Style & Beauty
Big Backsides and Tiny Noses
5/7/2015 12:24:15 PM

Big Backsides

As cosmetic surgeries become less stigmatized and more readily available, looking younger, more symmetrical, or just plain prettier has never been easier. In fact, last year saw more Americans flocking to plastic surgeons to have their derrieres plumped and wrinkles filled than ever before.

One reason more and more Americans seem to be shelling out the big bucks for quick body fixes could be our obsession with celebrities, according to New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Miller, who frequently has patients show up for appointments clutching photos from gossip magazines requesting that he make them look more like their favorite singers and starlets. According to Dr. Miller, constant pressure to look perfect drives many of his patients to seek out cosmetic procedures that will make them look camera-ready.

"The latest trend for this year is to portray the best image of yourself possible because of the large volume of pictures and videos that are taken Facebook, Youtube and Instagram,” Dr. Miller says. "In order to create this ideal image, people often draw from certain celebrity features when going for a consultation.”

One of Dr. Miller’s top requests is for a larger backside. A new crop of musicians and models have made round, voluptuous derrières a point of pride, leaving many, less well-endowed women feeling insecure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, buttock augmentation was up 15 percent in 2014, while buttock implants saw a 98 percent rise.

To give patients the backsides they covet, Dr. Miller usually employs a procedure known as the "Brazilian Butt Lift.” According to Dr. Miller, "The three names we hear in the office most commonly are Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Nicki Minaj. Their behinds have been a big part of their fame, and while a small butt may have been ideal in the past, that is no longer the case. With a Brazilian butt lift, fat is liposuctioned from the stomach and waist, processed, and reinjected into the buttocks. This turns a rectangular midsection into more of an hourglass shape.”

However, a celebrity behind certainly doesn’t come cheap. It also doesn’t ensure a tight, firm backside forever. Fluctuations in weight can cause the area to get larger or smaller, and some of the fat transferred to the buttocks during surgery will most likely be reabsorbed into other parts of the body afterwards.

Dr. Miller also says that noses are a major concern for many of his patients. While bigger may be better for backsides, many American women want to keep their noses small. In fact, in one famous study concerning the science of beauty, psychologist Dr. Michael Cunningham conducted a series of experiments to determine the exact dimensions of the "perfect” female face according to a sample of 150 American men and found that to be considered "beautiful,” a woman’s nose could not take up more than 5 percent of the total area of her face.

With such a tiny window for variation, it’s no wonder so many women come to Dr. Miller with photographs of tiny button noses, hoping to look like tiny-schnozzed screen stars. In 2014 alone, 217,124 Americans had some form of nose reshaping procedure, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Dr. Miller says that when a patient comes in looking to alter the shape of her nose, celebrity photographs can actually help a plastic surgeon to design an appropriate procedure. "The celebrity noses I see mentioned most often are Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Middleton, and Jennifer Aniston,” Dr. Miller says. "Asking for a celebrity nose is a good starting point for a consultation. Each one of these celebrity noses has different characteristics, and it is advisable to have goals you would like to reach. It is the surgeon’s job to determine if those goals are realistic.”

But Dr. Miller warns that plastic surgery can’t work miracles. Occasionally, genetic makeup just doesn’t allow for a tiny, ski slope nose. "Sometimes, the nasal anatomy will not allow you to have Jennifer Lawrence’s thin, sculpted nose,” Dr. Miller says. "If this occurs, it is wise to accept the best possible outcome your surgeon can give. If surgery is taken too far, unnatural consequences can occur.”

Jennifer Lawrence’s nose also doesn’t come cheap (unless, of course, you happen to be Jennifer Lawrence). On average, a traditional rhinoplasty will set patients back several thousand dollars. It can also take awhile to see results. After initial swelling goes down, it usually takes around a year for the nose to fully refine, meaning patients may have to wait an awfully long time to know for sure if they got the results they were after.

So can plastic surgery turn us all into red carpet ready screen sirens? According to Dr. Miller, the answer is complicated. Going into the doctor’s office demanding to look exactly like a celebrity role model could end in heartbreak. "Most of the individuals who undergo surgery to look like their idol end up looking strange, and not much like the celebrity they are trying to imitate,” Dr. Miller says. However, people who have more realistic expectations and follow the advice of an expert usually walk away with positive results.

"A well qualified plastic surgeon will advise you if a celebrity goal is realistic,” says Dr. Miller. "But even if it’s not, you can still have a great, natural result that will definitely leave you feeling more confident at work, social situations, and in today’s endless stream of social media pictures.”

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