I had a butt once. For three years, to be exact. During that time, I lifted the weights in a competitive way (chopping a few hundred pounds was a normal Saturday morning activity). My butt was round, firm and, although I did not know then, perfect. In the decade plus I've lost it. It has returned to its genetically programmed state: under-dimensioned, a slight slope that apologetically occurs from my thighs. I know it's not hopeless, but I also know I can not find it between the couch couches (I've tried) at my Manhattan apartment. I can not imagine a better place to search than in Brazil – a country so legendary for its shot that the mating has become a brand in itself. There is Brazilian butt workout and Brazilian headlifts (more about later), Brazilian rock bikini and Brazilian waxes to carry with them.
And the Brazilian butt industrial complex continues to grow, as I learn soon on landing in Rio de Janeiro. "You've never heard of the chip," asks my friend Jacqueline * as we travel in a taxi through the foggy series of tunnels connecting Rio's Ipanema and Centro quarter. "The chip then beleza. "Jacqueline is a built-in Rio de Janeiro and a makeup artist. She begins drawing photos of female Brazilian stars on her phone." Here's what she saw before. Normal, right? "(They are all wonderful, long-lived and obsessed with lush hair, but I agree – their bodies are not anomalies.) Then she takes up more pictures." And this is after the chip. "Surely the same women tanned within a inch of their lives: tight abs, tight arms and yes, amazing dumbbells. "They get the chip inside," she says, pointing her upper arm. "And then the hormones make them want to work out and they feel so," explains she hugs her fingers.
This sounds exciting and disturbing. I make a note to investigate the mysterious little implant. But with just one week to try every butt-transforming activity during the Rio Sun, time is as tight as the celebrities' bottom.
A better ass through … Samba
We are at the Rio Scenarium, which I have learned from exactly three Brazilians, the most popular dance destination in the city. I expect to see Brazil's brightest young things step-by-step to perfect rears. Instead, I'm disappointed to find it swimming with tourists. Many of them are actually sambaing feberishly, but I've seen enough. What I'm looking for is really not behind this door.
A Better Butt Through … Beach Fitness
I do as the locals do: run along the water every morning and pm, try to practice jungle gymnastics centers doting the sand every half mile or so and head to the beach every day in the craziest bikinis and most revealing one-pieces I've ever had in my life. Every time I put it on, it takes me at least 20 minutes – standing in front of the mirror, changing and standing in front of the mirror a little more – before I can leave my hotel room. Nevertheless, I feel equal parts naked and determined not to let fear swallow my sense of adventure. The costumes I packed are from Adriana Degreas, a Brazilian designer whose New York City publicist handed them out with strict instructions to book a Brazilian bikini wax and "wear nothing – or just shorts" over them.
I quickly discover that her preparatory instructions were spot-on, and that in all my scattered, hairless Brazilian bears is one of the most conservatively dressed women on Ipanema's shore. My swelling of pride to reveal half a crescent of each stumble bone deflates. There are women of all sizes and ages playing, bathing and relaxing in bikinis that do not cover their derrieres as much as rams them. The main part of the fabric, if it is called it, is devoted to covering the area between the stupor and beauty heights. Everything else is negotiable. Some women do not wear bikinis at all: instead, they have a special type of black tape (yes, tape – and yes, ouch), applied in the form of a tongue and shrunk triangular bunny top on one of the sun after a while, patios that are located away from the beach that is stuffed with rows of chairs to lie in the sun (the Portuguese phrase translates roughly to "sun on the plate"). And somehow, dimpled, smooth or wrinkled, small, medium or large, they all look good.
