Beauty, Medical & Health Public Relations

Getting to the Bottom of the Big Butt Craze...10 Facts about America’s Fastest Growing Cosmetic Procedure


No ifs, ands, or butts about it! Augmentations of the derriere are the procedures everyone is buzzing about. In the late 90’s it was Jennifer Lopez’s perfect behind, in the 2000’s it was Beyoncé’s ‘Bootylicious.’ Today Kim Kardashian’s bottom has its own emoji. Nobody can deny all eyes are on the rear and booty obsession is only gaining momentum.

The facts are these: “butt-jobs”, like the Brazilian Butt Lift, are up 25% percent in the past year. As with any relatively new procedure the sensationalized stories abound and the misconceptions are many. North Carolina board certified plastic surgeon and best selling author Dr. John Zannis reports that The Brazilian Butt Lift procedure has become the fastest growing by popular demand. He answers our 10 most burning questions on achieving a bodacious bum and the different enhancement options available.

1. What are the most common procedures for butt augmentations?

“There’s fat grafting (the Brazilian Butt Lift), which uses the patient's own fat to transfer to the buttocks.  It is very natural and safe, but limited by the amount of fat available for grafting,” says Dr. Zannis “Then there are implants. Firm silicone prostheses are used to augment the buttocks.  With this process there is no need for fat harvesting.”

2. What are some common concerns or dangers, of either process?
“The main concern with the Brazilian Butt Lift is losing some of the fat. It is normal for about 85% of the fat grafted to survive.  The problem is, if it ends up a little asymmetric, a touch up would be needed. Implants are more complicated. There are risks like infection or extrusion- the implant coming out,” cautions Zannis. Ouch!

3. What is recovery like? How many weeks or months does a full recovery take? How much time should a patient take off work? What can the patient expect after the procedure? What is the level of pain and bruising?

“Full recovery takes about 8 - 12 weeks, for either process,” explains Dr. Zannis. “A week off from work is usually sufficient, though sitting should be limited the first 2 weeks. The Brazilian Butt Lift comes with significant bruising and swelling in the areas of fat harvest (liposuction). The bruising lasts a couple of weeks and the swelling goes away in 4-8 weeks.” He also recommends compression garments and donut pillows.

4. What is the "shelf" life of fat grafting vs. implants?

Great news on this one! “The fat that survives the initial recovery period should last forever. It will grow and shrink with weight changes like normal fat,” says Zannis. “The implants should also last the remainder of your life as they are made of semi solid material.”

5. Can you give us some realistic v. unrealistic expectations?

“We realistically can obtain a medium-large augmentation in one treatment. This means 500-1000 cc per buttock, of fat. It’s unrealistic to achieve a huge derriere in a single session,” explains Dr. Zannis.

6. Who is NOT a candidate for enhancement?

“A bad candidate for fat grafting would be a very thin patient. Patients with a low Body Mass Index (BMI) should go for implants,” says Zannis.

7. What are the most common misconceptions about each procedure?

“Many patients believe that a huge butt is achievable in one procedure. Even skinny patients think they can accomplish this, despite having little fat to transfer,” says Dr. Zannis.

8. Technically speaking what measurements do you find most flattering? Is there a formula for achieving the best look?

“It’s all about proportion of hips to waist and waist to breasts. Urban legend describes the best female proportions to be 36-24-36 but what both men and women find attractive is a relatively low BMI and curvaceous figure,” explains Dr. Zannis.

9. Do a lot of patients ask for their derrieres to resemble a celebrity’s? Which are the most common celebs mentioned?’

“Most people say ‘I want a Kim Kardashian or Nicki Minaj shape but I don’t want it to look THAT big’,” laughs Dr. Zannis. “Most people agree J.Lo is the ultimate goal.”

10.  And finally which would you consider safer or more desirable, Brazilian Butt Lift or implants?

“Fat grafting is much safer and more desirable because the risks are lower and the results more natural,” concludes Zannis. 

7 Not So Junky Junk Foods to Grab on the Go


Road trips, gas stops, no time for lunch; we’ve all found ourselves at the convenience store for a fast bite on the go. While a bag of chips or chocolate bar may be an option we later regret; there are fast bites that can actually offer some health benefits. Dr. Christopher Calapai a board certified expert in osteopathic medicine specializing in longevity offers some junk food options to consider the next time there’s no time for an actual meal.

