I’ve never been one for doing what I’m told. My first cigarette came soon after a family member voiced his disgust at “cancer sticks.” I have a DIY tattoo on my finger, which came after giving one to my friend with the same needle. In high school, the uniform code included “natural hair,” so obviously I dyed mine blue. My defense — “it’s the color of the sky!” — only led to harsher punishment.
So, naturally, after being told not to get a nose job, that’s exactly what I did.
I’ve never understood why those who have had nose jobs are so shy about it. They’re noticeable, painful, life-changing and fairly expensive. Yet people would rather disclose their favorite sex positions or social security numbers than dare to admit that they paid a small fortune to change something smack bang in the middle of their face.
I needed a nose job like Madonna needed her latest face-lift. Nobody needs anything. But the truth is, in an age when you can get lunchtime botox, these things really shouldn’t be a big deal. People are even starting to admit it. Look at Khloe Kardashian, the only sister out of the self-evidently enhanced Kardashian-Jenner clan to admit that she had surgery, even adding that her only regret is not doing it sooner.
Unlike the Kardashians, I didn’t have $10,000 to spare. So, after a bottle of wine and a quick pep talk with myself I was booked in for a nose job the following week in Istanbul. My lack of research was never more apparent than when the plane landed on the tarmac and I was greeted with thick snow. Who knew that it snows in Turkey? Not me, as evidenced by a suitcase filled to the brim with bikinis and flip-flops. What I opted for was a little different to a classic rhinoplasty, partly because I didn’t fancy having my nose completely broken and partly because it was half the price. A “tipplasty,” is proof that nose jobs are no longer “one size fits all.” As the name suggests, it is just the tip that’s altered and I was back at work within three days of the surgery (the only time I’ve happily worn a mask). Nowadays the idea that you’ll wake up looking like Michael Jackson is simply not true; surgeons even offer an “ethnic nose job,” which preserves the nasal characteristics of the nose that you (and your ancestors) were born with.
Getting surgery abroad was never the original plan. Like every Brit, I started my search firmly believing that anything outside of Britain must be inferior. My family and friends assumed the same, as their reactions to my getting a nose job in Turkey were along the lines of, “You’re an idiot” and “There’s a reason it’s so cheap!” But, sometimes not doing what you’re told pays off. I love my new and improved nose, I saved a fortune, and I’ll carry on telling anyone who listens.
This article was originally published in The Spectator’s November 2022 World edition.