It used to be said that you should never skip leg day, but if recent trends are anything to go by, perhaps the new manta is you should never skip glute day. From activation exercises to clamshells and everything in between, the glutes are becoming a major talking point, not just for women aspiring to a Kardashian-level posterior, but for guys, too. If you were sceptical of such a thing, consider the fact that butt-enhancing underwear for men exists. And not only that, it’s incredibly popular.
According to reports from Vice, the US patent office is littered with descriptions of male support garments, with one underwear brand even going so far as to say it can provide the ideal “cosmetic buttock profile,” while another claims it has a system for “easily venting the scrotum.”
It might all sound like a joke, but it turns out the butt-enhancing underwear industry is a surprisingly lucrative one, gaining popularity amongst men as they look for quick ways to boost their booty. Consider Rounderbum, the butt-enhancing underwear brand that won $150,000 on Shark Tank in 2018, the panel of experts no doubt sensing that this was a product that not only served a need, but also had considerably high demand. Since then, Rounderbum’s trunks have even held the title of fourth best-selling pair of briefs on Amazon.
But why the rising interest? As The Guardian reported in 2021, the Brazilian Butt Lift has become the fastest growing cosmetic surgery in the world amongst women, a procedure that involves removing fat from various parts of the body and then injecting them back into the buttocks. A survey by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery revealed that since 2015, the number of butt lifts performed globally has grown by 77.6 per cent. But while most have always assumed this kind of surgery is confined to women alone, it’s also becoming a growing trend amongst males, reflecting the societal pressures many men now face to conform to unrealistic body standards.
Increasingly, men are turning towards the “quarterback butt” surgery, which is a popular augmentation procedure of the glutes devised by New York plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas Steinbrech. As one man who underwent the surgery explained to Men’s Health, “I think that these kinds of cosmetic procedures are, sadly, pushed more on women and widely accepted. Women face a greater pressure to appear a certain way from a young age, whereas with men, our acceptance tends to be less at the forefront of how we develop and grow socially. And so I think there’s this idea because it is so popular with women, that it is not for men, because then plastic surgery becomes something that’s feminised. And I don’t think that’s the case at all.
He added, “I think social stigmas and social norms around plastic surgery can invoke a level of shame that really doesn’t belong in the conversation. Because at the end of the day, this is your body and you made this choice for a reason. And I think that’s a big part of the culture that we have to dispel, which is like, Hey, everybody deserves to look and feel great.”
But where there are those who can’t afford or are simply reluctant to undergo surgery to achieve the butt of their dreams, there’s always butt-enhancing underwear – even if the outcome is temporary.