Recently, the desire for a bigger bottom has become more mainstream, in large part due to pop culture influences. Celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardiashian, who have made exhibitions of their ample assets on camera, have given the butt cachet. When people see things and actions repeatedly on TV, it becomes more desirable.

According to French sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann, the big booty movement is taking place overseas as well: “In Europe, and in France especially, there’s a trend to show off the buttocks in place of breasts. This has to do with Latin American influences, but also the rise of Beyonce and stars like Rihanna.”

Businesses that “specialize in butts” are enjoying a plumped up bottom line (sorry, couldn’t resist). Sales for Booty Pop, which sells $22 foam padded panties online, are up 47 percent in the last six months over the same period a last year.

Brazilian butt lifts have become increasingly popular in the U.S. This type of surgery, along with buttock implants, was the fastest-growing plastic surgery last year, with more than 11,000 procedures, up 58 percent from 2012, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

The downside of the new interest is that women desperate for cheap options have risked their lives, going to phony doctors that inject silicone, and even bathroom caulk, into their buttocks. Deaths have been reported in Miami, New York, Las Vegas and Jackson, Mississippi.

Check out the full Associated Press article here.