Given that the world pretty much shut down in 2020, it will come as no surprise that most cosmetic procedures were less popular than the year before. According to a new report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast augmentation dropped by a third, while Botox was down 13 per cent, and nose jobs were down three per cent.
If that decline doesn’t sound as steep as you’d expect, it’s worth noting that the Beverly Hills City Council controversially relaxed measures on cosmetic procedures during the pandemic, while UK surgeons reported a boom in appointments between lockdowns (maybe because we’ve spent so long staring at ourselves on Zoom).
The report even shows that a few procedures saw an increase over the course of 2020, such as breast implant removals (up eight per cent) and pectoral implants (which rose by five per cent). Most notable, though, is the spike in butt implants last year, with the procedure up 22 per cent.
Strangely, another form of bum enhancement, which involves fat grafting, decreased by 22 per cent in the same time frame, though it’s not clear if there is a correlation. The fat grafting procedure also remains the much more popular option, with 21,823 people undergoing that type of surgery in the US last year, compared with 1,179 people getting implants.
Asked whether there’s an explanation for the sharp rise in butt implants, dermatologist Ava Shamban tells Bloomberg News that it could be down to “modern-day ‘secretary spread’, or a general flattening of the buttocks”. Which makes sense, given that most of us were stuck in our homes all year — even commuting to and from work just meant switching tabs on your laptop.
There’s also, of course, the ongoing influence of social media and the body ideals it projects, plus the fact that people can probably get away with enlarging parts of their body unnoticed, since they weren’t going to see anyone for months anyway.
Read Dazed Beauty’s brief history of the Brazilian butt lift — and its disproportionate dangers — here.