A better ass through … A smaller bikini
Some swear that a teen bikini can get the right proportions, which makes the butt looks rounder. So my friend Carol, another Rio built-in, takes me bikini shopping. She meets me ViX, a popular Brazilian swimwear store. About half of their offerings are regular string bikini, and then there are pieces that are a little more than zipper chains, one and a half and a half ruffled material on either side of a wrinkled center. "This is called a Levanta bum bum, "explains Carol, pointing to the elastic that runs up the back of the bikini leg." It's going to lift the butt. "It does not seem like it would make a dang thing for my butt than create illusion of a monster wedgie. But I I'm tired of looking like a pilgrimage on the beach, so I try it. And I love it. Carol is a dressing room away, so I show her what I think is the bravest bikini babe I've ever improved. Completely 75 percent of my The back shows. "You have to pull it way up, she says. I do as I'm told, and bump it up in a V-shape over my hips. We are up to 80 percent.
Now that I (sort of) know what I'm doing, I've graduated to bikini shopping on my own. I visit EMI Beachwear, a small shop tucked away on the third floor of a building in Rio's Tony Leblon neighborhood. The owner, Anna Luiza, takes careful account of every cut – a few centimeters, she says, can be the difference between flattering a woman's curves and tightening them hard. I'm leaving with a lobster-printed bikini. The bottom shows a lot of cheek, but the sides are wide and generous. It's the first one I've ever tried, which does not hang loose on my barely there butt or hugs me so hard that my hips seem to spill over the top. "In Brazil, we design bathing suits you can wear all day, not just a few hours. You must be able to live in it," says Luiza.
A Better Butt Through … Trendy Workouts
A smart bikini helps, but I can not trust fabric alone. In addition to my daily boardwalk, I take surfing, I sign up for Samba lessons at Rio Samba Dancer (one of the few schools offering classes in English), and I try Brazilian Jiujitsu. All three recruit my gluteal muscles in ways that I never imagined. And I swear, five days in, my ass starts to look better. Still, I have planned a personal training with Chico Salgado, the man who sculpts Brazil's most beautiful and famous bodies (and some Stateside – he is educated Vin Diesel and his bodyguards). I'm in 30 minutes of boxing, jump rope, throw (fight) rope, leg lift, and yes, cheeky. But not too much stapling – Salgado's philosophy is to train the entire body, not just an asset. If I did it every day, I think my body would turn to steel.
But stiffness is not the goal; it is fluidity. I'm also taking a class with Justin Neto, a choreographer who is famous for his byte-shaking, body-rolling movements and his work with Brazilian stars, which super model Gisele Bündchen and the singer Anitta. I do not miss many kinds – an achievement, given that I'm learning a new dance routine in Portuguese. In the end, he shares the class in half, has us perform the routine, and invites comments to each student's achievement. Everyone else gets what is clearly compliments: "Wind! Bela! Maravilhoso!"When it's my turn, Neto calls someone who can speak English to my advantage." What did you think of her performance? "He asks." You need to know your body more, "she replies.
A better ass through … A doctor's visit
Celebrity training scene is not the only one responsible for the incredibly handsome bodies Brazil is famous for. Prior to holidays like Carnival, Ipanema office of Rio de Janeiro dermatologists Karla Assed attracts some women who are ready to get theirs butts lifted. "She has many celebrity clients," says her translator as a page. "Do you know the cheerleaders who get in front of the car to dance in just bikini and ultrathin thongs? They get the lines inside the butt and that [lifts], and it will not move. "The treatment is called Silhouette InstaLift, uses absorbent sutures ("lines") adorned with small cones of a polymer called PLGA (polyglycolide / L-lactide).
In the United States, it is FDA-approved for use, but only in the midface region, to lift the cheeks. Assed uses the treatment to tighten and lift her customers back. After inserting the sutures, she adjusts the butt to the desired height – the two-way cones on the sutures hold them in place. After about three months, the women begin to dissolve, stimulate collagen and give a lift effect for up to 18 months.
