I have some thoughts about plastic surgery. I got a nose job in 2005, a rihinoplasty, which is done for cosmetic purposes. A lot of celebs who have improved their noses try to say it had nothing to do with looks or vanity, that they got a septoplasty so they would breathe more easily. But a septoplasty is done inside the nose and should not change the appearance on the outside. Sorry, Jennifer Aniston, I don’t buy it, but I do like your current nose.
Why did I get a nose job? Or as some observant people ask me, “Why didn’t you get a boob job instead?”
I was 12 years old when I started hating my nose. It was all I saw when I looked at pictures, watched video of myself, or looked in the mirror. It was my biggest insecurity. It wasn’t too big or too small, and no one had ever made fun of my nose, not even once. I couldn’t exactly say why, but something seemed wrong. When I was 15, I went to an oral surgeon at the University of Iowa for a consultation about surgery to fix my jaw. I had an underbite–not a creepy one, I had compensated for it so that the top front teeth and bottom front teeth would touch but my back teeth wouldn’t. He told me that the way my jaw grew is the reason I have a wide, flat nose bridge and a chin “like Jay Leno.” Then he told me I needed a surgery where I would have metal screws put into my jaw and then wear braces for 4-6 years.
Luckily, before I got the metal screws and braces, my family moved to Washington. In Spokane, we found a brilliant orthodontist who achieved the same result with just one year of braces, no surgery, and a much better bedside manner than the jerk at Iowa. But my nose was the same.
In 2005, right before I started my last year of college, I had a rhinoplasty. My mom encouraged me to have a consultation. I joke about it onstage, how she offered to help me pay for it as a birthday present (and graduation present). She admitted to me that she had gotten her nose fixed in her mid-twenties after she saw a video of her that was filmed at her workplace. She had broken her nose at one time and didn’t think it was so bad, but after she saw the video, she got really bummed about her nose. She went to see plastic surgeon and said “So it’s probably all in my head, but I feel like I have the ugliest nose, and I don’t really want surgery so I just want you to tell me my nose is fine and then I’ll be on my way.” He responded with, “actually, it’s not in your head, you could definitely benefit from rhinoplasty.” So she probably said “Far Out, Man” because it was the 70’s. She got the surgery, and she has a great nose, as in the kind of nose that you don’t really notice because it looks good with the rest of her face.
That’s what I got too. Not a “perfect” nose, but a nose that looks real, fits my face, and doesn’t make me cringe. Most people couldn’t even tell the difference, but I could. After the surgery when the bruising and swelling finally went down, I broke my week long hermitage and ventured out to the bar to meet some friends who didn’t know I had gotten it done. I was not sure how to talk about it, so only my closest friends knew, everyone else just thought I was sick. At the bar, my friend Adam said, “Margie. I don’t know what it is exactly, but you look really great.” My self esteem grew, I became more self confident, and now I’m pursuing a career in comedy and acting, which I don’t think I would have ever had the guts to do back when I was so pre-occupied with my nose.
Yep, it’s vanity. And you could judge me and others for it, but I think everyone is vain in some way whether they’re willing to admit it or not. If women who get botox look in the mirror and are happier than they were before they got it, that’s what matters. I do not think everyone should “get work done.” If you have a bunch of stuff you want to fix, chances are your time and money is better spent on therapy. But if there’s just that one thing that you feel like is holding you back and you believe fixing it will improve the quality of your life, then you have a good reason to seek a solution, whether it’s getting plastic surgery, joining a gym, taking an improv class, or joining a book club. But if you want to do it to please anyone else, then that’s sad. And in the case of plastic surgery, it’s certainly not worth the risk.
In case you are wondering, I don’t think I’ll have any more plastic surgery. Sure I have physical flaws (by society’s standards), but they don’t bother me on any level that interferes with my life, and I believe that aging naturally is beautiful.