My Relationship With My Nose

I may or may not mention a *mystery male body part* in this post. It’s a fleeting reference. It’s done in a jokey way. It’s in no way pornographic; it’s just there. So if you are offended/upset/absolutely disgusted by those sorts of references then please don’t read this post. Also, I’m sorry that I had to mention *mystery male body parts* to mention the fact that I mention them. And I’m sorry for that time too.

When I was six years old, me and my nose went on a date. He didn’t take me out to dinner, or to the cinema, and we didn’t “Netflix and chill” at his (in fact, it was the nineties, so it would’ve been “video tape and chill”, if anything). No, me and my nose went on a date to the hospital.

We’d been running round the playground. Speeding through the breeze without a care in the world. For some unknown reason, I decided to run over the step that led back into the school. As I did so, the door to the school opened towards me, knocking me off the step and onto the playground. And, for some unknown reason, I decided to break the fall with my face.

Unfortunately, breaking your nose isn’t like breaking a leg. If six-year-old me broke her leg, it would have healed and no one would’ve noticed. But, instead, six-year-old me thought it would be absolutely hilarious to break the main feature of my face. A feature that doesn’t generally receive the correctional surgery that a leg would. A feature that, when you bump it, remains bumped forever. You go, six-year-old Amy!

Ever since that day, me and my nose have had a turbulent relationship. We fight, we make-up, we fight. *cue dramatic montage*

Just kidding. But we haven’t always been the best of friends. Not. Even. Close.

The pre-high school days were fine. I don’t remember really having a grasp of the difference between pretty and ugly until I started high school. I just went through life not realising that my nose was anything other than a nose. Which is how it should be really. My nose was annoyingly more sensitive to pain than it had been before, but it didn’t really affect me in any other way.

But, things change when you go to high school. Being pretty becomes important. Being popular becomes important. And all the confidence you’ve built up through doing well at long division becomes redundant.

Although I was lucky to never be seriously bullied, there were a lot of comments. People would say I was ugly. People would call me “cock nose” (yeah, I’m worried about the triangular penises they’ve seen too). And then there were the kids that would stop me in the corridor to explain to me that my nose was huge. You know, just in case I hadn’t seen it before. Yeah, thanks mate, nice one.

My relationship with my nose became rocky. I wanted it gone, to be quite honest. I remember asking my mum if I could have a nose job. I was only a young teen, but that was what I wanted. She laughed. ‘Don’t be silly,’ she said, ‘You’ve got a lovely nose.’ But I didn’t believe her. I felt so ugly all the time. No matter how much make-up I wore or what I did with my hair my nose still sat there laughing at me. ‘Stop kidding yourself,’ it’d say. Well, it would’ve done if it could talk. Really, it’d just almost bash into the mirror as I drew wiggly blue lines on my eyelids. Which is almost the same thing.

I used to compare nose sizes with people on television. I’d get a ruler out and measure the length of my nose and compare it with the national average. It was obviously bigger. I’d always be on the look out for someone similarly endowed, but was always convinced that they were waaaay smaller. If they were Subway sandwiches they’d be the six-inch to my foot-long. If they were “unmentionable male body parts” I’d be windmilling proudly. But unfortunately, a big nose is not something that gets a parade. A big nose is viewed negatively. A big nose is something bad. Unless you’re auditioning for Pinocchio, of course. Then you’re in business.

Teenage me was extremely self-conscious. Teenage me hated herself. And teenage me was convinced that the bump on her nose would leave her single forever, and that she’d die surrounded by hairless cats. (To clarify: I’m allergic to cats. I’m not just addicted to cat-shaving). I wished I could be someone else. Someone prettier.

When I was around 13, I started reading the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson books. If you don’t know, the main character, Georgia, describes herself as having a massive nose. I was so happy when I found those books – finally a character who didn’t have model looks! I’d read them, and think there was hope. I’d feel like I could get a boyfriend, be confident and feel less weird. A few years later, however, the film adaptation came out and Georgia’s nose looked pretty small. I don’t know if that was just my own paranoia, but I was devastated that I had a bigger nose than the girl with the huge nose. I mean, if she struggled with her appearance, then how would I ever be okay with it? How would I kiss a boy without stabbing them in the eye? Would I even be able to get close enough to reach their lips? I realise now that these are really stupid questions, but at the time I was terrified.

So how did I deal with this? How did I become confident enough to not spend hours obsessing over how ugly I though I was? How did I stop being so down on myself? I’ll be honest, I don’t know. I think at some point, after high school was over, I learned that a couple of comments from people I barely knew weren’t worth anything. I learned that seeing a pretty face in the mirror isn’t everything. I learned that my nose isn’t that important. Yeah, it could probably qualify for it’s own postcode, but it’s definitely not something to cry about. After all, I don’t want a huge nose and puffy eyes.

I’m joking. That’s a good look. 🙂

But yeah, I guess I’ve gotten used to my nose. Some days I might get annoyed with it, and some days I might not want my photo taking, but I’m definitely more confident than I was back then. I can’t do anything (bar horrible surgery) to change it and I shouldn’t. It shouldn’t affect me. I have loads of people who love me, loads of great things in my life, so why should a nose stop me from being happy? I mean, it’s just for breathing anyway. I’m sure fish don’t go around getting paranoid about how sexy their gills are. So neither will I.

Plus, some kids on the bus told me I have weird hair, so I need to start being self-conscious about that now. I mean, there are only so many hours in the day…

I’m joking. Again. Sorry!

Have you ever/do you have any appearance hang-ups?