1. Blue M&M’s and Blue Gatorade

Don’t get the blues about all food dyes. From candy to sports drinks, the unnatural colors of foods today can make you cringe at the thought of what’s making them colored. But, not all colored dyes are as bad as you may think. Research done by scientists at the University of Rochester found that Brilliant Blue G (BBG), found in blue M & M’s and blue Gatorade, could help reduce damage from spine injuries. When BBG was injected into lab rats with spinal cord injuries, it sped up their recovery time and ability to walk.

2. Cheeze Whiz?? No way!!

Fat isn’t always a bad word.  The FDA has stated that not only are all trans fats not bad, some are actually good for you. Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs), although high in calories can help fight cancer, weight gain, diabetes and arthritis. It’s hard to believe, but CLAs are found in Cheese Whiz.  

3. Pork Rinds

Just the words pork rinds sound like instant heart attack. However did you know they are a fantastic source of protein? A one-ounce serving of this fried snack has seventeen grams of protein, seven times the amount of found in a serving of potato chips. Plus, 43% of the fat found in pork rinds come from oleic acid, the same healthy fat found in olive oil. 

4. Beer

Some studies have found that beer can actually help increase bone mineral density because it contains silicon, making bones stronger and less likely to fracture. A Harvard University study found that beer could prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke. Italian researchers found that beer can raise HDL, the good cholesterol in your body. Opt for a light beer with fewer calories to avoid that full feeling.

5. Graham Crackers

They are the next best things to cookies if you’re trying to keep your health in mind. Graham crackers contain much less sugar than regular cookies and are still sweet enough to satisfy a craving. Plus, they are made with flour that undergoes a special milling process, preserving more of the whole wheat than in usual milling.

6. Popcorn

This is a snack that gets two thumbs up. Popcorn is packed with fiber and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help to protect us from heart disease and certain cancers. Surprisingly, popcorn has more iron than eggs and spinach! It is also gluten-free, which makes it an option for those with Celiac Disease and other gluten allergies. Lastly, popcorn is mostly air. This means it fills you up, helping to stave off hunger cravings.

7. Beef Jerky

Forget about the leather-tasting jerky of years past, today’s gourmet jerky is delicious and can be healthy. Beef Jerky, just like its non-dried version of meat, is high in protein, iron and zinc. It, also, contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Be sure to look for natural beef jerky as the newer gourmet styles that are packed with flavor and free of nitrates.  

Mind the Gap, The “Thigh-Gap Makeover”


Women’s body image trends are always shifting and evolving. From Angelina’s plump lips to the First Lady’s toned and sculpted arms to Kate Middleton’s defined tipped nose, pop culture and celebrities have a big influence on today’s standard of beauty and fitness. 

The newest craze to hit popularity seems to focus on the gap between your inner thighs.   Women are seeking everything from cosmetic procedures to exercises to diet so they can widen this space by shrinking their thighs and making this “thigh-gap” bigger. 

There are a few different ways to achieve a sought-after thigh gap, including surgical procedures and non-invasive body sculpting, specialized exercises that target the inner thigh, and a regulated, nutritional diet.

Dr. Michael Diaz, a board certified plastic surgeon in Melbourne, FL regularly performs procedures that lift and narrow the upper thigh, creating the longed-for thigh gap.  Dr. Diaz recommends a thigh lift with liposuction, which would slim down the fat and provide a longer lasting result. Worried about a telltale scar? No need- with Dr. Diaz’s procedure your scar can be hidden in your bikini line.


Going the surgical route to get the thigh gap of your dreams is the quickest way to achieve the look, but there are non-invasive options you can explore such as the VelaShape.  Using a combination of Bi-Polar radiofrequency, Infrared Light Energy, Vacuum and Mechanical Massage, VelaShape is the only FDA approved non-surgical procedure available that is proven to reduce the circumference of your thighs.


Burr Leonard, creator & founder of The Bar Method, recommends exercises that target this specific area of the body.  Two of Bar Method’s signature moves, the Diamond Shape and the High Heel Parallel, both target and sculpt the thighs creating a tighter and flatter appearance.  


