When I was about 19, I fractured my nose in a three-car accident. On the way to the hospital, one of the paramedics said, “Oh, you broke your nose.” He could tell just from looking at me that it was broken, but apparently the doctor didn’t agree. At 22, I decided to have my nose fixed – I’m not sure how it works today, but I had to meet with the doctor for a consultation before the surgery. He asked me why I wanted to have the procedure, and I said that I had been in an accident, and that I wanted to look better. We decided that it would be best not to change my nose too much, since my eyes were so large; he would just straighten it, and thin it out (I bounced off the steering wheel and dashboard in the accident). After the surgery, the doctor said that when he started to sand down my nose, it basically broke, so apparently I had had a hairline fracture for three years. I walked around with a bandage on my face for about a week, and when it was removed, I could see the difference. Here’s a visual timeline of the state of my rhinoplasty (great word, right? Really boosted my confidence):
1. Senior high school photo, before the accident – I was never as Greek as I was here, and the nose knows
1. At 19; this could have been the year of the accident, but I think this was taken before it happened
2. Post-accident, post-surgery; I think I was about 25, and a student at CSULB
3. High school reunion, 37 or 38 – hard to see it, but the face seems to be holding up under the pressure of 40 looming on the horizon
4. Took this one today
I have considered going back under the knife recently to smooth out the bump on my nose that seems to be more prominent than I would like; after some thought, I have decided against it, mostly because I just don’t want to go through that again. My mother used to tell me that my face had a lot of character; “beautiful” wasn’t part of her vocabulary when it came to anything, so I gave up waiting for that term to be applied. I have learned to appreciate what I look like, and be grateful for things like good DNA (Mom never looked as old as she was, even at 87).
I am fond of saying that my forehead is going to look like Clint Eastwood’s pretty soon, and I am constantly trying to smooth out the frown lines with my fingers (I must have done a LOT of frowning in the last ten years, because it’s not just my skin that has frown lines – my bones feel wrinkled, so weird.)
I know that we all do things to make ourselves look younger; when I was at the doctor, having my consultation for my nose, he asked me if I would want to have implants in my jaw, since my chin was short, and the implants would give me a stronger jaw. I turned him down. I knew even then that I didn’t want to put anything fake in my body (at least, anything that wasn’t necessary to be there for my health).
It’s a personal choice, and if you have surgery to look better, it’s your decision; I did it because I wanted to look better, so I get it. We color our hair, exercise, deny ourselves the food we really want, and do whatever else we think will make us look younger and better. But so many women who have plastic surgery don’t look good – they keep going back to tweak their faces, and eventually, all of the emotion and spark is taken out, and they look….unreal. I think I’ll stick with my real-time appearance, for now. Now if someone figures out a way to reverse the gravitational pull on the rest of me, you know where to contact me…!