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Summary: With roots as old as plastic surgery itself, you aren’t alone in wondering what is body contouring in 2017? What makes body contouring today different from liposuction of thirty years ago? The answer depends largely on the results from these procedures—and how much those results can blend in with your body the way it naturally is.

What Does Body Contouring in 2017 Look Like?

Whenever we talk about certain plastic surgery procedures, we mention a little thing called “body contouring.” But you could be forgiven for not knowing, exactly, what body contouring is. The phrase itself is somewhat vague, so what is body contouring exactly? Are we referring to a procedure itself? Or does “body contouring” refer to a set of procedures?

The reality is that, as with many plastic surgery phrases, body contouring has a certain meaning in some contexts and different meaning in others. That has a lot to do with the way language works in general (most words in the English language pull double duty of some kind). And that’s exacerbated in any arena that has specialized terminology. Plastic surgery certainly counts as one of those specialized fields.

That’s why we’re going to take a peak at the term “body contouring” in a few different settings in order to figure out what it really means. That way, the next time we talk about “body contouring” in any context, you’ll be able to tell precisely what we mean.

Body Contouring as Category

The way we talk about body contouring has changed significantly in the last few years. That’s why body contouring in 2017 is manifestly different from body contouring as it was in the early 2000s. These days, body contouring is a whole new category of plastic surgery procedure that’s focused (almost exclusively) on helping you sculpt the body you desire.

In this pursuit, body contouring usually refers to several separate procedures:

  • Tummy Tuck: This procedure is designed to eliminate excess skin around the belly (as well as to improve the structure and strength of the abdominal muscles.
  • Liposuction: Perhaps one of the most well known and versatile body contouring procedures, a liposuction can remove stubborn areas of fat from around your body in a way that looks quite natural.
  • Body Lift: Your belly isn’t the only area that can develop excess skin. A body lift can eliminate a significant amount of excess skin from your lower body.
  • Various “Lift” Procedures: That excess skin doesn’t tend to exclusively accumulate around your tummy or lower body. Sometimes your arms need a lift, sometimes your legs do.

There are other procedures that can be comfortably fitted into the body contouring category. For example, breast lift and breast reduction procedures are often considered types of body contouring. The reasoning is pretty simple: you’re getting those procedures to “sculpt” your body into something that looks more to your liking.

Body Contouring as a Verb

As you might remember from high school English classes, a “verb” is simply an action word. Examples include “run” and “walk” and “jump.” You get the idea. One of the main contexts of discussions of body contouring is as a verb. That is, as in: you are contouring your body.

In this sense we aren’t talking about procedures that fit into a category. We’re talking about methods that deliver a result. Body contouring as a verb can include a wide range of activities, including the following:

  • Exercise: A wide variety of exercises are designed to help you control the shape of your body.
  • Diet: Obviously, controlling your diet is one of the most traditional means of sculpting your overall look (even though you don’t have an awful lot of control over how it works).
  • Makeup: There are some very bold make-up techniques employed today that are literally called “contouring” because they highlight certain areas of the body (for example, making the breasts look larger by darkening the appearance of cleavage). “Contouring” in the makeup contexts is used in a wide variety of settings.

These are not the only body contouring methods available, of course. People often want to control the look and shape of their bodies, and they’re often finding new ways to do just that. In some cases, even wearing or selecting certain garments and clothing options could be considered “body contouring” as a verb.

New Technologies Mean Amazing Results

Which brings us back to plastic surgery–because plastic surgery is certainly a means of contouring your body. Indeed, cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures are among the most potent ways to effect permanent changes (or, in cases of cosmetic procedures temporary changes) to the body.

The technology involved with all body contouring techniques continues to improve, and that’s an important point. Liposuction, for example, used to be employed mainly to eliminate fat from bulky areas. It wouldn’t be completely unfair to call old school liposuction something of a blunt instrument.

But as technologies improved, liposuction became capable of much more finesse. As surgeons employed that finesse to achieve more natural looking results, liposuction became a much more adept body contouring solution. This is an important transition and an important distinction.

Body Contouring Means Results that Look Natural

In other words, here’s what really important about body contouring: the results look natural and blend into your body. At least, that’s the goal. For most people, this will mean targeting specific areas of fat or loose skin on the body. Targeted results will mean that you get to keep the curves you like and get rid of the bulges you don’t.

In other words, you won’t necessarily look like you’ve had plastic surgery. The results will be bold but natural looking. That’s what makes body contouring in 2017 such a popular and powerful procedure. And new technologies keep pushing the envelope. In 2018, body contouring might earn even more accolades.

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