In my junior year of high school, I was sitting in a spin class when I had an epiphany.
In the middle of the class, I looked to my left, and the girl next to me had smooth hair and a perfect nose, and I was so f*cking jealous. TBH, the frizzy hair was not that big of a deal to me because I had Keratin scheduled the next week—it was the nose that pissed me off because no matter what Kardashian-Jenner bullsh*t contour tip I tried, I was always going to have a f*cking beak on my face.
Usually, I’m really against workout instructors trying to be super inspirational, but I guess that day when the teacher tried to convince me that I truly was in charge of my own destiny, something changed inside of me. I realized that it wasn’t like there was nothing to do about my nose—helloooo plastic surgery.
That wasn’t the first time I’d thought about getting a nose job. From the boy who told me I looked like a toucan in my eighth-grade art class, to the one who didn’t slow dance with me at a bat mitzvah in seventh-grade because I was “kinda cute but had a weird nose,” I definitely had some pent-up insecurities.
It got to the point where I would spend hours watching makeup videos on YouTube trying to contour my nose and getting pissed off because it only made it look more obvious. At some point in ninth or tenth grade, I started covering my nose in pictures, opting for a pose that I thought looked cute or candid but was just there to mask (what I saw as) the enormous trumpet on my face.
So, my eventual nose job was always pretty much always an unspoken thing. When I came home and told my parents that it was time, they weren’t exactly surprised. It was not like they encouraged me to get one before I expressed interest, but a nose job was pretty much always on the table.
The fact that I had a nose job isn’t new or revolutionary information to my friends—it’s like my number one personality trait (having a nut allergy comes in as a close second). My relationship with my nose has always been a huge part of my life, more so before my surgery than now, and the insecurity it caused me was incredibly consuming.
While I literally regret nothing about the decision I made, there definitely are some things I wish I looked into and knew before I had the surgery. Some of these seem pretty intuitive, but trust me, when you’re on whatever pain med your doctor gives you, and you have a weird pad thing under your nose, you aren’t thinking rationally. Whatever, you live, and you learn… right? Here’s what I learned from getting my nose job that I wish I’d known beforehand.
It’s Not Going to Be What You Expect
It’s not like in that episode of Glee when Rachel Berry brought Quinn to the plastic surgeon to show him what she wanted to look like. My doctor actually didn’t really take my input and didn’t show me a picture of my future self that I could have made on FaceTune.
In so many words, my surgeon (WHOM I LOVE) said to me, “if you really have a vision that you’re committed to, you can show me, but I’m basically just going to balance out your features. You’re not going to look like a whole new person.” At the time, I might have wanted that, but he was totally right—I just needed to trust him. He also asked me if I wanted a chin surgery because I guess those normally go hand-in-hand, and to that, I said thanks, but no thanks.
There Is No ‘Right Reason’ To Get Plastic Surgery
TBH: I got a nose job because I was insecure. I was aware that my insecurity made me quite
bitchy intolerable. I didn’t like how I looked, and I really didn’t like how I projected that onto other people.
Okay, even that wasn’t completely honest. While my insecurity was the rationale for me thinking about the potential of having a nose job, that isn’t why I pulled the trigger. As my surgery date grew closer, and I let more of my friends in the loop, I started becoming more aware that the people in my life didn’t think I would go through with it.
So, yeah, my rationale for actually getting on the operating table and actually going through with my surgery was the same rational frat guys use when they jump off a roof onto a folding table: “do it b*tch, you won’t.”
In all seriousness, I don’t regret getting my nose job. I wouldn’t change a thing about the way I approached it, but I do wish I treated this life-altering decision with a little more gravity. There really are no wrong answers or justifications for getting plastic surgery (but, like, maybe the “do it, you won’t” thing wasn’t my best call).
Okay, I lied. There is one wrong answer: your reason to get plastic surgery should not be that you think it will fix everything in your life. Not to be gross and cliche, but plastic surgery should never be the answer to finding happiness, but it can be something that helps you get there.
Recovery Might Not Be the Hardest Part
Everyone’s process is different, but the surgery itself and my recovery weren’t the hardest parts of my nose job experience. Recovery wasn’t like a trip to the spa, I had to go back to the ER having to go on my first night due to aggressive bleeding, and I went to my first ever OB-GYN appointment with my cast still on. That said, it wasn’t awful. It was comparable to, like, an especially bad hangover.
The hardest parts were making the decision to go through with it, and the day I got my cast off. As ridiculous as it may sound, I assumed that the minute I looked in the mirror with all the surgical tape and packing off of my face, I would look hot as sh*t and feel, like, complete. This was not the case.
