinion, body positivity is IN, and letting society determine what or who you should look like is OUT! Before or after any procedure, self-love and confidence will always be the most important as loving yourself as you naturally were created will always win in the end. Plastic surgery is obviously a great tool, for altering your appearance if there is something you desperately want to change, but you should not feel pressured to change your appearance based on trends or whatever celebrities are doing to their bodies. Pleasing yourself and loving what you see in the mirror will always be the most important <3.

enjoy <3.