I have a big nose. It’s my father’s nose; it’s a large French one, and something that I’ve seen as a burden for the majority of my life. Even before I could firmly wrap my brain around the concept of rhinoplasty, I would wish for a new nose. I’d make bargains with the god, in whom I don’t believe, in the hopes of getting a new, small, perfectly adorable nose. But it never happened. It seems I’m stuck with this nose. Not just because of my fear of the pain of a nose job, but I lack the funds and, bizarrely, I’ve summoned some moderate acceptance for my nose. That is, only if you get me on my “good” side.
As a woman with a big nose, I know the struggle for others who share this plight. Sadly, we live in a world where guys with big noses don’t get the same response that women with big noses do. Adrien Brody and his schnoz are gorgeous, but a woman with such a nose would be ridiculed until she finally “fixed” it. Case in point: Jennifer Grey.
But for those of us who are sticking it out with the nose we were born with, here are 10 things that only we, the big nosed girls of the world, really understand.
1. School was a nightmare because your nose was a target.
It was somewhere around puberty when my nose decided it wanted to win the growing competition on my body. It’s like it eye-spied my boobs, that were also growing at a rapid rate, and decided, “Oh, I can do better.” Before my face even had a chance to realize what was going on, my nose took off and became the target of harassment by kids who, as I know now, were even more insecure than I was. Eventually my face caught up to my nose, but not enough to make it seem even remotely average in size.
2. Keeping your hair long helps in hiding the truth.
All through high school I dreamed of getting a pixie cut, but the problem with such a bold move meant exposing my nose to the world. So, out of fear of further attention and ridicule, I never cut it above my chin. At chin-length, I could still hide my nose.
3. Being asked if you ever considered fixing it.
Granted, no one has every come out and asked me if I considered fixing it, but in cases where I mentioned my disdain for my nose, I was then asked if I’d thought about rhinoplasty. Um, ALL THE TIME. But I still know I’ll never do it… because PAIN.
4. People always assuming you’re Jewish.
I am constantly asked if I’m Jewish. Like, constantly, which isn’t just a form of racist stereotyping, but a weird suggestion to me. Of all the Jews I know (and living in NYC I know sooo many) none of them have a big nose! The biggest noses I’ve ever seen go to Frenchies (like me) or Italians.
5. You’ve learned that you have a good side and a bad side.
When I got married, I made sure I was standing so everyone could see my “good” side (my left profile), which in my mind actually means my “less awful side.” But the thing with noses that are rather large, is there’s more room with crookedness and error, so one side definitely ends up being better, although ever so slightly, than the other.
6. Being told that you can’t have a certain hair cut because of your nose.
Back in those days when I was craving a pixie cut, I actually had not one, but two hairstylists suggest that it wasn’t a very good idea ― because of my nose. I’ve also been told, again by hairstylists, that I “can’t get away with” parting my hair down the middle. Why? Because even more attention will be brought to my nose.
7. Having to deal with nose jokes, even from your friends.
Although I can laugh about it now, I’ve had to deal with nose jokes for the majority of my life. Of course, they started to dwindle by my late 20s, when people started to grow up, but being asked if I could smell something 10 blocks away was never fun.
8. You're afraid to wear too many accessories, because your nose already feels like one.
Because of my nose, I’ve avoided big earrings, large necklaces, and most hair accessories, because I felt like it would seem as though I was trying to bring attention to something other than my nose. The only accessory I do wear are my glasses, which, because of my nose, I love ― they hide my profile a bit.
9. When you take a selfie, your nose is always the star.
I have to take about 100 selfies, then mess with the shadows, if I don’t want it to look like I photographed a nose that just happens to be attached to my face. It’s like my nose is the theatre major on my body and just has to dominate every situation. It’s so self-centered.
10. Being told “it’s not that big.”
Seriously, people?! I’m not blind, I’m not an idiot, and I own several mirrors. So I know the truth: It is that big. But, after 30-something years with it, I’ve made some peace with it. I mean, we’re not like BFFs or anything, but I’d say we’re friendly acquaintances. Although we do hang out more than I would like.