Young, Jewish and beautiful: Nose jobs decline as rhinoplasty's biggest fans no longer fear their defining feature
21:46 GMT, 7 June 2012
Young affluent Jewish girls, widely acknowledged as champions of the nose job, are increasingly opting out of the popular surgery.
Though rhinoplasty was once a customary rite of passage around bat mitzvah time, statistics show a 37per cent decline of nose jobs over the past decade.
And while the procedure is growing in popularity among Hispanics and young Asian Americans, cosmetic surgeons say would-be Jewish patients appear to be more content embracing their characteristic features.
Nose more: Rhinoplasty procedures among young Jewish girls are declining as ethnic diversity is celebrated and unique features embraced
Though the decline in numbers could be blamed in part on the frail economy and a tightening of purse strings, a more likely reason is the reaction among would-be patients to the changing ideals of beauty and the celebration of diversity.
But Dr Babak Azizzadeh, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, told Tablet: 'The ideal beauty can be anybody. I think people actually don't want to assimilate as much.'
In the past, when being beautiful
meant looking all-American and not Jewish, immigrants who didn't want to
stand out from the crowd sought the cosmetic procedure.
Confident: Lea Michele is 'proud' of her Jewish nose
As physician and anthropologist Melvin Konnor put it, '[this] was why rhinoplasty was invented.'
Historian Beth Haiken noted that in 1936, pioneering plastic surgeon Vilray Blair, chief of that specialty at Washington University in St. Louis, made the observation that 'change in the shape of the pronounced Jewish nose may be sought for either social or business reasons.'
Ms Haiken explained of the time: 'There was a lot of anti-immigration sentiment and a lot of anti-Semitism once the immigration laws changed.'
Nowadays, however, Dr Konnor believes that the decline in nose jobs is 'because of increased ethnic pride and a decreased desire to stop looking Jewish and blend in.'
As our ideals of beauty move away from the fair-skinned, petite features of Anglo-Saxon physiognomy, the once popular scoop-bridged, upturned nose has become less of a standard.
Today's stars and taste-makers are ethnically diverse and women are encouraged to value the features that make them stand out from the pack.
Glee star Lea Michele for one told US Weekly: I’ve always been proud
of my body, my Jewish nose and all of that. Hollywood’s Hollywood, but
that’s not going to change.'
Now patients opt for the surgery because they just want to be pretty, Miami surgeon, Michael Salzhauer told Tablet.
And at Dr Azizzadeh's office, requests come in not to re-shape but to 'restore' more character and more ethnicity.