The BBL has met its match — We are officially back in the boob job era

For years, the Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) has reigned. But now, we are waving goodbye to the uber-exaggerated hourglass figure, and signalling a whole new era of plastic surgery with the return of the boob job.

The BBL look, championed by the Kardashians, is finally out it seems. At the end of 2022, the social media platform TikTok was a major player in spreading the anti-BBL ideal, following off the back of Kim and Khloé Kardashian displaying a reduction to their posterior. This was dubbed the ‘reverse BBL’, and went against the procedure which took fat from the abdomen, thighs, and back and injected it into the bum. Now it would seem we have returned to the early 00s and late 90s, and the super-toned bod and boob job is back in full force. 

Recently, die-hard Beyoncé fans have been speculating as to whether the star has had a boob job, with self-professed BBL rapper Cardi B even weighing in on the subject. “Look at them,” she tweeted in admiration. Though Queen Bey hasn’t yet revealed whether she had any type of augmentation, there is a slew of influential female figures debuting a new type of body. The likes of Regency Core and the fashion that followed Bridgerton saw an increase in wearing corsets to push up the breasts. This sits alongside the return of 00s fashion with small camis and Malibu-style ‘it’ girl bodies (think Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan). Even influencers like Alix Earle (TikTok’s newest ‘it’ girl) are speaking about their experiences with their breast augmentation, and sporting the likes on their social media with confidence. The boob job is going hand in hand with the rise in the use of ozempic (the once-a-week injection that breaks down fats in the body). So are we just head over heels for that unrealistically perfect body again? And how are we meant to keep up with these rapidly shifting ideals? 

We aren’t, quite simply put. It’s not that the BBL is ‘out’ per se, but it’s that it was never really in. The dip in BBL requests is an illusion according to Mr. Reza Nassab, a Consultant Plastic Surgeon and founder of CLNQ, who tells us that “BBL has never been as popular as breast augmentation but it received a lot more media attention. This media attention has often been in a negative context due to complications in the procedure as outlined by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.” He continues to tell us that the boob job has always been the most preferred surgery, stating that: “Breast augmentation has always been the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery procedure in women in the UK and internationally. There have always been trends in terms of sizes but the demand has always been there.”

But the surgery isn’t all it used to be. We are observing less of a larger Pamela Anderson style of augmentation, but instead smaller breast enlargements, with those seeking out the surgery opting for a more natural-looking shape. Mr. Nassab tells HUNGER that “there was always a perception that breast augmentation meant huge breasts and people associated the procedure with certain celebrities in the media with very visible implants. Now there is the demand for more natural look breast augmentations and we have coined the term MiniAug which means a natural look breast augmentation taking into consideration the breast dimensions of the individual and their general frame and proportions.”

The MiniAug (mini augmentation) is rising in popularity thanks to a shift in body ideals currently circling the media. Slimmer bodies that retain an upper curve are everywhere, and we are seeing fewer big buttocks too. Mr. Nassab says patients are favouring the smaller look in his practice, and that “we are definitely seeing more patients requesting a more natural-look breast augmentation rather than bigger volumes.” But it seems like keeping up with these ‘fashionable’ surgeries is an impossible task, and the culture of treating these permanent surgeries like fleeting trends is rather toxic. This is why instead of focusing on the attention that each procedure is getting from the media, Mr. Nassab believes that full research and consideration should go into these decisions. “Anyone considering a surgical procedure should be fully informed,” he says. “There is a vast amount of information available on this procedure online and many patients have shared their experiences. I would always caution patients about this as some information may be misleading so always check facts with your surgeon.”

The spotlight will always be on different types of bodies, and it just so happens that now a plethora of slimmer body types with accentuated chests are taking the shine. Victoria’s Secret – a mainstay for this certain bodily ideal – is set to make its return this 2023. The ‘Victoria’s Secret World Tour’ will be reimagining the famous runway shows (which caused various scandals) to instead focus on its emerging trailblazers who will be showcasing custom designs. This could be signalling the return of the bombshell, with blonde icons like Marilyn Monroe and Pamela Anderson igniting a revival with their respective screen shows, Blonde and Pam & Tommy / Pamela, a Love Story. It’s a triumphant return if any, and fans have been lapping up the ‘bombshell’ looks by recreating the beauty routines at home, as well as the outfits. But one step further than this is achieving the body of these stars, and Lily James who played Anderson in the series, was begged for her workout routine so others could get the Pammy look. 

But as the idea of a boob job returns, framed by the trends that circle it, admirers must be aware of the commitment it takes. “You should meet with a surgeon that is on the GMC specialist register for plastic surgery as a minimum but ideally a surgeon that is a member of BAAPS,” advises specialist Mr. Nassab. As for the future of the boob job, things are only innovating. “I think there has been a trend to improve recovery following breast surgery,” HUNGER is told, with the risks involved in breast surgery also being spoken about more. 

“The future may hold further developments in technology for breast augmentation,” Mr. Nassab finalises. “Fat grafting has long been used in breasts but volume amounts can be unpredictable and often require multiple sessions. The other potential area is 3D printing or advances in biotechnology techniques.” So perhaps the boob job return isn’t all it seems, and this natural look will supersede its predecessors. And who knows, you could be 3D printing your new bombshell breast implants in no time at all.

WriterElla Chadwick
Banner Image CreditParamount Pictures