I’ve always hated my nose.
I’ve hated my nose since I was 11 years old and decided it looked like a big, misshapen bird beak attached to my face against my will.
When I was 17, I studied models and pictures of beautiful girls. I wasn’t fascinated by their eyebrows or their full lips or perfect, photo shopped figures. I was always focused on the nose. Pert, ski slope noses were my favourite. Noses that were small and dainty and looked like they didn’t serve any purpose except to look cute. Little, straight, thin noses, devoid of any bumps or imperfections.
By 18 I would cry to my parents, telling them how much I hated looking in the mirror every day and seeing this face which just looked like a round beach ball with a carrot attached as the nose. I would look in the mirror at every angle, pushing my nose back, pinching it in, trying to mould it like clay into some semblance of a ‘cute’ nose.
I would spend 20 minutes a day contouring my nose. I would apply my contour with steady hands, and micro thin brush strokes; an artist trying to cover a tiny flaw on a beautiful canvas.
I refused to take any profile shots. If I saw a candid photo some had posted on Facebook that happened to capture my bird beak I would harass the person who posted it until they took the photo down. I would download the photo and zoom in on my nose, eyes welling with tears, and will it to just fall off my face.
I hated my nose more than I thought you could ever hate a part of your body. I didn’t mind my uneven eyebrows, or my tiny, Donald trump hands, or my stretchmarks or my big teeth. I didn’t think anyone else would notice anything besides the nose. I was, in my mind, just a big, ugly, walking nose. I became my insecurity, and it ate me alive.
I researched rhinoplasty and techniques and doctors late into the night. My shameful secret. I hated something so much I was willing to endure immense pain and 2 black eyes to change the thing I thought defined me. I became familiar with the difference between open and closed techniques, and healing times. I was a woman obsessed; I was on a mission.
I’d like to say all this was in the past. A reflection on a person far removed from who I am now. I would like to say that, but it’s not true.
I had an epiphany of biblical proportion only recently. The kind of discovery that makes you want to run down a crowded street naked, yelling “EUREKA” at the top of your lungs.
I stopped hating my nose.
I thought about why I thought my nose was so terrible. Answer: because it’s huge. While this is true, I wondered why, in our society, we think small noses are better. Better yet, why we think small everything is better. We continuously strive for that smaller waistline, smaller stomach, smaller thighs. We think small feet are cute and small noses are pretty.
We are constantly manipulated by everything around us. Magazines, film, and TV, showcasing beautiful women with perfectly symmetrical faces, and tiny, ski slope noses. We are conditioned by the society we live in to see beauty in only one form. How we see beauty is so warped and forced nowadays that we hardly even think for ourselves about what we like before we are forced into thinking something is beautiful.
It was not long ago that full figured, busty women were considered the epitome of sex appeal. Now, our society praises those with perfect and thin proportions.
We are constantly being influenced by our society to think different things are beautiful. We have lost so much of the ability to think for ourselves about what is beautiful, and sometimes we don’t even realize it. I didn’t realize how messed up it was for me to hate my nose because society told me to hate it until I was nearly 20 years old. Twenty. I spent a decade of my life hating something about myself that was pure me. That I was born with and had no control over but had been told subliminally was ugly and something I should be ashamed of and want to change.
I don’t want to be manipulated by society anymore. I was to grab all the other poor people who are so consumed with a hate for something about their physical appearance because our society tells us is not desirable and shake them and yell “Wake up, you are so beautiful!” I want to appeal to all the people reading this who hate their noses, or their teeth, or eyebrows or weight and ask: do you hate it because it causes you pain or some other kind of suffering, or do you hate this ‘imperfection’ because you’ve been told by society you should hate it? Have you been bombarded with images condemning it?
I plead all of you who feel that way to look at how the media, and social media presents these things to us. Take a step back and re-evaluate. If you feel the same way I do, with this new sense of confidence and self love, go and shout it from the rooftops! Tell a friend! Just love yourself, as you are. Don’t change because a magazine tells you do.
I love my Eiffel Tower of a nose, and I’ve made my peace with it. You should too.
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