Looking one's best has its place. But what do you do when you think you look good and your mother is convinced what you need more than anything else is a nose job? My Nose is a personal documentary that will explore my mother's preoccupation with my nose and what drives people into the plastic surgeon's office. It will reveal the complexities of a single woman living in a beauty-obsessed world with her original yet imperfect nose.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery estimates that 11.5 million cosmetic surgeries were performed in 2005 with rhinoplasty, the fourth most common surgical procedure. Since 1997, there has been a 444 percent increase in the total number of cosmetic procedures. My mother wants nothing more than to have me join this statistic. Her excessive attention towards my nose began when I was 12, commenting to her friends, "If her nose doesn't stop growing, she's going to need a nose job." By age fifteen my mother started her way into my nose with a hammer in hand, trying to chisel the bump down.
Long Island in the 70s was a place where a nose job was all too commonplace and Dr. Diamond was the surgeon of choice. Many of my friends, Hillary, Donna, Stacy and even Richard had one. A Diamond nose was recognizable by signature nuances, a flare there, and an upturn here. My mother was leaning toward a Diamond nose, but she could have lived with any new nose on me. I'd often slip away to my room where my nose and I could be at peace.
As the years passed, my mother's campaign continued and her own life of plastic surgery began. She has made repeated offers over the years to pay for the surgery and even presented a two for the price of one when my sister-in-law was having one. When I was scheduled for sinus surgery she insisted, "Do it now! They're gonna be in there anyway." I refused and she wasn't happy.
My mother's relentless campaign finally wore me down and I decided to visit a few plastic surgeons with my mother and have an open mind. This film is an adventure inspired by my nose. My life since birth has been documented on 8mm film. Through this visual representation, I will be able to with my mother by my side, trace the growth of my nose into its present day manifestation and comment on poignant moments of a young girl's life. My mother and I have already visited and shot a few plastic surgeons, two of whom are her doctors. I am stepping into my mother's world of cosmetic surgery where I get to learn first hand what is involved, from the pain, the recovery, the risks and the rewards.
My Nose will explore society's perspectives on noses including mine. My interview methods have an "in your face" and humorous style to them that often brings out the honesty in people. I will interview people with prominent noses on the streets and find out how their noses survived the knife and if they have plans to change that. In addition, I will interview those who decided to have nose jobs, including childhood friends, and find out why and how it affected them. I will also have children discuss and draw my nose and juxtapose their ideas.
Since My Nose is a documentary that addresses the universal theme of beauty and the modern day pressures on women to conform to the norm it will be important to explore famous "noses" throughout history. I will intersperse the personal story with a humorous account of the most renowned noses such as Cyrano de Bergerac, Pinocchio, and the Sphinx.
I will also explore the famous contemporary noses, which have been altered starting with Fanny Brice who in 1923 changed her nose from "prominent" to "merely decorative" including Michael Jackson and Jennifer Grey. And discuss those that have been untouched such as Barbra Streisand, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jimmy Durante. I will also interview anthropologists and experts about the significance of the nose and it's meaning and depiction in various cultures.
Finally, My Nose will follow the history of the nose job from its humble beginnings in 600 BC to its current position as one of the most common surgical procedures.
The staggering number of nose jobs in the United States covers only those who actually get surgery leaving out the countless others who are dissatisfied with their noses but have not yet committed to surgery. My Nose will take these astounding statistics and give it a human face as the audience watches me contemplate the future of my nose, all while exploring the personal reasons as to why I am even contemplating rhinoplasty.
This documentary will speak to every woman, and even men in our society. This documentary will approach the issue of body image in a hilariously personal context, putting a face to the statistics and providing an entertaining look at the reasons why and how we have become a nation obsessed with plastic surgery. All you need to do is turn on the TV to be inundated with shows like "Extreme Makeover" and "The Swan" which glorify and reward those who opt to undergo weeks and weeks of extreme surgical procedures that completely transform their faces. We will explore the reasons that drive one to go on national television and be completely redone on a surgeon's table.
My Nose will demonstrate the intimate and complex dynamics of a mother daughter relationship and explore one's self image, how far one goes to alter it and in the end, how far does a person go to satisfy another using myself as the main story. Will I live happily ever after with the nose I was born with or will I end up having a nose job? And how will my decision affect my relationship with my mother and myself?