I was swollen, there was blood caked on parts of my face I hadn’t seen in a week, and I couldn’t blow my nose. The most shocking thing about looking in the mirror was that I couldn’t smile. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but some people get minor temporary nerve damage. So, when you smile, you end up looking like someone who is being forced to smile in a ransom video to prove they are alive and well.
I started my senior year of high school a week after I got my cast off. Truthfully, I was mortified. I felt as though I went through all of my internal debate about the surgery, pain, and discomfort for nothing. It felt like everyone knew that I was getting a nose job, but I had nothing to show for it.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was my perfect side profile. It turns out that you have to wait for the swelling to go down and the nerves to heal before you really get a sense of what you’ll look like. While it felt like months before this happened, it was really only a few weeks, and I came out the other side looking and feeling really good.
There’s No Right Narrative
There’s no right and wrong reason to have your nose done, and there is no right or wrong thing to tell people about why you got it done. But, just a tip, you might want to keep it consistent.
Initially, there were plenty of people who realized I had surgery on their own, and, feeling a little uncomfortable with my decision to have it done, I lied to them. Most frequently, I told people I wasn’t close with that I had a deviated septum. If that’s what you want to do, there is nothing wrong with fudging the truth a little to create a narrative you are comfortable with, but lying just made me feel more insecure. Like, we all know how believable it is when celebs claim they “fixed a deviated septum”. Blaming my nose job on a fake problem just brought about more feelings of insecurity (can they tell I’m full of sh*t?) and shame (for not owning my decision).
Now, I’m more vocal about my experience. (I mean, obviously, I’m writing an article about it.) Partly because of my personality and partly because of the circumstances that contributed to my decision. I go to college close to 1,000 miles away from my high school, where I’m the only one from my graduating class. I got to have a fresh start and reinvent parts of myself—one of those being the way I talked about my surgery.
Going through with my nose job made me a more confident and better person, but as I said, those changes didn’t happen overnight. I’d like to think that the 21-year-old version of myself is above falling victim to stigmas against plastic surgery and hope that I would be more confident in owning my decision today.
At the end of the day, I would undoubtedly do it again, but I wish I handled it differently. I literally hate people who talk about their *journeys, * but that’s what this was for me. For some people, getting a nose job stops being important as soon as your black eyes and swelling are no longer visible. For me, it took a little longer, but I came out the other side just fine.
The most important lesson that my nose job taught me was that it didn’t make me superficial or stupid to want to like how I looked. We don’t call people who dye their hair or start working out those things. I think that it’s probably time to stop treating people who get plastic surgery like they aren’t deep or smart or confident.
In the meantime, there’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from the guy who called me and my “big ass nose” ugly at camp one summer thinking that I’m hot now.
Images: Max Andrey / Unsplash; Giphy (2)
Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a “nose job,” is probably the most infamous form of plastic surgery. From rich teenagers getting them as a sweet sixteen gift to celebrities getting them done under the guise of a “deviated septum” (looking at you, Jax Taylor) it’s a relatively common practice. When it comes to nose jobs, you probably know someone who has had one, have had one yourself, have thought about getting one, or know someone who has thought about getting one. They’re pretty common—a recent statistic found 225,000 Americans are getting rhinoplasty each year. Since this procedure is so prevalent, we consulted with Dr. Yael Halaas—a double board certified plastic surgeon and expert in facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, along with non-surgical procedures—to give us some more insight on the popular procedure.
1. It Might Not Be Ideal For Deviated Septums
This is often a rhinoplasty patient’s go-to excuse for getting a nose job. But nowadays, that excuse is so unbelievable that you’re honestly just better off admitting you’re getting a nose job solely for aesthetic reasons. And like, more power to you for doing so! It’s also way more #relatable. Not to mention that, according to Dr. Halaas, “Most deviated septums are inside the nose and can be corrected without changing the appearance of one’s nose.” However, Dr. Halaas adds, “If the deviation affects all the way to the bottom of your nose, or makes the outside appearance of your nose look crooked, then you need the full rhinoplasty as well.”
2. Your Doctor Will “Pack” Your Nose
Do you remember that scene from She’s The Man where Channing Tatum sticks a tampon up his nose? Yeah, well that’s pretty much the less clinical equivalent of “packing the nose” post-rhinoplasty. “Packing the nose” is when the doctor “packs” up your nose with tampon-like sterile cotton or gauze after the procedure. It can then be removed from the nose 24 hours later, although, according to Dr. Halaas, “not everyone needs them!” So fingers crossed you’re one of the lucky ones!