·      The High Heel Parallel: Standing parallel to the bar (or anything steady like a chair) and holding on with the arm closest, keep your knees together and bent forward as if you are sitting. Rise up onto your toes as if you’re wearing high heels, while keeping the knees together. Hold.

·      The Diamond Shape: From the high heel parallel move, stay in position except push your hips up and out, leaning back and straightening your spine, all the while staying on your toes. Hold.


The Bar Method is based partly on the fundamentals of dance, so long and lean muscles are a definite part of the result. The longer and leaner your thighs are, the wider your thigh-gap!


An easy lifestyle change you can make to achieve the thigh-gap is to re-evaluate your diet. According to Franci Cohen, personal trainer, nutritionist and exercise physiologist, most women tend to store fat in the dreaded hip and thigh region of their bodies. But, this means that if you alter your diet to induce weight-loss, the first place you will lose will be your thighs!   “Generally when we gain or lose weight, the same specific areas in our bodies are affected,” says Franci.


·      Green Tea: Contains special compounds that slow fat absorption in the body, therefore promoting fat loss. The high antioxidant content is an added bonus that promotes healthy skin and an all-around healthier you! Although the effects of green tea are not rapid, if you consistently start swapping your afternoon coffee for a green tea you will definitely start to see the results.

·      Back to Nature: Fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grain carbohydrates are a boom to the body. Processed foods, fatty fried foods, and refined sugars are toxic to the body. Make the healthy choice and choose foods that are closest to the form in which they are found in nature. These foods will offer the most vitamins, fiber and energy- ultimately helping to trim those thighs!

·      Steer clear of the dairy downfall: Too much dairy can make those thighs looks extra puffy. Although dairy offers beneficial nutrients, most importantly calcium, it has been shown to promote a bloated and bulky appearance. In studies involving people on identical diets with dairy being the only differentiating factor, the non-dairy group appeared leaner and slimmer at the end of the trial period. That being said, do not cut dairy out entirely- that calcium is great for bone integrity- but do tread lightly for thin thighs.

·      Diet Division: A term coined by Franci to convey two key concepts while trying to promote fat loss in the thighs. First concept is the division of your plate at each meal. Your plate should be filled halfway with raw or lightly cooked veggies, a quarter with lean protein, and a quarter with whole grain carbohydrates. The second concept in the “diet division” is with regard to meal size and timing. Try to consume four to seven small meals throughout the day as opposed to a traditional day composed of three large meals.  Even without reducing your overall calorie intake, increasing the amount of meals you eat will promote your body to burn more calories overall. Your body ultimately burns more calories by initiating the digestion process more often. This balance between proper plate ratios and frequent meals will promote satiety consistently throughout the day, will prevent overeating, and will allow you to burn additional calories that would have otherwise stayed on your thighs in the form of fat.


Skin Care Buyers Guide


When shopping for skin care products, many beauty consumers can be confused about which products to try and which to toss. With so many choices, it’s easy to fall for clever packaging and marketing terminology. According to Houston, TX Dermatologist Dr. Paul Friedman, “the skin care market is full of products that can help improve challenged skin, but many of my patients experience frustration with an oversaturated beauty market.”

Below Dr. Friedman notes some of the most common “beauty blunders” when it comes to buying and using consumer skin care products:


·        If you have acne-prone skin, avoid buying lotions that come in a jar or pot, says Dr. Friedman. Dipping your fingers into lotions every day introduces bacteria to the entire jar, and that can translate onto your skin, causing breakouts or infections.


·       Ask for recommendations, but proceed with caution. The old adage went, if you see a woman with great hair; ask where she had it done. The same can be applied to skin care – ask a friend what kind of moisturizer she likes and you might find your new favorite product, but keep in mind skin care is a unique experience: what works for some does not work for all.


·       If you are buying environmentally friendly products, watch out for those that are “paraben free.” Parabens have been singled out as potentially dangerous chemicals, but what most consumers don’t know is they are included in skincare items for a reason – to help them last longer. Most paraben-free products will spoil after a certain timeframe, which is usually listed on the package. Pay attention to this date and treat it almost like a food item, says Dr. Friedman.


·        You don’t need an “arsenal” of products to look your best. Many skin care companies sell their products in a series or grouping. According to Dr. Friedman, most women only need a gentle cleanser, daily moisturizer with SPF of 15 or higher, and a moisture-rich night cream to maintain a healthy complexion.


