How would you answer this question? Or more appropriately, how would you like this question TO BE answered? I write on this much asked personal and often silent in-front-of-the-mirror question as I look out the window of a hotel bar, following the stream of after-work pedestrians passing by… somewhere, in South America. You see, in this part of the world, an abundant backside is revered upon as an attractive one. This region is where more Miss Universes have originated from, where the body beautiful is glorified, and where plastic surgery has established itself as important persona of society. In South America, buttock (or gluteal) implants are second only to breast implants when it comes to “bigger is better”. It has to fill where it counts, and if you have it, you flaunt it!

The trend of an abundant buttock in Latin America is perhaps most pronounced in Brazil, the home of the Carnival. Funnily, and not surprisingly, it makes perfect sense to me now, at least visually, how this annual Samba-styled festival would simply not possess its renown vibrancy and intensity if most of the participants and dancers were thin and lacked sufficient “substance” to fill their barely-there costumes! In Latin America, there’s an entire smorgasboard of gluteal enhancement surgery options been performed and refined by plastic surgeons, including silicone implants, fat injections, liposculpture, and lifts.

Why?

Is it because a bodacious buttock has evolved to portray feminine sensuality and a heightened level of fertility? Or perhaps one just needs to balance a heavy front end with an equal amount from behind?? Who knows. Whatever the reason, big buttocks as an attractive and desirable female trend is here to stay in Latin America. As we’ve observed in the past with the incremental rise in size of what’s considered to be beautiful breasts, it will be interesting to follow the trend on rising butt sizes, and to see if this will ever eventuate in buttocks that currently may be considered too big to be socially acceptable.

I contrast the desired body habitus and what’s beautiful in Latin America to my observation and plastic surgery experience in other parts of the world. No longer can concepts of beauty be categorised into East versus West. It is now more appropriate to define societal ideals on what’s attractive by regions of the world, and occasionally, by country. So much is influenced by what goes on in a particular part of the world, what’s portrayed in the local media, what the local celebrities look like, and what the local culture exemplifies. In the rest of the western world, and most certainly in Asia, a full and abundant buttock has yet to take off in popularity, and I doubt it ever will.

So, next time you turn around and look at the mirror, don’t ask “does my bum look big in this?”. It may, or it may not. It all depends on where in the world that mirror is.