First it was breasts; then hips, lips and buttocks. Now Britain's seemingly insatiable appetite for cosmetic curves has seized upon yet another part of the body: the chin. Plastic surgeons are reporting a sharp increase in the number of patients signing up for the latest must-have procedure.
Disillusioned with weak jawlines or unbecoming jowls, and enamoured with the strong, confident profiles of celebrities such as Claudia Schiffer and Sarah Jessica Parker, or Brad Pitt and Daniel Craig, growing numbers of Britons are deciding to part with thousands of pounds in order to augment their chins.
Britain's leading surgeons are reporting an increase of up to a 35 per cent in the number of patients, both male and female, booking in for surgical chin enhancement. Across Europe, the rise is even higher, with Dr Javier de Benito, a leading Spanish surgeon and president elect of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (Isaps), estimating it to be nearer 50 per cent.
The procedure - unlike genioplasty, which entails the breaking and resetting of the jaw - involves the insertion of a permanent, usually silicon, implant through an incision made inside the mouth. The effect, although only pushing the chin forward by a few millimetres, is said to dramatically improve the balance and contours of the face. It typically costs about £3,500.
Simon Withey, a consultant surgeon at London Plastic Surgery Associates, said many of those now undergoing chin augmentation had initially been considering rhinoplasty. "A lot of people come in to have their noses operated on, but then realise the problem is a recessive chin which makes their nose look proportionately larger."
Emma Hunt, 29, had a chin implant before her wedding in 2005. Two years later and now happily married, she is overjoyed with the results. "I'm thrilled to bits with it and so is my husband; the results are very good," she said.Reuse content