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Stop Hating Your Nose

by Sophia Lellos

I’ve always hated my nose. Seriously. If there’s one thing I could change about myself, it would be that.

It’s not that I think my nose is ugly—at least, not anymore. It’s a perfectly fine, normal nose.

But when button noses became trendy, when celebrities started getting nose jobs and contouring became a way of life, I started to feel absolutely miserable about it.

And then I realized I was always a bit self-conscious about my nose. I hoped people wouldn’t look too hard at my side profile or notice the slight curve. This started way back—when I was young and impressionable and wanted to feel beautiful.

It started when Cinderella lost her slipper, when Ariel wanted legs, when Sleeping Beauty would not wake up.

It started when Disney princesses had dainty button noses and Disney villains had anything but. Disney villains had crooked, hooked noses that signified their “ugliness” on the outside as well as on the inside.

Physically, I actually have a deviated septum to the point of not being able to breathe out of one nostril, so imagine having one stuffy nostril your entire life. Fun, right?

I got surgery a few years ago that would allow me to breathe a bit better. At the appointment, the doctor asked me if I was interested in getting a nose job since I was getting surgery anyway. I obviously said yes.

Then came the news that insurance wouldn’t cover the price. While that made sense to my 17-year-old brain, the little girl in me sobbed.

Why couldn’t I change it? It’s the only thing I wanted. I wanted my nose to be pretty, dainty and small. The child in me still yearned to look like her first examples of beauty standards. She wanted to look like Snow White.

When searching for the most wanted noses in today’s society, I found a list of celebrities people refer to when they want to get a nose job. Among them are Hailey Bieber, Margot Robbie, Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian.

Many of these celebrities have gotten nose jobs themselves. Rhinoplasties have become the most requested form of plastic surgery in the past few years. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, rhinoplasties was the number one cosmetic surgical procedure in 2019 and 2020. This trend in rhinoplasty has overwhelmingly come from patients wanting smaller, upward turned noses instead of hooked noses.

Stafford Broumand, a plastic surgeon in New York City, believes that the increased interest in nose jobs has come from social media and says, “It’s heightened to a degree because of Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat and the morphing they can do.” Indeed, the hashtag #nosejobcheck on TikTok has over 2 billion views and shows ethnic noses being transformed into ski-slope noses.

Supermodel Bella Hadid got a nose job at age 14. Yet in a conversation with Vogue, she admits she regrets having it done. “I wish I had kept the nose of my ancestors. I think I would have grown into it, ” Hadid said.

We feel forced to succumb to Eurocentric idealizations of beauty, so we disregard the fact that our noses represent who we are and who we have come from. What if we embraced our physical features and not be so desperate to change them? Would people become more comfortable in themselves? If we changed the story and gave ethnic noses more representation, would many women feel less ashamed of the way they looked?

These are questions I can’t answer. What I can answer is what I would do if given the option for a nose job now. Would I be so eager to get it done? Would I still cry if I was told I couldn’t? I don’t think so.

In any situation, with any insecurity, I believe we have to convince ourselves we are beautiful, even if we don’t feel that way. It’s the only way to not feel bad about ourselves all the time. When faced with the reality that I would not be getting a nose job, I had to settle into this fact.

While, yes, I still wish my nose was a bit straighter, I kind of think the little bump I have is cute now and there are pictures where I actually don’t despise my side profile. So take that, Disney princesses and celebrities—I’m trying to change my story.

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