Does my bum look big in this?

Extreme idealisation of the curvy body shape is booming. Stars like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj are bringing booty back in a big way and there’s no standing in the way of their rampant campaign. Forget the waify ideal of the early noughties, the rear is the next big thing. Kim K’s recent shoot for Paper magazine, featuring a champagne glass resting on her bottom, attests to the marketability of the voluptuous rear end.

The ‘all about that bass’ trend is quite obviously less obtainable than thigh-high boots or boyfriend jeans as it relies on the physique you were born with – even a million squats a day wouldn’t give you an arse like Nicki’s. With obsession comes extreme means of achievement. In October 2014, a 24-year-old British woman died whilst receiving buttock surgery in Thailand, where the operation is much cheaper. Her story is an unsettling emblem of the dangerous lengths that people will go to to conform to the dizzying standards society sets for female bodies.

Why resort to surgery when a quick, safe alternative exists on the market? ‘Butt pads.’ The golden ticket to channeling your inner Kim K. Cancel your flights to Southeast Asia immediately. ‘Butt pads’ are silicone pads that help to enhance the shape and size of your bum. They’re like chicken fillets used to maximise cleavage, only for your derriere. The idea may sound ridiculous, but it is certainly a better option than a life-threatening operation.

There is already a wide range of these products on the market, including knickers with built-in hip and butt pads to give an overall curvier silhouette, individual silicone butt pads, and even bikini bottoms with butt pads. The site feelfoxy.com, which launched almost a decade ago, offers a particu-larly wide range of styles. In 2014 it reported its best sales figures ever to the NY Post, with a 40% rise from the previous year. Prior to this, modern shapewear existed primarily as a theatrical aid. Michelle Williams allegedly wore padded pants in the 2012 film My Week With Marilyn, a necessary measure in order to accurately represent the hourglass figure that arguably made Marilyn more famous than her movies. Now, padded pants are becoming a part of everyday life for many women. Don’t worry if you can’t afford the £30 upwards price tag of the American retailers, as even Asda jumped on the bandwagon in 2013. They claim there is no thriftier option on high street than their £6 pair. If that’s still too much, there are even YouTube tutorials on how to make your own.

Enhancement underwear is obviously nothing new, with corsets dating back to the 1500s. Whatever look you’re trying to achieve, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. No look is worth your life. You could even try loving your booty just the way it is.