Perfectly sculpted bodies are no longer exclusive to our Instagram feeds. Over the past few years, the Brazilian Butt Lift — more commonly known as a BBL — has skyrocketed in popularity.
With a BBL transferring fat from one part of the body and injecting it into the thighs, hips, and butt, this procedure has become the go-to for those wishing to accentuate their curves. Despite being one of the most deadly plastic surgeries, the BBL was ranked as the fastest-growing aesthetic procedure in 2019. And for many pop culture enthusiasts, the Kardashian-Jenner clan — specifically Kim Kardashian — popularised this “BBL Epidemic.”
The sisters have turned their exaggerated hourglass silhouettes (a figure that could only be achieved by going under the knife, according to plastic surgery experts) into billion-dollar brands. While Kim denies allegations that she has had a BBL, she has continues to benefit from promoting an unrealistic body standard and exploiting Black aesthetics of beauty.
But things seem to be changing…
Is this the end of the BBL era?
Over the past few months, Kim’s followers have taken to TikTok and Twitter to question whether she has reversed her alleged BBL. Many fans claim her body looks significantly less curvy in recent pictures on her Instagram.
As a BBL is a fat transfer procedure, some internet users maintain that Kim’s body looks different because of her weight loss for the 2022 Met Gala. However, other users, like @queenchestbone on TikTok, remain skeptical and claim that the change is too drastic.
Plastic surgery and beauty vlogger Lorry Hill even jumped in on the conversation, speculating what Kim might have done to reverse her BBL.
“You can get liposuction to the area and fat graft removal,” she explains. “So Kim may have had some liposuction, some fat graft removal, or even some filler to fill out the irregularities left when the fat grafts were removed.”
Whether or not Kim actually had her BBL reversed, this hasn’t stopped pop culture enthusiasts from theorising what made her move away from her iconic silhouette. While it may just come down to Kim’s personal preference, it could also be a symptom of the ever-evolving beauty standard.
TikTok user, @itsrobyn__, described Kim’s new body as a return to her “skinny BBL era” of the early 2000s.
Thinking back to this era’s ‘it girls,’ the ideal body was designed with thin, white women in mind (Paris Hilton, I am looking at you). With the revival of Y2K aesthetics in the fashion world, it was only a matter of time before the beauty standard of the early noughties made a comeback.
Given that these beauty standards thrive on exclusivity, body ideals tend to change when these trends become attainable. As we learn more about BBLs and it becomes accessible to the average person, the “curvy” body ideal is seemingly dropping off.
One TikTok user, @xtinawarri0rriorpryncezz, made a video explaining how social media has made BBLs more attainable than ever.
“[By] the late 2010s, there was more awareness on the BBL, people understood the surgery,” she explains. “At this point, the BBL is not a mystery, and it is achievable.”
With the Kardashian clan known for an exaggerated, almost superhuman look, Kim’s BBL reversal may just be another way to separate herself from the masses.
Though it’s too early to tell if the reign of the BBL is over for good, there is one thing to be sure of: in a world with ever-changing beauty and body standards, inclusivity should come always first.