Do I really hate my nose? The culture of the nose is an interesting thing, especially for women. Every individual is drawn to something different in faces, some to the eyes, or the lips. But it’s generally agreed upon that the nose is the center of the human face. While one might think that nose jobs are a recent desire, propagated by Hollywood and the media. Nose jobs have been around for at least 100 years, the first recorded Rhinoplasty took place in 1889. The standard for what a perfect nose should look like can be linked so far back in history that I’m not even going to get into the full account. Beauty standards are an important part of the culture, often assigning value to people who are more beautiful or ‘aesthetically pleasing’. These of course change over time, and currently there is a very specific beauty standard for noses in America.

The ‘ski slope’ nose, is currently at the height of beauty standards. Considering that the nose is the center of the face it’s no surprise how desirable nose jobs have become, and how normal it is to readily accept from a young age that getting a nose job could be in your future.

I have absolutely no idea what my nose looks like, I know how that sounds, and of course, when I look in the mirror I see myself and I see my nose sitting right in the middle of my face. But my perception of my nose is very strange because I broke it when I was four years old. Since it happened when I was so young I have no idea what my nose would have looked like had I not broken it. To make matters worse, I have two younger sisters who have quite literally perfect noses. Could my nose have looked like theirs? Let me tell you, pretty privilege does exist and they both fully reap the benefits.

On one hand, people regularly tell me there’s nothing wrong with my nose, to which I always respond with,
“ but if you look closely at my profile there’s a bump on the top and if you’re facing me, the bridge is a little too wide”.
On the other hand, I don’t think I actually hate my nose, I just can’t help but think it would look different if I hadn’t broken it, maybe more similar to my sister’s nose. And based on that I should get a nose job so that I can get back only what I should have had naturally.

In another regard, I’m ethnically Jewish on my father’s side, which is 100% Jewish down the whole family tree. While there is a stereotype of Jews getting nose jobs, it is especially true in my family. My grandmother and her sister both had nose jobs relatively young (after being pushed their whole lives by their mother to get one). My grandmother had all boys, none of which had any nose work done, (including my father). But my great aunt had two daughters, both of which also had nose jobs, as did several of my other cousins, both male and female. There could just be a chance that I’ve inherited a more ‘Jewish’ nose from that side of the family, but since I have little to compare it to I can’t be sure. On this thought, I don’t want to change my nose as it is a sign of my cultural background. My grandfather on my dad’s side is extremely fond of ‘abnormal’ (I say abnormal because it differs from the highly regarded beauty standards of today). He views the natural nose, as human art. To destroy mine would be criminal, he, along with my parents would be disappointed.

The question here: Is it worth it? Will changing my nose balance my face, the way it should have been, had I not broken my nose? Or will it destroy what makes my face unique? In some aspects my nose links me to my culture, would it be wrong to break that?

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One thought on “I Want To Commit An Art Crime.

  1. I too am Jewish, my partner is Jewish, and many of my friends are too. Hatred of features such as the traditionally “Jewish nose”, darker curly hair, and the like are often seen in christian ideology as bad, not just bad but in some cases, related to satan, sin, or unholiness. What I am saying is not surprise but it is important to keep in mind the dominant narrative in this country. No one can truly say our country has a separation of the Christian church and the state, because it is so inherently ingrained in our culture. I have experienced it and seen it, time and time again where a beautiful Jewish person is convinced they are somehow ugly, or less than for nothing other than their traditional Jewish traits. This is internalized anti-semitism promoted by the dominant narrative in the US. If you wish to change your appearance to help you self esteem or your health, by all means do it. But that will not make you any more beautiful. Jewish is beautiful, and I truly hope you can see that in yourself too.

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