Nose No-Nos

So now plastic surgeons (that’s what they were called in our days) are being asked to ‘fix’ noses so that they look good on selfies! It’s not enough to use all the technology the digital wonders provide to shape and mould, and shade and light our faces to look oh so picture perfect in every selfie, pelfie, helfie, welfie and ussie (no I did not make those up!)  taken every moment of our waking lives!  According to a 2017 poll, 55 percent of facial plastic surgeons reported seeing patients who wanted surgeries to help them look better in selfies, up from 13 percent in 2016.

Researchers are working out mathematical models to help describe how selfie cameras distort the face. They found that when taken 12 inches away, selfies increase nose sizes by 30 percent in men and 29 percent in women compared to photos taken five feet away, a standard portrait distance. And yet, in the quest for the perfect picture, cosmetic surgery is seen as the perfect answer.

What an unimaginably narcissist society we have become! Time was when noses were a distinguishing feature of one’s face. We were born with them, and we lived with them. Maternal and paternal aunts would argue about whether the new baby had the father’s nose or the mother’s nose. Characters in stories were described by their noses—the handsome hero with the Roman nose, the wicked hook-nosed witch, the cute button-nosed toddler….

When my daughter was born, my paternal aunt told me that I needed to pull her wee little nose every day to give it shape and substance. That was almost 30 years ago. Last week daughter and I took an ussie. And she looked at it and said “Mama, you and I are both growing into Grandfather’s nose!” Like it or not that’s our heritage, and makes us uniquely what we are!

–Mamata