Nose Job Trends & What to Make of Those TikTok Hashtags
August 04, 2023
Rhinoplasty sits at the cornerstone of the plastic surgery industry. It’s the procedure that arguably commenced modern cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, and it’s incredibly sought after even decades post its conception.
The surgical methods of rhinoplasties have evolved and so too have the post-op expectations of patients undergoing them. Whenever we discuss these trends, it’s important to consider how rhinoplasties have changed over time as well as how they vary across the world.
In general, plastic surgery procedures have begun to lean towards more natural looking results. Practitioners and patients alike have begun to focus on enhancing original features while maintaining the uniqueness of each individual.
We’ve always said this, but plastic surgery is not a one size fits all intervention. Every person has different features that make them special and this is a fact that more and more folks are appreciating as they begin to look into cosmetic procedures.
Western Standards of Beauty Need Not Be the Norm
The fact that the world is continuing to (metaphorically) decrease in size through globalization and immigration means that countries are influenced by one another on an increasing scale. We can clearly see how western standards of beauty have made their way over to eastern cultures.
For instance, take the rise in blepharoplasties, or double-eyelid surgeries, and rhinoplasties in Korea and Japan. We can similarly see an inverted effect with the fox-eye trend and facelifts gaining popularity in the western world.
This integration isn’t always the case though. Amongst Middle Eastern and South Asian populations, we find that there is a desire to keep features that tie members of the community together. People want to maintain the unique parts of them that connect them to their ancestry. So we find patients who want to straighten their nose from the front but keep a subtle bump in their profile, or want to soften the bridge but maintain the size.
Now, the general uptick in conserving ethnic diversity in practice doesn’t seem to reflect some of the trends we’re seeing on mainstream media platforms. While various social media sites can actually be foundational to the rise of body positivity, self-acceptance, and exposure to diverse versions of beauty, they can also contain echo-chambers of, oftentimes, harmful and unsustainable standards of beauty.
Why Nose Jobs Trends on TikTok Can Be Misleading
In regards to rhinoplasties, we see hashtags such as #nosejob and #nosejobcheck which contain videos in which patients will flaunt their before and after photos following a–you guessed it!–nose job. This trend in and of itself seems benign. After all, what’s the problem with a patient showing the results of their cosmetic procedure?
But remember that social media doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and it’s never really as innocent as it sets out to be. The issue is that a lot of the users posting under the aforementioned hashtags are promoting the same Eurocentric features that were characteristic of rhinoplasties done in the late 20th century. Under a lot of these TikTok videos, we see the emergence of the “barbie/fairy nose,” characterized by its unturned tip, and the “ski-slope nose,” known for its completely smooth bridge.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with noses that contain these features, nor is there a problem with patients who want to alter the tip of their nose or buff out the bridge. That’s the purpose of a rhinoplasty! It is important, however, to consider natural biology and facial features when consulting for any cosmetic procedure, especially one involving the face.
A good surgeon will point out unique features that you may want to keep post-op as well as give you realistic expectations. Because even though plastic surgery prioritizes aesthetics, physiology must always be considered if you want long-lasting, timeless results.
Trends Impact Not Just the Look, But Functionality
Complications can arise when a patient’s innate physiology is not taken into account. Like any surgical procedure, rhinoplasty comes with inherent risks, like infection, scarring, and swelling. Some patients complain that they are unable to taste or smell for extended periods of time following a rhinoplasty. Patients might even experience trouble breathing if too much cartilage and bone is removed during an operation.
During the healing process, a patient’s cartilage may reset to its original placement if the changes made were too drastic and the appropriate precautions weren’t employed. Some patients who have undergone septoplasties in conjunction with their rhinoplasties experience shifting back to the initial deviation.
This is why it’s crucial that you find an experienced plastic surgeon who does appropriate risk-assessments which involve assessing the nose you’re coming in with.
Take Social Media Nose Job Stories with a Grain of Salt
There’s no shortage of horror stories available on the internet–social media is the place to sensationalize, polarize, and catastrophize. It’s really all in the algorithm, which is why it’s so important to critique the content you find yourself exposed to, and to do extensive research (besides doom-scrolling on the ‘gram) when making a critical decision such as undergoing surgery.
It’s a good idea to consult with professionals to determine what kind of rhinoplasty is suitable for you and what results are achievable. In sum, your nose operates as the anchor to your facial features. You want to ensure that you’re working with a professional who appreciates that fact and considers all factors before making any changes.