What comes first, our belief system or our nose?

face-neck-shoulders-SmallWhen you walk into a room, does your nose precede you? Are you a great person, a hard worker, good friend and yet you still don’t have a partner or get the promotion you want? The problem is that when you meet someone they don’t see your personality but your nose may be, to forgive my bluntness, readily apparent. The ugly duckling, beautiful swan metaphor is nowhere more apparent than in the woman or man with an unattractive nose that simply overwhelms all of their other perfect facial features. Look at Andy Warhol’s famous dyptich, on view at the new Whitney Museum in the Meat Packing District on West 12th Street in Manhattan, to appreciate the dramatic changes a nose can make to the rest of the face. The ideal is to give you the nose you should have been born with.

Of course, if you like your nose and don’t have any mental, social or physical complaints, stop reading now and move to the next page.

Maybe large noses are a sign of Royal Lineage? Hence the term ‘Patrician’ nose. This may have looked imposing on the Duke of Wellington but I doubt that many men or women in the public eye would choose to have a nose that would be monumental rather than attractive. Unattractive noses come in all shapes and sizes just as do the people who own them. A six foot five inch, 220 pound rugby player with a crooked nose will obviously desire a different type of result from a Natalie Portman type 16 year-old. Giselle on the other hand has a strong nose and clearly makes a good living with it. Kate Moss has a more classical petite nose and uses it to her advantage. Nose jobs used to be a right-of-passage for ethnically challenged (Jewish, Greek, Italian, Middle-Eastern) girls in Long Island and New Jersey during the 60’s . It used to sweep the Junior High School Class like a dose of Measles.

The most prominent surgeon of that time was called Dr. Diamond and his noses were so ubiquitous as to be called the ‘Diamond Nose’. He did about 40,000 noses by report. Later, boys and girls wanted to retain their ethnic diversity. The pendulum has since swung back to Kim Kardashian type probosci, maybe because of the celebrity /reality cult and the penetration of the web and social media. Maybe not. The end result is that last year, the International Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) reported that in 2014, out of 20 million Cosmetic surgeries worldwide, Rhinoplasty or nose-job, was the fifth most common procedure after Fat Grafting, numbering 849,445.

Today, not only do Plastic Surgeons recognize that every potential patient needs a nose to fit their face rather than a ‘Diamond’ nose for everyone but that there is also a more predictable way to achieve the result. ‘Open-Rhinoplasty’ versus Closed-Rhinoplasty is akin to lifting up the bonnet to look at the engine versus trying to fix it through the grill. This evolution is funnily enough, the opposite of almost every other branch of surgery which is heading into the minimally invasive route with telescopes and robots etc. However for noses, the open approach has the of seeing what you are doing and avoiding small irregularities which can mar a result. There are numerous other advantages but it would be too lengthy and too technical to describe them now. Maybe later.

So the next time you look at your nose, reflect on whether it was your nose or your belief system which came first.

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