Like your face, your butt goes through so many shifts and changes over the course of your life that it could probably have its own sitcom. To get an idea of exactly how your butt changes every decade or so, Cosmopolitan.com spoke with Dr. Karen E. Boyle of Chesapeake Urology Associates and Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital to learn what your butt has gone through and what it shall go through next. #ButtPhases.
- At the age of 13, your butt is as small as it's going to be (sorry, small butt enthusiasts). Your fat distribution is at its lowest (due to your estrogen levels just now starting to increase because of puberty) and your muscle tone makes you look like you take tennis lessons with Serena Williams even though you mostly just text on the couch.
- Your butt isn't super curvy because of those low levels of estrogen, but it's firm as hell and that's cool.
- Thanks to your new hormones, you might get pimples on your butt. Usually they're similar to the ones you'd get on your face, but other times it may be folliculitis, which is an infection of the hair follicle. Sometimes that goes away on its own just from normal cleansing, but you can also use a benzoyl peroxide cleanser or scrub if you feel like it.
- Those wacky hormones that came along with puberty have given you a more traditionally woman-like shape and you might even have more fat in your butt, making it look rounder and popped out without you having to pop it out.
- Your butt is still perky and firm (unless you had kids, which might change it a bit, but if you had kids, you already know that) and this is the decade to make sure it stays that way. This is really the ideal decade to tone your butt so you can still have a strong-ass (pun intended) butt in your 40s and beyond.
- Boyle says that "it's all downhill after 30 for the butt," and that is a very bleak way of saying that you're starting to lose muscle mass and tone around this time, so doing squats and lunges and sitting less should be your top butt-related priorities. Basically, as long as you keep moving your body and toning up as much as you can, you'll probably be OK, butt-wise.
- Skin cell turnover and collagen production is also slowing down right now, so you might start losing firmness and that bounce and smoothness you used to have. This can result in drooping and wrinkling you didn't have before.
- Your estrogen levels are starting to change now, so you might notice more sagging and fat in your hips that definitely was not there in your 30s. This might just make your butt look less perky and like it's ready to take a nap. Still, if you keep doing butt-focused workouts and are eating pretty clean, you can totally keep your glutes in shape, lifted, and tight.
- The main battle in your 40s is to try and maintain your overall tone so your menopause hormones won't hit your cute butt as hard as they could if you slacked off and watched Netflix every night.
- Now that you're hovering around menopause, your estrogen levels might be starting to fall, alongside your ever-south-bound butt. Not only that, you're losing fat in your butt, which could make it look like the flattest of pancakes.
- Keeping up those butt exercises is crucial to prevent loss of tone, and since your fat distribution is about to make you gain some fat in your stomach and hips, your diet will become even more important to clean up. Keep moving and also squeezing.
- You finally made it through menopause, but that doesn't mean you should stop working out your butt! Regardless of whether or not you think your butt looks Instagrammable, strong glutes will give your back and hips support that you really need at this age.
- It's also around this time that you'll really see how much all those years of paleo cleanses and squats have helped you, because they definitely have.
- Your butt may be older than it once was, but if you've been working it out and standing rather than sitting as much as possible, your strong butt will help prevent you from falling so you can be just as active now as you always were. Thank you for everything, leg lifts and lunges. Sincerely, butts.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.