The first time big booties hit the mainstream was in 1992, when Sir Mix-A-Lot released his now-infamous single, "Baby Got Back." By today's standards, the backsides on display in the accompanying video were positively teeny-tiny. But his vaguely comedic open declaration that big butts were beautiful was a refreshing concept at the time (even with all the rampant objectification involved) because beauty standards had been planted on the thinnest end of the scale for decades. To make matters worse, these body standards were in the midst of swinging firmly in the direction of the extreme: "heroin chic."
It's hard to even imagine why the single made such a splash now that rear-ends fall on a scale of standards where the ultimate goal seems to be "biggest is best." In a 2014 article, the International Business Times interviewed a Miami plastic surgeon named Dr. Constantino Mendieta, who posited that the beginning of the trend really took hold when Jennifer Lopez debuted her tropical green Grammy's dress in 2000. That, Dr. Mendieta says, is when he first saw an uptick in requests for surgical booty enhancements (rear-related operations had become 90 percent of his business by 2014).
Like Sir Mix-A-Lot's video ladies, the size of J-Lo's perfectly formed rear seems positively quaint by 2018 standards. Nicki Minaj may have been the first star with a truly supersized butt, but celebrities like Amber Rose, Blac Chyna, Sofía Vergara, Kylie Jenner, and Kim and Khloé Kardashian have taken things next level. There is a mountain of conjecture around whether these women's assets are actually real, but no one ever admits to having any work done.
But numbers don't lie. The number of butt lifts being performed in America has increased 213 percent since 2000 -- the increase between 2016 and 2017 alone was 18 percent. CNN reports that buttock implants "increased 98 percent, from 942 procedures in 2013 to 1,863 in 2014." That number went up even further to 2,540 in 2015. That same year, there were 14,705 butt-augmentations using fat grafting, a 28 percent increase from 2014. Needless to say, butt augmentation has become big business -- and fast. And the more people who indulge, the more other people want to join the club.