DISPLAYING a perfectly perky bum for a 51-year-old, Saira Khan jokes about what our cheeky photo-shoot will do to her elderly mother.
“She’ll probably have a heart attack when she sees it,” says the former Apprentice contestant and Loose Women panellist.
She adds: “I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with my bottom and culturally, for me, it’s been something to be hidden.
"But I’m not hiding any more. Big bums used to be covered by baggy jumpers but things are different now. So this is the only time I will ever say ‘thank you’ to Kim Kardashian!”
The Kardashian effect has seen cosmetic work on buttocks become the fastest-growing surgery trend for several years, rising 252 per cent from 2000 to 2015.
Many women go for a Brazilian butt lift (BBL), where fat is removed from other parts of the body via liposuction then injected into the bum.
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But recently, there has been increased demand for less invasive procedures.
Stars including Danielle Lloyd, Abbey Clancy and Ferne McCann have all been reported to have had various treatments to tighten, tone and contour their behinds.
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But mum-of-two Saira is one of the first to try the Lanluma procedure — a treatment hailed as a non-surgical answer to the BBL.
And she is more than happy to show off the impressive results.
The procedure stimulates the body’s natural collagen with an injectable gel called Poly-L-lactic Acid (PLLA).
It is said to reshape and contour as well as improve cellulite on the buttocks and thighs. It has given Saira more confidence — and added spice to her 17-year marriage to businessman Steve Hyde.
Saira says: “He can’t keep his hands off my bum! We went out for dinner the other night and normally we’d hold hands, but I found it there resting on my left (bum) cheek. So it’s definitely had mutual benefits.”
Saira opted for the £2,500 treatment as she wanted to shift stubborn areas of cellulite, which remained on her backside and thighs despite the fact she worked out daily, was drinking three litres of water a day and eating a healthy diet.
She says: “The difference is remarkable. It’s really smoothed out my bottom. The change happened gradually over a few months following the treatment and it’s given me that extra confidence when I go to the sauna or wear my bikini.
“I’m not self-conscious any more, I just feel good. And I’m not wasting time trying to fiddle around finding bikini bottoms that sit in a certain way and all that nonsense.”
The results typically take three months to show, provided aftercare instructions, including massaging the area post treatment, are followed.
She adds: “I loved that the procedure’s non-surgical. It’s injectable so it doesn’t cut into your skin and it stimulates your natural collagen. I went to Dr Sabika Karim, who does these treatments every day.
“It’s not like I’m going to Turkey and doing it on the cheap. I’m saving up my money to get it done properly and safely.”
Saira admits the process — usually two to four treatments performed four to six weeks apart — does involve a bit of discomfort. And she is keen to stress that it is not a quick fix.
She adds: “You can’t just inject and go, ‘Right, that’s it’. You can get on with your daily life but you must massage that area regularly and it can be slightly painful afterwards. And like anything else, you still have to do your exercises, drink your water and eat well to get the maximum results.”
When I hit 50, something switched and I thought, ‘What the heck am I doing? Life’s too short. I’ve got to start embracing it’.
In many ways, life began at 50 for Saira.
After years of battling insecurities and shame about her body, hitting her half-century milestone in 2020 proved something of a lightbulb moment.
She says: “I’ve got short legs, chunky thighs, a little torso, curly frizzy hair and a skin condition (skin pigmentation disorder vitiligo) and for most of my life I’ve not been confident as a woman. As an Asian woman, talking about and revealing your body are culturally taboo subjects.
“I grew up feeling that I needed to be ashamed of my body and that really stays with you. I was also sexually molested as a teenager which, again, made me feel ashamed and guilty.
“And as we grow up, we’re marketed-to about what beauty is, and if you don’t look like that then you’re left for ever loathing yourself.
“But when I hit 50, something switched and I thought, ‘What the heck am I doing? Life’s too short. I’ve got to start embracing it’. I’ve stopped regretting things and started living.”
'Opened up the conversation'
Saira, who left the Loose Women panel in January 2021 after six years, famously confessed in 2016 that she had given Steve permission to cheat on her if he wanted after admitting her libido had dwindled.
She later said the admission had helped reignite the spark in her marriage, explaining: “There are so many people my age who are not having sex with their partners, or who are unhappy with their sex lives or not enjoying sex, and you don’t need to bottle it up. Do I regret it? No. It opened up the conversation.”
Saira, who has been open about having had procedures such as Botox and Profhilo — an anti-ageing injectable made from hyaluronic acid — believes there should be no shame in it.
She says: “For me to go completely au naturel would mean I’d have a mop of speckled grey hair, a moustache and eyebrows that resemble Basil Brush’s tail.
“I admire women who can say, ‘This is me, I don’t care’ but I’m not one of those women. I’d rather have a bit of Botox than get a new blouse because it helps me feel a bit more confident.
“The trouble is, we only ever see the disasters and the extremes — the lips that look like goldfish and the bums that look like baboons. But what about the women like me investing in themselves with small, safe, reliable ‘tweakments’? What’s wrong with that?”
Saira feels sad about her years spent suffering from poor self-esteem and she is determined to make sure her daughter Amara, 11, does not develop the same insecurities.
The telly personality, who is also mum to 13-year-old Zac, says: “I look back at photos of myself and think, ‘What the eff was I worried about?’ I looked bloody good! I mourn those lost years because I was always worried about my tummy or that my bum looked too big.
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“I tell my daughter she’s beautiful and I want her to feel it. I get dressed in front of her so she sees my body and we talk about it. I’ve told her Mummy’s had a little injection to stop the wrinkles.
“I’ve said there’s nothing wrong with wrinkles, I’m just not ready to embrace them all yet.”
- For more information on the procedure Saira had, visit lanluma.com.
‘TREATMENT MUST BE BASED ON RESEARCH’
THE rise of non-surgical bum lifts has seen a surge in the number of complaints and complications, according to Ashton Collins of Save Face.
She says: “In the UK, anyone can carry out these treatments regardless of their qualifications or experience.
“More than 80 per cent of the complaints we have received are regarding treatments carried out by beauticians and lay people.
“In untrained hands injectable collagen stimulators can cause serious complications, which include infections, lumps and nodules.
“Decisions to have treatment must be based on careful research, consultations and proper planning and should never be based on cost alone.
“Anyone considering any non-surgical cosmetic treatment can find a reputable practitioner at saveface.co.uk.”
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