Does my bum look bigger in these? M&S hopes to cash in on ‘Kim Kardashian effect’ | Fashion

“Does my bum look big in this?” When it comes to M&S’s bottom-shaping shorts, the desired answer is a definite yes.

At a preview of its summer collection on Thursday, the high street retailer unveiled a pair of £15 shorts featuring padding designed to enhance the wearer’s buttocks.

A spokesperson for M&S said the company was inspired to create the shorts after demand from customers looking for a more sculpted silhouette. “It’s designed to give the wearer a curvy, contoured look,” they said.

The shorts tap into a growing trend for items and procedures that amplify the shape of the bottom, fuelled by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian who champions a larger and defined silhouette.

Kim Kardashian at the Vanity Fair 2024 Oscars party. Photograph: Matt Baron/BEI/Rex/Shutterstock

Ten years ago, Kardashian appeared in an issue of Paper magazine with a champagne flute balanced on her exaggerated derriere alongside the hashtag #BreakTheInternet. The image did just that, spawning countless memes and a lot of television and newspaper coverage. Paper magazine’s website received 1% of all internet traffic that day in the US.

A decade later, the “Kim effect” is still in full swing.

Brazilian butt lifts (BBL), a surgical procedure in which fat is removed from various parts of the body and injected back into the buttocks, are one of the fastest growing procedures in the world. In 2023, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons said the popularity of the BBL had increased 20% year on year. This is despite it being the world’s most dangerous cosmetic procedure. One in 3,000 BBLs result in death.

Undeterred, reality TV show contestants, including those from ITV’s Love Island, regularly undergo the procedure. Last month, two former contestants, Arabella Chi and Hannah Elizabeth, talked about having the enhancement as part of their preparation for the show.

However, another contestant, Anna Vakili, has highlighted the dangers of the procedure, describing in a post on Instagram how she thought she was “going to die”. The rapper Cardi B has also warned fans about the risks. Last year, she confirmed she had had her BBL removed.

For those who still want to boost their behinds, a wearable butt lift is seen as a safer and temporary alternative. Bestsellers at Spanx include shorts and briefs which are described as a “built-in booty lift for a perky rear view”.

Kardashian’s own shapewear line, Skims, features a pair of “butt-enhancing shorts” that are “specifically constructed to lift and accentuate your butt”.

“My cheeks are lifted and look shapely, I catch myself taking a sneak peak at my own butt anytime I pass a reflective surface,” reads one review.

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