Monday, March 26, 2012

As long as We're Discussing Noses

The link below is to an article that ran in the New York Times this past summer, discussing a study linking mental illness with rhinoplasty.

Just one excerpt from the article: "About one in three people seeking rhinoplasty — commonly called a nose job — have signs of body dysmorphic disorder, a mental health condition in which a person has an unnatural preoccupation with slight or imagined defects in appearance."


Trudy said...

Whether or not to have corrective plastic surgery should be strictly a private decision involving the person and their doctor, and maybe a Rav.

The Jewish Press article did a real disservice to people by making public what should remain private and an individual decision. Doesn't matter what Halberstam intended, her article is advocating mass surgery for shidduch purposes. And if someone might have been a little unhappy with their nose or even never thought that it was their nose keeping them from getting married, that idea is now firmly planted. As the Times article points out, an unnatural preoccupation with physical defects can cause mental health issues. Just what we in klal don't need more of.

tesyaa said...

It's only 1 in 3 that has the dysmorphia disorder. Presumably 2/3 of those having nose jobs are mentally healthy.

JS said...

Thing is, if the community is really so shallow and focused on appearance that a slightly "misshapen" nose is a big deal, then getting a nose job to correct the "problem" is, by definition, not "an unnatural preoccupation with slight or imagined defects in appearance."

leahle said...

Yes and no JS. It simply moves the "unnatural preoccupation with slight or imagined defects in appearance" to the community, giving that whole community the disorder. And when a community is sick that way, its individual members are going to catch the same disorder if they stay in that community.

Miriam said...

So if I'm seeing this whole situation correctly, fathers of daughters who inherited their mom's nose prefixing, and who will now have to shell out big bucks to fix their daughter's noses before they get into the parsha are going to insist that more questions get put on those shidduch questionaires.

Question: going back 4 generations on both your father's and mother's line, has anyone had a nose job?

Question: going back 4 generations on both your father's and mother's line, has anyone ever used the services of a plastic surgeon? If so, please submit a copy of the doctor's full report.

The whole thing is sick, sick, sick.

JS said...


True. But, if an entire culture thinks only one type of nose is attractive or one body type or whatever, it becomes difficult to determine if the culture is "sick" or if they just have established a new "normal."

Think about pinups like Marilyn Monroe or Betty Grable as compared to modern pinups. There's no question models back then were curvier, more voluptuous, and weighed more. You can go back centuries and see more "Rubenesque" views of beauty or ancient fertility statuettes.

When viewpoints shift across such a wide swath of a population, it's hard to tell if people need a psychologist or if normal has, once again, been redefined.

I don't agree with this, but it's not clear there's mental illness involved.

Interesting article looking at the measurements of playboy centerfolds across the generations to see how American views of beauty have changed:

Rhinoplasty Newport Beach said...

I agree that many patients are highly depressed due to poor physical appearance in the society where he/she is living. First of all, they need Psychological treatment to have good surgery treatment.