·       Read the (back of the) labels. Many products contain irritants like added fragrances or alcohols that can dry the skin. No matter what a package promises on the front, read the back carefully to ensure you are getting what’s advertised. If you have skin sensitivities towards certain foods, it is also important to look for essential oils, which are often derived from foods that can cause allergies in some people.


·       Don’t be fooled by clever marketing terminology. Product packaging is usually designed to do one thing: sell the product. Dr. Friedman says the last thing you should look for in a product is an appealing design. Be wary of claims like “dermatologist tested” or “allergy tested.” These phrases often carry little meaning.


·       Watch where you store your skin care. Different types of products, such as gels, may have temperature requirements in order to stay effective, notes Dr. Friedman. Leaving products in direct sunlight, in extreme heat or cold could also affect their performance. If there are no directions, Dr. Friedman notes products should be kept in cool, dry areas. 



The current media ideal for women’s overall appearance is achievable by less than 2% of the female population. But we are bombarded with this unrealistic ideal. Young women today see more images of exceptionally beautiful women in one day than our mothers saw throughout their entire teenage years. It’s no wonder that 8 out of 10 women are dissatisfied with their appearance. The standards of female beauty have become progressively more unrealistic and unattainable. We need full-time hairdressers, make-up artists, physical trainers, and dietitians just to attempt to keep up. Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a New York neuropsychologist and mother of two who understands this plight and provides 8 ways for women to feel more beautiful.

Beauty Is No Panacea

On average, attractive people are not happier than their homelier peers.  “A sense of optimism and hope, gratifying relationships and meaning and purpose in your life have much more influence on your happiness than do your looks,” says Dr. Hafeez.  

Understand that the women we see in magazines, advertisements, and television shows do not actually exist. They are phantoms, created by tricks of makeup, lighting, and Photoshop, not real women! Yet we compare ourselves to them, and decide that we don’t measure up. You’ve probably heard Cindy Crawford’s famous line, “I wish I looked like Cindy Crawford.” Because the real Cindy Crawford (who is a beautiful woman) doesn’t look anything like the woman we see in magazines or on television. “So don’t compare yourself to women who don’t exist,” says Dr. Hafeez.

Don't Compare Yourself

Or, at least, don't compare yourself with people whose bodies are unrealistic goals for most of humanity. If your standard of attractiveness is too high, you'll always be discouraged. Dr. Hafeez points out that, “Most of us will compare ourselves whether we want to or not.  “Try to compare yourself to other normal people in your culture, and who are about your age. This will make you feel so much more attractive than when you compare yourself to unachievable ideals.”

Remember What Your Body Can Do

When you feel unattractive, it's easy to focus on all of the things that are wrong with your body. When you think about what your body can do, the gifts it gives you, you will feel more attractive simply because you will feel better about your body, and it's hard to think well of something and be down on it at the same time.

Say "Thank You"

When you give thanks, you focus on what is good about your life. If you're feeling unattractive, focus on things you're thankful for about your body. You may love the texture of your hair, or the way your calves fit so well in boots. Dr. Hafeez says that, “Even if most of the things you're thankful for are little, the act of giving thanks for them will help you feel more attractive.”

Do Something That Scares You

“It's easy to fall into routines that turn into ruts, but trying new things literally triggers a happiness response in the brain, says Dr. Hafeez. So do something you've always thought looked fun but never had the nerve to try. That spin class you've been talking about trying is a great place to start. Go skydiving. Travel. Learn a new language. Get your Scuba certificate. Endorphins are a powerful thing, and you can stimulate them right now for immediate gratification and long-term gain.


Don't issue good/bad/pretty/ugly judgments when you look in the mirror. "If you have a scar, you can decide to see it as a flaw or simply as a memory of an injury," says Dr. Hafeez.Try to take in your physical attributes the way you would those of a child or beloved friend—with appreciation and acceptance, not criticism.

Exude self-confidence.

Show the world that you know you are beautiful where it counts. “Your self-confidence rises in direct proportion to your self-acceptance, remarks Dr. Hafeez. Love the unique and beautiful person you are and share that with the world. This is basically a case of  “fake it till you make it,” and that’s not a bad thing.

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