Ethnic and cultural variations of preferences regarding breast size and body shape play an important role in body contouring, body sculpting and breast shaping. The recent article by Gray et al. in Evolutionary Psychology adds some corroborating data to the existing body of knowledge.
Plastic surgeons with an active practice in body contouring have long known about the importance to vary surgical objectives depending on the ethnicity of the patient. This is particularly applicable to gluteal sculpting aka Brazilian butt lift in the Caribbean and breast augmentation. We have yet to find an ethnic group which prefers more rather than less fat on the belly. Breast reduction is performed to alleviate symptoms arising from large breasts, so here the desire of the patient is fairly uniform across ethnicities – the breasts should be rather smaller than larger. Now with respect to buttock reshaping with the Brazilian butt lift or buttock implants the differences are striking – in the Caribbean we find an almost uniform preference for wide, full and projecting buttocks very different to the often rounder and athletic ideal in a predominantly Caucasian population. With regards to volume alone, which is secondary to shape in terms of importance, according to clinical experience the difference is about twenty to forty percent.
Of particular interest is the conclusion in the article that men as well as women favor smaller breast sizes. This needs to be viewed in the light of clinical experience. Breast augmentation is sought by women with small breasts in the Caribbean at the same frequency as in a predominantly caucasian population similar to the control groups in the article. The most noticeable difference is the preference for smaller implants in the Caribbean. The vast majority of women request a breast size which would not give away the presence of implants to the curious but casual observer, e. g. a casual acquaintance they meet while in street or business clothes. Thus, while the desireable volume of buttocks achieved with the Brazilian butt lift or gluteal implants in the Caribbean is an average forty percent large, the volume of breast implants used is about thirty percent smaller.
So butt before breasts in the Caribbean ?