Curves to die for? How a dangerous trend began

Under the skin of a fatal attraction to buttock enhancement surgery

British women were always more interested in their bust than their bottom until Latino curves, as seen on Jennifer Lopez and the supermodel Gisele Bundchen, burst on to the scene in the 1990s.

The US singer of Puerto Rican descent and the Brazilian model were the trigger that led American and European women to shift their attention from their front to their behind, following the example of the Latin countries, according to Luiz Toledo, a plastic surgeon. "Women started turning up in clinics with pictures of Gisele Bundchen saying they wanted to look like her. She started the trend," he said.

Beyoncé Knowles cemented the image of generous buttocks in the public mind, with ever curvier bottoms gracing the covers of magazines.

This week the trend claimed its first British victim when Claudia Aderotimi, a 20-year-old Londoner, flew to Philadelphia for a cut-rate bottom enhancement in a hotel near the airport.

On Sunday she had a silicone injection into her buttocks as a top-up to a procedure carried out last November. The treatment was arranged over the internet and carried out by a practitioner believed to be unqualified. Ms Aderotimi paid a reported $2,000 (£1,200).

On Monday she developed chest pains and was taken to hospital where she died on Tuesday from a suspected pulmonary embolism – a blood clot in the lung possibly caused by the silicone entering her bloodstream.

Dr Toledo, a Brazilian who runs a clinic in Dubai specialising in facial and body contouring, said demand for buttock enhancement was growing. British women are his second biggest patient group after those from the Emirates. His favoured method – the "Brazilian buttock technique" – involved "lipotransfer", in which fat is removed from the stomach and hips by liposuction and pumped back into the buttocks. A member of the International Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, he has lectured on the technique in Britain. "Everyone who comes for liposuction says 'oh maybe you can use the fat to put a little on my buttocks.' They have read about it in magazines. We use this method except when the woman is too lean and we don't have the fat to aspirate.

"In that case there are two options: insert a silicone implant into the muscle of the buttock or inject an absorbable filler such as macrolane. But there are problems with both of these because the macrolane injections are too expensive and as it is reabsorbable it disappears and has to be redone after a couple of years. With the silicone implants you cannot have injections in the buttocks because they will puncture the implants."

Injections of liquid silicone, as reportedly performed on Ms Aderotimi, were widely used in the 1970s, initially without problems. But as larger amounts were injected and the procedure was taken up by non-medically qualified practitioners problems, including deaths, grew. The injections were banned in Brazil, where they had been most widely used in 1982 and later in the US and Europe.

Dr Toledo said the Brazilian fascination with the female behind dated from colonial times. "In the days of slavery, the Africans brought to Brazil came from a region where they had very small waists and big bottoms. The Portuguese colonisers were completely crazy about them and many had children with them – 30 per cent of Brazilians are mixed race."

Cut-rate procedures of the kind offered to Ms Aderotimi were offered in hotel rooms in Dubai, too, carried out by unqualified practitioners, he said.

"I have patients who have come to me to patch up their problems. I ask them 'why would you go to a hotel room?' They say: 'My friend had it and she was all right.'"

David Sharpe, professor of plastic surgery at Bradford University, said: "I had a few women approach me five or six years ago but I wouldn't do it. Dissecting out a pocket in the muscle of the buttocks near the sciatic nerve to take a silicone implant didn't seem like a good idea to me.

"Putting in an implant that you are going to sit on was also going to put it under some stress so it would be likely to wear out quicker. Lipotransfer is becoming more popular – it featured quite heavily at our last scientific meeting."

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

    £16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

    £9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

    Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

    £15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn