Learning To Love My Nose

Dareen Abukwaik

Throughout my whole life, I always felt like there was something wrong with my face. I thought maybe it was the fact that I had to wear glasses since I was 3, or maybe my super bushy eyebrows. But, as I stopped wearing my glasses and thick eyebrows became popular, there was still one feature that I loathed: my big, bumpy nose.

As an Arab, big noses are pretty common in my family. Almost all of my cousins have similar noses, big and bumpy, a characteristic that has descended down from generation

Photo Courtesy of Dareen Abukwaik

to generation. However, I remember hating my nose when I was just 7 years old. I realized my peers didn’t have big noses like mine, and even then they didn’t have such prominent bumps. This self hatred of the biggest feature on my face, besides those infamous bushy eyebrows of mine, was one that continued on until I was 16 years old. For more than half of my life, I hated an organ on my face that allowed me to smell things, all due to its size. 

The fact that this insecurity remained for so long is due to the fact that nose jobs have become so common in both American and Middle Eastern societies, as people consider smaller noses to be more feminine and attractive. It didn’t make me feel great to know that people who had noses like mine paid thousands of dollars to have their noses redone. One day, I knew that something had to change because I was getting tired of hating my side profile due to one feature on my face. 

Now, this change didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of small changes to help me stop thinking so negatively about my nose and to love it for what it was. I began to take more

Photo Courtesy of Dareen Abukwaik

photos where my nose’s bump was prevalent and was clearly seen. I tried to get used to its size in photos and avoided deleting any where I felt that it looked “too big.” I stopped looking up before and after comparisons of people’s nose jobs. Slowly, but surely, I was becoming more accustomed to my nose and the fact that it was not what society may deem as “feminine” because it was a symbol of my ancestry. Along the way, I have embraced my nose’s size and now I can’t even fathom the idea of getting surgery to change it. I have realized that I am not Dareen without that big ol’ bumpy nose, and that it’s a feature that allows me to stand out.