3. You Should Wear Your Cast
According to Dr. Halaas, “Most surgeons have you wear the cast for a week after surgery. Ask to keep your cast, and use it to wear under sunglasses or your regular eyeglasses for the whole month after surgery to keep your nasal bones in good position during the healing process.” Makes total sense and, if you already went through this whole process to have your new cute perfect nose, you might as well go the extra mile to ensure it heals seamlessly.
4. It Can Fix Sinus Conditions
If you are actually in the market for a rhinoplasty then, fun fact, you can actually correct your sinus issues simultaneously with the procedure! Dr. Halaas informed me, “Many top nasal surgeons are ENTs, board certified otolaryngologists, so they can evaluate and surgically correct sinus or breathing conditions at the same time as your rhinoplasty.” I mean, if you ask me, seems like might as well nix your Claritin addiction while getting your new perfect nose, like, why the hell not?
5. There Is A Botox Alternative
If you have a nose with a droopy tip, Dr. Halaas says that Botox can actually help stop a muscle that pulls down the tip of your nose when you smile. If you’ve read my previous article on Botox for my jaw issues, then you know I’m a personal testimony to the amazing powers of this popular beauty procedure. I’m not a doctor, but I love what it did for my jaw (and my forehead) so I don’t see why it couldn’t help your nose, too. I’m also personally fascinated by all the cool sh*t doctors can do to correct issues with non-surgical procedures. I follow like, all the LA doctors on Instagram, and they perform various non-surgical alternatives to rhinoplasty. What a world we live in. Bottom line is there are a number of ways to address issues you may be having with your nose, so be sure to discuss with your doctor all your options.
There are probably about a billion more things you should ask your doctor if you’re considering rhinoplasty, but these five are a good start. When it comes to your looks and/or breathing, do whatever is going to make you feel your best—it’s cliche, but true.
Images: @krivitskiy / Unsplash;
I’ve never taken a selfie. Well, that’s not true—I’ve never posted a selfie. I’ve taken lots, of course, it’s just that they always look like ass. I always assumed it was just because my face was broken—a little too wide, a little too round, etc. It was never that big of a deal to me, because a) men who take a bunch of selfies should be jailed, and b) I figured that people who post lots of selfies probably spend the bulk of their free time (these people never have jobs) finding the right shots. I never searched for an explanation as to why selfies look bad, I just assumed that’s how the world worked.
As it turns out, as usual I was right: people do have a hard time taking selfies, and my face is just as handsome as my mom tells me it is. But much to my dismay, new research finds that it’s not out fault our selfies suck—it’s the fault of our dumb ass cellphone cameras. From JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery:
The selfie, or self-photograph, has rapidly become one of the major photographic modalities of our time; in 2014 alone, there were over 93 billion selfies taken on Android phones per day.1,2 Despite the ease with which selfies are taken, the short distance from the camera causes a distortion of the face owing to projection, most notably an increase in nasal dimensions.
As the Washington Post explains in a follow-up article, our phone cameras don’t work like mirrors. Instead, they can distort the image at short distances (like where selfies are usually taken from), with the facial features looking bigger than they actually are. According to CNN, the nose in particular can look up to 30% bigger than it actually is.
That’s not surprising, and maybe even a little bit of a relief. The solution is to have someone else take your picture like a normal fucking person, or (God forbid) use a selfie stick to create some space between you and the camera. But what’s really funny is that people don’t know this, and thousands of idiots are going under the knife for the noble cause of looking better in their profile pics. Not just a few people, either—literally most of the ones who get facial plastic surgery. This is part of a statement from The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (emphasis mine):
For better or worse, “selfie-awareness” is more than a fad. In 2017, 55 percent of facial plastic surgeons saw patients who want to look better in selfies in their practices (up 13 percent from 2016). First identified by AAFPRS members more than three years ago in the annual survey, the trend continues to gain steam and transform the facial plastic surgery industry.
“For a few years, AAFPRS members have been at the forefront of this trend,” says AAFPRS President William H. Truswell, M.D. “More and more of our patients are using social media as a forum to gain a sense of solidarity when under-going a major, potentially life-changing procedure. Consumers are only a swipe away from finding love and a new look, and this movement is only going to get stronger.”
55%. God, that’s incredible. A generation from now, the world will be nothing but people walking around with impractically small noses that look normal in photos. Then, people will start choosing breeding partners based on nose size, so they can maybe save some coin and avoid having to get their babies nose jobs. The noses will get smaller and smaller, until eventually it’ll just be normal for people to have all kinds of upper respiratory issues.
People are eventually going to turn into pugs, is what I’m saying. Can’t happen fast enough!
Image: Boris Paskhover/Rutgers New Jersey Medical School