A Nose Job Won't Fix Your Kid


noseWhen I was a teenager, the girls who were getting nose jobs were always written off as spoiled girls with parents who had more money than sense. Oh, I was certainly jealous of them, but it was easier to explain away their chance at perfection as a product of over-privilege. But a new warning to parents and the beauty of hindsight is wiping that envy right out of my mind.

About 40 percent of Americans who seek rhinoplasty (the official term for a nose job) exhibit at least some signs of body dysmorphic disorder, recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as "a severe psychiatric disorder." A third of the people who are trying to get a nose job suffer moderate symptoms of the disorder, and if the person admits to seeking rhinoplastay for cosmetic reasons, that number jumps to 43 percent. That's almost half.

Suddenly a girl griping about her nose isn't mere "vanity." It's serious. Like 1 percent of the population, she has body image issues. And she's not alone. It can happen in boys too (yes, boys get nose jobs) -- generally beginning in the adolescent/teen years, BDD affects men and women equally.

The problem is that normally parents write these things off. It's "normal" for a teen to suddenly be cognizant of their looks. It's hormonal. It's developmental. And it's tough to ascertain when your kids walk over the border from "normal teen obsession" to "excessive obsession." I have hated my nose since I was a teenager. I've also struggled with bulimia since I was in high school. Coincidence? I think not.

The nose is so important because it's OUT THERE people! You can hide your freaky toes with the webbing that goes a tad too high. Elf ears with a good haircut. Flabby tummy with a big sweatshirt. Cankles with long pants. Pretty much everything they're not so crazy about, the kids can keep from you ... and you'd be none the wiser.

But the nose, and this warning is a gift, Mom and Dad. Kids can't hide a nose they're uncomfortable with. And if they're suffering from BDD, there's a much greater chance that they'll speak up about it. Here's your chance to help your kid. BDD is treatable through therapy and/or anti-depressants ... no nose job necessary.

Have your kids asked for a nose job?


Image via KaiChanVong/Flickr

behavior, health


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Samal... Samallama

Anti-depressants for body issues....lol. 



nonmember avatar dani

@Samallama why are you so disrespectful? BDD is a psychiatric disorder, needs proper treatment and yes, anti-depressants can help A LOT.

nonmember avatar astro

i honestly think nose jobs is not such a bad idea it helps you feel better about yourself i have a feeling your just jealous which is understandable my brother got one he was all sad and always grumpy before the operation. Since the operation hes more outgoing happier people like being around him and he does his job good. nose surgery is not bad at all.

tangl... tangleballlover

I was very insecure about my nose when I was little. I had surgery on it twice to remove a cyst when I was 3 (and again at 4). Kids made fun of me a lot. In middle school, one kid called me peacock face. My nose is actually flat on the tip with a noticable scar, the rest is kind of bulbous and I have little "dimples" on it like Sarah Michelle Gellar.

When I was younger, I always thought "One day...I'll just get a nose job" Then I met my husband and through him, I learned to love the uniqueness of my nose. There are some bad days here and there, but it's what makes me ME.


So I think that parents should definitely not write off body image issues, but be supportive of their child and open with them.

.Mhac... .MhacFoirfe.

That's so sad..and I understand (though not the nose issue). The end.

nonmember avatar John Mitchell

Someone who wants a nose job needs anti-depressants now? What employee of the drug company wrote this article. I want a nose job because my nose is too big. I don't want to spend the money, so I live with it. I'm not depressed about at all.

KateS... KateShesGreat3

That comment was ignorant. It's a psychiatric disorder, therefore, anti depressants can help to cure said disorder. And someone who "wants" a nose job is not the same as someone suffering from BDD. Idiot.

Dedic... DedicatedMom848

Listen whatever my baby wants my baby gets as long as it's not drastic, I feel if you're not happy with something about yourself, re-invent yourself as the first step, if the problem is still bothering you, talk to someone you can trust, if it still bothers you, seek physical change. even if it mean plastic surgery, I am a strong believer in looking your best, and if you don't like how you look no one else will be convinced either. If I had a teenager and she came up to me and had the courage enough to come out and say I want a nose job, so be it! I have a plastic surgery fund, in savings for my kids! I think it's abuse to make your teen go through his or her years with the embarrassment of not feeling good about the way they look and when people see that, thats where the teasing comes in. You can't always pretend to be happy! All of us see our kids as beautiful, but our kids have to see themselves as beautiful as well.

arnptee arnptee

A nose job fixed my kid.  He needed one as a result of a deviated septum.  Not all kids have nose jobs for vanity reasons.

organ... organicyogalove

Why must we resort to DRUGS for every little problem/issue/"disorder."?!?

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