Dr. Mendieta didn't augment this butt. But damn, isn't it nice?
When the news came out late last year that some retardedely desperate girls in Miami allowed a transsexual Frankenstein man with grotesquely gargantuan ass and titties to inject their butts with cement and Fix-A-Flat tire sealant in hopes of ballooning their asses to J. Lo proportions, we knew this whole bootylicious thing was starting to get out of control. Surprisingly, that case is just one of many instances last year where people hired quacks to augment their asses—a 20-year-old student in Philly even died from underground silicone butt injections last February.
This seedy scene of backyard assplasty belies a broader trend of women going to extreme measures to improve the shape and girth of their behinds. The sane way to do this, beyond squats and eating lots of bonbons, is to go to a plastic surgeon. There are two general methods that real doctors use to augment your bum—implants and fat transfers. Implants in the butt generally follow the same concept as implants in the breast, and have been slowly rising in popularity in the US over the last few years. However, fat transfers, also known as the Brazilian Butt Lift, are where all the action is. This procedure involves liposuctioning fat from unwanted places, prepping it, and pumping it back into select areas of the butt to create a delicious flesh-apple. It's hard to get specific statistics on fat grafting, however, because most surgery societies tally fat transfers under liposuction.
Dr. Constantino Mendieta is the biggest advocate for butt augmentation in the world. Unsurprisingly, his practice is in Miami and overrun with sexy nurses with surgically sculpted asses. Butt-hungry patients fly in from all over the globe to have his steady hand in their behind, and with good reason—he literally wrote the book on butts. It's called The Art of Gluteal Sculpting. The original idea was to interview another talented surgeon, but when Constantino heard through the grapevine that VICE was writing about butt augmentation he called us up to set the record straight.
Dr. Constatino Mendieta
VICE: So you consider yourself to be an artist?
Dr. Constantino Mendieta: There is no question. What I do is three-dimensional sculpting. It's not just moving around fat—anyone can do that. My prices start at around $14,000, but you may find some plastic surgeons who will charge $4,000 for butt augmentation. The price tag is the difference between going to a hack or getting a real Picasso.
What do you think about the broke people who want the Picasso but settle for the more affordable maniac wielding a syringe filled with Fix-A-Flat?
The problem is that these victims see the butts of other people who've already had an underground procedure. Initially underground butt injections with stuff like silicone can look fantastic—the problem often occurs several years later. The silicone can, for example, eat away at the flesh. It's mind boggling to me with the advent of the internet how many people think it is safe to undergo those shady procedures.
Tell me about your ass evaluation system?
The bottom line is that there are four different butt shapes that exist, no matter what part of the world or the country you are in. It has to do with measuring two points—the upper-outer part of the upper butt and the lower-outer part of the lower butt. When you measure those points you start to get the A, the V, the Square, and the round shapes.
What are the differences between these butt shapes?
The prettiest shape is the A. The most complained about shape is the square. The least attractive is the V, followed by the round—but it is a far second. The A shape is what we are always trying to get.
What makes the A shape so special?
The A shape is basically where a woman's waist is smaller than her hips at a ratio of 0.7. Psychologist Devendra Singh did a study where she found that men—young, old, American, Afghan, whatever—desire women who posses that magic ratio. It's probably an instinctive thing because A-shaped women tend to be more fertile and have a healthier lifestyle.
OK, then why does it seem like black guys and white guys like different kinds of butts? Where does the cultural influence come in?
How wide those hips are is the cultural factor. Latinos tend to like the "Jennifer Lopez," which is a little bit fuller on the bottom with wider hips. Asians tend to like a little bit narrower hip area because they want to look taller and more slender. African Americans want a huge caboose that is big, full, and round everywhere. Caucasians run the gamut—some like a wider hip and some like a narrower hip.
A male patient of Dr. Mendieta who recieved butt augmentation via fat transfer
Are gay men big butt augmentation customers? What kinds of butts are they looking for?
In terms of my total number of customers, about ten percent are men. Not all of these guys are gay—many are straight men concerned because their pants keep falling off, so they get a buttocks augmentation. The number one thing men lose as they age is the fat in their butts. So men are becoming much more interested in getting the procedure done.
How big can you make a butt?
There is only so much you can put into a drawer before it is full and won't allow you to close it. Similarly, there is only so much you can put into a buttocks, because the skin in the butt will limit how much fat and how much stretch is possible. It totally depends on your anatomy. If you want it bigger than your anatomy will allow, you have to do it in two procedures. The skin will stretch a certain amount after the first procedure, and then you can put more fat in during the second.
Can an augmented butt deflate?
On average I get about 80 percent of the fat I put in a butt to stay. About 20 percent disappears, but it will disappear equally from each cheek, and that's why it takes three to six months to see the final results. Complications with fat graphing are very rare. Implants have a much higher risk because the wounds can open up or the implants can get hard.
One of Dr. Mendieta's "featured" booties
What famous butts do most women want to emulate?
There are four different women. Number one would be J. Lo or Kim Kardashian, they are running head to head. And then Serena Williams and Beyoncé. Also, ever since the royal wedding we've been hearing a lot about Kate Middleton's sister, Pippa—she's got the smaller cute butt.
Serena Williams has a pretty massive ass. I would think not many people could achieve that level of butt, even with plastic surgery.
Mainly the African Americans ask for that one. A lot of the time the women who seek a Serena butt are already full-figured. So it is in line with their body type. Occasionally, however, I can't deliver it because of their anatomy, so they have to come back for a second procedure.
An example of Dr. Mendieta's work on a woman with a "smaller build"
Do you ever turn women away? Like girls who already have a nice butt?
I have never met a butt that I can't make better. I only turn them down because they're not good candidates for medical or psychological reasons, or they don't have enough body fat—that's when I send them to booty camp.
Wait, what's booty camp? It sounds like heaven.
People who don't have any body fat limit what I can do. To build more fat on their body that I can then move into the buttocks, I send them to booty camp. I tell them they can eat whatever they want—McDonald's, Burger King… Once they've puffed up I can grab that new fat and put it in their butt. Booty camp is the best prescription they are ever going to get.
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