I know an adult male with a potbelly and no butt. He normally wears suspenders, which I assumed were just a nod to his preppy upbringing, until one day I witnessed his pants fall down. For some reason, he'd forgone suspenders that morning, and the waistband of his khakis simply dropped to his knees. Without blinking an eye, he caught them and pulled them up with such alacrity that I realized this had happened before, perhaps often.
The plight of the flat-bottomed man has gotten worse as waistbands get lower. Men can't cinch their pants up around their midsections like they used to, and therefore must wear tighter pants and belts around their hips. (A co-worker's boyfriend employs this strategy, and reports that it is "effective but uncomfortable," adding that he must unbuckle when sitting for long periods of time.) Not only is this inconvenient, it can look ridiculous, and more men are seeking ways to fill out their pants with more dignity.
Enter male butt-enhancement surgery. According to a story in today's Times, a number of men have chosen to undergo a procedure that takes fat from their tummies and injects it into their bottoms. The piece quotes Jeff Vickers, a married father of four who owns a construction company in Virginia and got the surgery last year:
I’ve always had a nonexistent butt,” he said. “Zero ... When I went in to the doctor, I said, ‘I’m not a girl so I’m not worried about having a table back there you could sit a coffee cup on,' ... I just wanted to be able to put on a pair of pants and for them to stay up.
A guy named Michael — who suffered from pancake butt, despite years of squats and lunges, until his wife bought him the $8,500 surgery as a gift — says, “My jeans are more comfortable and look better ... I feel more confident and synergistic.” Synergistic! Worth every penny, then.
While this is certainly an entertaining surgical trend, it's not really a major one — butt-enhancement surgery doesn't even crack (sorry) the top-five list of popular male cosmetic procedures from 2011 or 2012. But maybe that's because there are plenty of non-surgical solutions, too, like padded briefs. I know a very slender man who frequently wears basketball shorts in addition to boxers under his pants, just for the added bulk. Either way, it's hard to argue against men plumping up their bottoms when women have felt the need to do so for centuries.