Plastic surgery certainly isn’t something that we’re unfamiliar with. In 2012, millions of cosmetic procedures were performed on Americans, with about 1.6 million of those being cosmetic surgeries and 13 million being minimally invasive non-surgical procedures (like Botox). Over 286,000 of the procedures were breast augmentations. This is according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASPS).
But a new procedure is on the rise for women, and it’s not what you might expect. Of the 1.6 million cosmetic surgeries this year, 15,457 of them were brachioplasty on the upper arms. In other words, liposuction to get arms like Lady Obama’s. In 2000, there were just 300 women who had the surgery—meaning that numbers are up about 4,378% from just thirteen years ago.
Women may not have exactly been going in and telling doctors they wanted Michelle Obama’s arms, but polls have shown that women are paying closer attention to arm fitness these days. Stars like Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Kelly Ripa, and of course Michelle Obama are oft-admired and becoming ever more popular as time goes on. Women, it seems, no longer just want skinny arms—they want toned ones.
And while diet and exercise are necessary for gaining muscle tone in any area of the body, for some women those methods may not feel adequate. “We are genetically programmed to have different accumulations of fat in different areas,” says ASPS’s Dr. David Reath. Just like some women naturally have wider hips or bigger breasts, other women may naturally have larger biceps that can prove difficult to tone.