I say Assed I can be back at 10 or so years for a lift and then go to the office for plastic surgeon Alexandre Charao to learn about the hard stuff. "Brazil has the second highest number of plastic surgery treatments, following the United States," says Charao. "But there are about 300 million people in the United States and 200 million here." In terms of butts, Brazil is the top – especially, butt augmentation through implants and fat transfers (when fat from other parts of the body is injected into the buttocks). By 2016, the country had 8,360 butt implant procedures and 77,770 fat transfers in the butt – more than any other country for which the number is available. Charao estimates that up to 30 percent of his clients get into bone enlargement, either through implants or injected fat (the famous Brazilian butt lift). "Women in Brazil expose the body much more than in America – even men want shock enlargement," says Charao; 1 in 10 of his patients are male. "Sometimes they are actors; sometimes they are models. They just want better hammering."
But how did the Brazilian shuttle lift so bad rap? Since 2013, at least eight patients have however, from the elevator in South Florida. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) finds that mortality can be as high as a death for every 3000 procedures. Due to these worrying numbers, several organizations, including ASPS, formed a working group to develop specific security guidelines. I tell Charao I heard that overinjection contributed to Florida deaths. He finds that complications, some gloomy, can occur when fat is injected into muscles, not subcutaneous tissue. "Every plastic surgery is at risk – but if you do not make mistakes [with this procedure], the risk of complications goes down dramatically, says Charao. He asks me to convey something from our long-term discussion: Check the doctor's name ASPS or it American Board of Plastic Surgery website. It is easy for anyone with medical degree to be a special education.
And what about the high-tech chip Brazilians can not stop talking about? When I reach out to a doctor who had been rumored to implant it regularly, I get stonewalled by her publicist. "[The doctor] can not talk about "chips" then beleza"During the interview" writes the publicist. Someone else suggests that I talk to the endocrinologist Amelio Godoy-Matos. He gives me scoop: The chip then beleza has no official name It was originally developed with a focus on contraception, but apparently women began to see changes in their bodies as they liked, and some began to search the chip for purely aesthetic reasons. It has been available in Brazil for a few years. Physicians who give the chips get them tailored to the pharmacy before they implant them into the patient's upper arms. Each contains a combination of hormones, including testosterone. "Young women sometimes argue low libido to get it prescribed," says Godoy-Matos. "No scientific community acknowledges this chip – security is a matter and there is no approved dose for women." He says that although no high-quality long-term studies on the chip then beleza, the side effects of testosterone may include unwanted hair growth, acne, baldness and a deep voice. I hear this last from many people. It's a story of variety. You see so many models and hear how deep their voices are – it's shocking, a fashion publicist telling me.
A better ass through … Embracing Life
On one of my last nights in Brazil I sit down for several bottles of wine with a group of Jacqueline friends, who have kindly accepted me for the week. Tessa, leader, finally adds words that I have noticed all week. "In Rio, it's summer all year long – you have to feel your body. I moved here from São Paulo. I had to learn to love my breasts, my stomach, my butt, because I'm really indulgence it every day. "Her words echo in my head as I prepare my last day at the beach, in my most adventurous bikini, the ruffly thong from ViX. I apply a lot of sunscreen and Sol de Janeiro s New Coco Cabana Cream (which smells pipoca doce, the sweet popcorn sold on Rio beaches) and chase it with a gallon of the brand Copacabana Bronze Glow Oil. It conceals my lack of skin in a sparkling blur. Instead of worrying, or worse, replacing my bikini, I take a zillion selfies. Eighty percent of my butt shows, and it looks good. I want to remember this. Outside, I'm sitting on my beach towel, bathing, breaking up a coconut, walking along the beach and turning to balancing with friends on a slackline that stretches up close. And I do not think of my body once.
"The pictures in this story are inspired by my photo series Brazilian girls Originally shot in 2014. Brazilian girls is a response to how Brazil and its people, especially Brazilian women, are portrayed in the media during the 2014 World Cup. I returned to Rio with attract in an attempt to capture the confidence and grace of the Brazilian women. The pictures in this story are of Brazilian women relaxing on the Rio beaches, seen through the lens of a second Brazilian woman. "- June Canedo
A version of this article originally appeared in December 2018 / January 2019 issue of attract. To get your copy, go to the kiosk or subscribe now.
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