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    A recent history of the American derriere

    “More butt, more money.” That’s how some of the butt augmentation patients at the Los Angeles clinic of plastic surgeon Dr. David Matlock describe their desire for a bigger derriere. 

    Dr. Matlock“Some in various professions state that they make more money with a lot of junk in the trunk, as the song goes,” says Dr. Matlock, M.D., MBA, FACOG. 

    Whatever happened to the days when slimmer female behinds were the ideal? Will they ever return? And what about implants, male patients and other butt augmentation statistics? 

    As cosmetic surgeons embrace the surging interest in the gluteus maximus, here’s a look at the past, present and future on the butt front.

    From the Pages of Playboy

    Millions of American men may have, um, "studied" the history of American ideals of feminine beauty by reviewing old issues of Playboy. But few have actually been paid for it like San Diego journalist and author Damon Brown.

    Mr. BrownBrown, who specializes in sexuality, is author of the 2012 book “Playboy's Greatest Covers.” He understands how Playboy always viewed the feminine form: With an emphasis on the front above the waist. “The focus has always been on the bust, not the behind,” he says. “Playboy’s emphasis has never been the behind.”

    Even so, the archives of Playboy offer insight into changing American ideals of the female rear end. Brown sees trends in the curves and a bit of a return to the past in the present.

    In the 1950s, the ideal was Marilyn Monroe. “Her body type isn’t much different than Kim Kardashian’s,” he says. “Kardashian is a bigger woman, but it’s the same kind of ideal.”

    But a decade later, tiny waists and exaggerated hips were in. Then the 1970s brought a revolution. “You get into heroin chic and women being more svelte, thinner and less curvy,” he says. “It’s connected to Studio 54, not eating and doing a lot of cocaine. All that is reflected in Playboy.”

    In the 1980s and 1990s, pornography and plastic surgery produced the “trifecta” of Jenny McCarthy, Anna Nicole Smith and Pamela Lee — augmented and proud of it. But these three women weren’t known for their well-equipped rears. What happened to move buttocks into our modern era of bigger-is-better?

    NEXT: From Fringe to Mainstream


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