By now, you've surely seen the photos of Kim Kardashian in the Winter 2014 issue of Paper magazine—for which the goal was to "break the Internet." The mission was most definitely accomplished, with this (very NSFW!) link bringing an estimated 5 million unique visitors in the first 30 hours, before Google Analytics broke down.
In the editorial, Kim appears in various stages of undress: in a black sequined gown with a glass of champagne balanced on her butt; taking off the dress to reveal a bare, baby-oiled posterior; and finally, full-frontal nudity.
Killer body? Sure. (Though I think that greasy texture is tacky as hell.) What I REALLY want to know is how it's even possible to have this butt-to-waist ratio:
Answer: It's not. Not without the help of Photoshop or a syringe—or in this case, both. Even Barbie doesn't look like this!
Of course, Paper’s creative director, Mickey Boardman, maintains that Kim's curves are real. He told Us Weekly: "Every cover of every magazine is airbrushed on some level. But what I will say, is that is her butt. It is not padded. It is not augmented. That is all really her. But, yes, there was retouching to clean things up and make things look amazing. That’s what retouching is. It’s not building an ass that isn’t there or taking 50 pounds off the waist."
Really, Mickey? Because Photoshop experts would disagree with you. Jym Wilson, a photo editor at USA Today, thinks it was a basic cut and paste job: "They've cut away a bunch of her real back (on the right side of her waist) and cloned in some of this backdrop. Then they took a picture of her butt up close and bigger. Then they put the two together."
Plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman agrees:
“The images do not look real,” adds plastic surgeon Dr. Victoria Karlinsky. “She looks incredibly thin in the waist and has absolutely no body fat. I can’t imagine anyone having enough body fat to create something like that.”
Then there's the matter of this little quote from French photographer Jean-Paul Goude, who shot the editorial and is known for his visual manipulation. He told The Herald in 2010: “I don’t want to sound immodest, but I was Photoshopping images long before digital cameras and computers had even been invented."
Clearly, SOME kind of visual trickery was involved. This is his thing.
But doctors say that's not all. Multiple MDs have gone on record stating that Kim has also surgically enhanced her behind. Not with silicone implants (which she famously denied via X-ray in 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'), but with at least one Brazilian butt lift procedure, which involves fat transfer through liposuction.
"I still think the photo has been Photoshopped; people aren't born like that," plastic surgeon Dr. Ramtin Kassir told USA Today. "[But] she has probably had at least one or two procedures. You can see it in pictures of Kim over the years. She had kind of a curvy full-butt figure, but it has definitely been enhanced."
"Without a doubt she had something done, probably two Brazilian butt lifts," says plastic surgeon Dr. John Zannis, who specializes in the procedure.
According to plastic surgeon Dr. Basil Pakeman, the telltale sign is a "little dot" near the top of her butt, which is "one of the incision points we use to inject fat during procedures. Kim has had enhancement for sure."
And they would know, right?
The, Er, Bottom Line
It's pretty clear that Kim's rear end was artificially enhanced—somehow. And fine, whether she did or didn't have surgery, it's her body and her right to do whatever she wants with it.
The bigger question is what happens now. Will women and teens who struggle with body image issues be inspired to copy this look through plastic surgery?
Dr. Kassir definitely thinks so. "People are going to want this butt now," he says. Just add it to the long list of desirable female attributes we're all expected to have.
Tina Fey said it best in 'Bossypants':
“Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”
Yep, that about sums it up.
Have Your Say
How do you feel about Kim K.'s Paper shoot? Do you think the the photos were 'shopped or did she have surgery—or both? What impact will this have on female body image?