More and More Woman Get Butt JobsJuly 2015
More and More British Women...
"Amy Martin", a recent recipient of butt enlargement surgery (Photo by Jake Lewis)
I'm at the Queen Anne Street Medical Centre near Harley Street, talking to Dr Foued Hamza. He's a charming Parisian plastic surgeon with the voice of Zinedine Zidane and the remarkably taut face of the Baby Eric-era Simon Cowell.
"I was one of the first surgeons in France to do the Brazilian butt lift," he tells me, excitedly. "Now I do 150 of them each year, mostly here in the UK."
One butt every two-and-a-half days: it's a lot of cheek for one man to handle. That said, as there aren't enough clinics in the UK to meet the rapidly increasing demand for butt-lift surgery, you can't really blame Foued for cramming in as many as he can before the rest of his peers catch up.
It's hard to put an accurate figure on exactly how many butt jobs are performed in the UK each year, as there are clinics that don't belong to (and so don't report their procedures to) the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). However, this summer there was a reported 13 percent rise in fat transfer operations – where fat is taken from the stomach or thigh area and squeezed back into the buttocks – among clinics that fall under the BAAPS banner.
"I do a lot of liposuction – I've done it for years," says Dr Hamza, flicking through his photo scrapbook of past patients. "Three years ago I began doing butt lifts, and I can tell you that, since then, I've never done liposuction alone without doing the butt fat injection afterwards. It's completely amazing."
He's showing me dozens of butts he's re-sculpted. I nod and say, "Wow." Occasionally he points to a particularly successful case and I say, "Yeah, I like that one," like a judge at a competitive bake sale. "It's like an art form, really," says Hamza, as if reading my mind. "I'm an artist."
(Photo by Jake Lewis)
I look up at a Matisse print hanging on the clinic wall, then at a photo of a Filipino woman's re- upholstered butt, and I say, "Yes, I suppose you are."
Hamza is a skilled surgeon. For the Brazilian butt lift he sucks out fat from the stomach, back, arms and thighs in volumes of between 600ml (a small bottle of Coke) and 1.2 litres (a twopinter of milk) using a cannula (a long-handled needle attached to a length of suction tubing). Then he cleans the fat and re-injects it into your arse cheeks, like sausage meat. He's a good salesman, too; the surgery isn't cheap (£5,000 to £8,000, depending on your desired volume), and although some patients come in well aware of how much cash they're going to be parting with, he also manages to sway all sorts of women who may still be deliberating whether they want the procedure or not.
I'm interested in what kind of women make up the client base of Foued and other butt technicians working in the UK. Earlier in the week, his secretary and nurse, Lamia Chouedli, told me, "Black girls like to go really, really big, whereas white girls just want a bit of help down there." Which might be anthropological gold, but doesn't really tell me all that much about their motivations.
On Foued's desk are the files of three patients who've had pre-surgery consultations today. He reads their dates of birth: one is just 19, the other two are 30. One of the names looks Eastern European, the other two are very much Anglo-Saxon.
Will they actually go ahead with it?
"Oh yes, absolutely," says Hamza. "Two of them already looked a date, and the other is waiting for her bank loan to come through."
And who would be his average client? What kind of age, or background, or profession?
"All kinds of women are doing it: waitresses, nurses, fashion professionals," he says. "They want to feel good and dress well, without a masculine shape. Maybe for their weddings – things like that."