Nicki Minaj has gained a massive amount of weight - she's now a size 18

Nicki Minaj has been eating well in the last few months, so much so that she's now a size 18, and folks online are calling her a BBW (big beautiful woman).

Nicki has always been shapely - but her new figure is a lot thicker now. According to reports, Nicki grew from a size 4 to a size 18 in the past year.

Here are pics of Nicki's new shape. The pics were taken at her recent concert in Australia:

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Now Nicki's shape is more aligned with the average woman.

A new study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education reveals that the average size of American women is now 16 to 18.

The study sampled the waist sizes of more than 5,500 women and found that over the past 21 years, the average woman gained 2.6 inches around the waist, from 34.9 inches to 37.5 inches.

Back in October, it was reported that Nicki's fans seemed to LIKE her new "thicker" shape. But fans in Brazil turned on her.

Many of the local media spoke frankly about Nicki's weight gain. One local press called her "fat" and "pudgy" in Portuguese.

And some of the local Brazilian media was downright rude. One popular tabloid said that Nicki was "shaped like a cannon ball."

Also, according to reports, Nicki Minaj's recent weight gain is not by accident. Word is that Nicki is having health issues due to alleged bad silicone that was injected into her butt.

Doctors have urged her to have the silicone removed, before her health worsens. But the report claims that Nicki believes her butt is a crucial part of her image.

So they are trying something new. The report claims that Nicki's team and her doctors came up with a plan. Nicki was asked to gain enough weight, so that they can do fat transfer surgery at the same time they remove the silicone from her butt.