How One Of The World’s Most Dangerous Plastic Surgery Procedures Took Over TikTok

·4 min read

On today's episode of BuzzFeed Daily, we broke down the top pop culture headlines AND discussed Brazilian Butt Lifts. You can listen below or scroll down to read more about the interview!

So let's dive right into it! Recently we talked to Vox's Rebecca Jennings about the rise (and dangers) of Brazilian butt lifts. Here's some of what we learned:

BuzzFeed Daily: Let's talk about what the actual Brazilian butt lift surgery entails. Can you walk us through what actually happens under the knife and how much it generally costs?

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Rebecca Jennings: So the BBL is basically one part liposuction — which is taking fat from your abdomen or any other area of your body, or you might want it out and putting it back in your butt, basically, to make your butt look rounder and to make your middle look smaller. And so basically, it gives you this like hourglass, Jessica Rabbit type of figure. Doctors I've spoken to that are considered more legitimate say that the minimum you would want to spend on this would be like around $10,000, all like up it up. But there are clinics — especially in Miami and other places where plastic surgery is very prevalent — that advertise for as low as three or five thousand dollars, which [is] kind of a red flag when you see a surgery advertised for that low, because, again, it's a plastic surgery operation. Health insurance is not going to cover any of that.

BuzzFeed Daily: You mentioned sort of like the Jessica Rabbit look, but based on what we're seeing all over talking to Instagram, how would you describe the quintessential Brazilian butt lift aesthetic?

BuzzFeed Daily: Is it fair to say we have these social platforms like Instagram to sort of thank for the reason that BBL has penetrated the mainstream?

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RJ: Yeah, I definitely think so. Social media has made us all very, very focused on the way that we look and the way that other people look. Visual and aesthetic trends tend to spread super, super fast. And so I think once you have one sort of omnipresent look or body type in the media, then that becomes the thing that plastic surgeons are willing to sort of offer you more and more. So it's creating this cycle of like, "Well, this look is everywhere." We don't know if Kim Kardashian actually had a BBL or if she is just one of like the one in bajillion people who naturally have a tiny waist and a huge butt. But we know that plastic surgeons can give you that look, if you're willing to pay for it.

BuzzFeed Daily: Based on all the professionals you spoke to, do you think that the BBL boom will fade out?

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RJ: I think it's funny because the doctors I spoke to are just like, "This is pretty much how it works: One thing [is] really big for a while and then when that thing becomes really prevalent, people start walking it back a little bit." So the doctors I talked to said that the clients they get in now don't want that super-cartoonish, huge butt/tiny, tiny waist look as much anymore. They want it to look more natural, like they just happen to have really good genes or whatever.

Sometimes the opposite happens where — I think with with breast enhancement, which became big in the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, you started to have really bad breast implants in the first wave, and I think we saw that with BBLs, like just really shoddily done BBLs, where you can very much tell this is surgically enhanced. And then when enough people had the bad ones, people started coming in wanting the bad ones; like they would want it to look extreme. And what we're seeing now is less — like a pulling back of that.

I talked to one doctor who has always refused to perform these. He's like, "My job is to make people look normal." (His words.) "And so I don't do the surgery because that's not the way the human body is built for most people." And patients want to come in with these pictures that are facetuned or photoshopped. That just isn't really real.

We also talked about the new Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer (which finally dropped shortly after being leaked).

Plus, Jonah Hill recently shared an interesting theory about Instagram.

As always, thanks for listening! And if you ever want to suggest stories or just want to say hi, you can reach us at or on Twitter @BuzzFeedDaily.