Contour Overload: Why Are We Slimming Everywhere?

Rachel Adler

Photo: Getty Images

For better or worse, we’re a society obsessed with keeping up with the Kardashians—literally. We obsess over the family’s photos on Instagram, we watch them on TV, and we shell out hard-earned cash to witness their antics on brand-new apps. And this obsession has led to a strange phenomenon in the beauty world: the quest for fantastically chiseled faces. The Kardashian’s famous love of contouring has led to a cosmetics boom, not only with dedicated products but also with a rise in plastic surgery to copy that slimmed, defined face that Kim and Co. are so well-known for.

The recent contour conversation, however, hasn’t just centered around sharper cheekbones or a slimmer nose—in fact, we’ve noticed beauty brands are using the concept to hawk full skincare lines, such as Estee Lauder’s New Dimension Shape + Fill Expert Serum ($89), which improves the look of skin’s angles, and Clarins’s “Anti Eau” Body Treatment Oil ($58), which is created around broom, an ingredient that helps to eliminate water retention to aid in slimming.

And it doesn’t stop there: Eye-contouring palettes are on the rise, with brands like Kat Von D ($46) and Benefit Cosmetics ($32) offering their own takes on kits to blend neutral and dark shades for a defined look.

Dr. Matthew Schulman, a celebrity plastic surgeon who specializes in body contouring, agrees the craze is largely due to Instagram and Snapchat. “All celebrities who have a large presence on social media have contributed to the demand for contouring. This includes the Kardashians, as well as those who make Internet makeup tutorials. Kim and Khloé have fueled the demand for buttock and hip contouring, and Kylie can be considered to be responsible for lip fillers in young girls.”

When asked if there’s been a rise in patients looking to contour all parts of the body, Dr. Schulman said yes. “This [can include] placement of breast implants to help improve the appearance of the breast and to also create more defined cleavage. Also, meticulous liposuction is used to help create the appearance of abdominal muscles and thigh gaps. Buttock and hip contouring is performed using a combination of liposuction and fat grating.”

Perhaps the most shocking version of contouring—even more so than tontouring and clown contouring—is vontouring, which centers around the vagina (yes, really.) In-office treatments like FemiLift promise to “tighten the vaginal walls, increase lubrication, and strengthen orgasms—all in a painless, 15-minute procedure.” The process mimics how dermatologists stimulate collagen on your face, but well, it stimulates your nether-regions.

So is there any area that’s off-limits? “Virtually any body part can be contoured,” said Dr. Schulman, therefore confirming our suspicions that we have officially gone contour crazy.

MORE: 10 Best YouTube Tutorials for Contouring