‘Ethnic’ Nose Jobs: Surgical Breakthrough?

February 14, 2012  |  

You know a bad nose job when you see one—and that’s basically any that you recognize because the point of plastic surgery is not to look like you had work done but to enhance what you’ve already got. Plastic surgeons have apparently caught on to the fact that black people don’t want to come out of surgery with a snout that screams “I just had a nose job,” and they’ve begun specializing in what they call “ethnic rhinoplasty.”

“A lot of African Americans want to get their noses done, but due to the prominent stars that they have seen that have had bad rhinoplasty, they are very hesitant to do it,” Beverly Hills Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and rhinoplasty expert, Dr. Ashkan Ghavami, told theGrio. “They are especially very careful to get the nose done, because it is in the center of their face, and it is first thing that people will see if it looks bad.

“African American patients always say the same thing to me: I don’t want to look like Lil Kim or Michael Jackson, and I don’t blame them. It’s really hard to reverse that type of surgery once it is poorly done,” Ghavami said, and he knows from personal experience.

“I have handled a lot of difficult revisions for African Americans in which the doctor either took too much cartilage off of their nose or too little. It’s a lot of work to deal with scar tissue and to give them back their ancestral features.”

Knowing the work that has to be done to reverse a bad nose job, Ghavami said he spends extra time on his consultations with black patients.

“I show them a lot pf pictures, and I show them what is going to be done. For the bridge on their noses, I put their own cartilage and tissue, so they get more height to the bridge. You don’t want to narrow it too much,” he said, “because it would look fake.”

Like Ghavami, Board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Oleh Slupchynskyj, also recognized the need for better techniques for black patients after working with several who came to him after already having a nose job done once before.

“A lot of African-American patients who come to see me ask why did I get into this since I am not African-American, and I give them the same answer — I saw a need for it and I thought I had the skills to provide people what they were looking for,” Slupchynskyj told theGrio. “There is a misconception that in order to be a good ethnic rhinoplasty surgeon, you have to be of that ethnicity. That is simply not true.”

Slupchynskykj also added that most surgeons don’t recognize that needs of Caucasian patients, who often look for reductions of their hump or top refinement, differ from African Americans, who look for less bold nose tips. Surgeons must also get rid of the mindset that African American patients who want a nose job are trying to look less black, he said.

“I think that there is a general conception that when talking about African-American rhinoplasty that African-Americans are scared of losing their ethnic features, but in reality, I think what they are really saying is that they don’t want to look like they have a nose job.”

Have you ever had or considered having a nose job? Were you concerned about losing your ethnic features or simply looking like you had work done?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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  • Matthew Tristan

    I’m considering also to have a nose job this year hopefully grant a long vacation for recovery.. to guide you more about nose job as this article help me a lot in deciding to have a nose job or not http://www.beverlyhillsplasticsurgeryinc.com/blog/rhino-tastic/ I do recommend to contact them for a FREE Consultation.

  • i am Asian and wanted to have Asian Rhinoplasty for a year now. I am saving money to pursue the surgery by the end of this year. I guess there’s nothing wrong of having nose job as long as you know what you are doing and you trusted your rhinoplasty surgeon to do the job well. 

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  • mixed chic

    for a very long time I did and didn’t want a nose job; I wanted to love my face and didn’t want to look black but I felt like because of my fair skin my nose would be prettier on someone with more color and looked a little out of place on me . . . and then I looked at my daughter, my beautiful little baby girl – who has my nose.  I could no longer imagine how someone so beautiful could be considered flawed and that caused me to look in the mirror and accept and embrace my face in its totality.  

    I’m thankful that I never thought that seriously about getting a nose job.  Sure I wish I had always had this positive of an outlook but I truly believe that it’s better late than never to love oneself.

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  • Ebonydiva82

    I have not considered getting a nose job as I believe that my round little buttoned nose fits my face ;). However, I don’t have hips which causes me to feel self-conscious at times. Therefore, I would like to get fat from my rear injected into my hips eventually. I heard that there are exercises which could be done to slim down thighs and create the illusion of hips however it has not worked for me thus far.

    • Sugar_Spice

      When you find out a solution to getting hips let me know!

  • Candacey Doris

    I’ve sometimes wanted a smaller nose. But i think i would look weird. More power to those with the courage to go through with it. Just go to a surgeon like this one so you don’t end up looking busted.

  • OMSS

    When flatter noses and hooked ones becomes more popular or equally desired I’ll consider- I’m on the flat nose side. But I won’t judge someone for wanting one. I Just want a butt reduction!!! Just a bit- I lost a considerable amount of weight every where but there! The Kim K’s of the world can have it!

  • Oledisgoat

    Love my big nose. Excellent for inhaling especially when my neighbor burn his herbs.

  • Cocolicious

    I just looked at that surgeons gallery. He  shaves the noses  a bit to thin IMO. This surgeon’s gallery is more convincing – http://www.harrisface.com/.

  • LisaLuvless

    Zucchini’s and baby carrots can be found in any race. There is no such thing as an ethnic nose. Seeing that my other comment has to be approved.

  • LisaLuvless

    “Ethnic nose”.. I find all that ish laughable. It doesn’t matter what race you are, no specific race escapes the wrath of the nose. I think if yours doesn’t fit your face,by all means change it. Nene Leakes BOOM! Don’t tell me she isn’t gorgeous now that she tweeked it.

    Don’t make me bring out names cause I have a bunch of people I could name with a zucchini in their face or a baby carrot from any race. PRE-OP

  • Smacks_hoes

    I have a nice size nose. I sometime wish is was small and thin like my mothers but I’m happy it’s not big and wide like my fathers side of the family! Whew me and my siblings dodged that luckily. I just contour my nose so it seems a little more thin and petite when I put on my make up. Instead of a nose job I would much rather get a boob job or braces. my boobs are a C but a D would be lovely. Just saying

  • Cocolicious

    They say that the cartilage in the ears and nose continue to grow as you age.  The older I get the wider my nose seems to get. After I loose this weight and let that set for a while, I’ll see if my nose goes back to how it was years ago. But if it doesn’t, I wouldn’t mind having my nose from years ago. My nose has never been thin/thin, but it seems to have an extra amount of  ‘flare’ now that wasn’t there years ago.

    • Sue

      I didn’t know that! I’ve noticed that my nose actually got a little more pointy and longer at the tip and my ears are bigger. That’s funny I had no idea!

  • Prissy

    I have wanted rhinoplasty for YEARS! I HATE my nose.  I’m just scared about the scar tissue or getting those keloids that some say can happen to darker skin. I am glad that there are doctors out here that are now specializing in this field. Just like with Black hair care, most beauty schools do NOT teach stylist how to treat for our texture. A lot of that is “specialized” and learned on the stylists own. WE are making strides in 2012 and I am glad for it!

    • Cocolicious

      I think they, now, have special skin graph technology to treat keloids. I think they can even treat old keloid scars as well.

  • Sugar_Spice

    I want to get my lips done!  I have “European” features and I am not happy with my lips. They are very thin & disappear when I smile

  • sexcgenius

    To have a nose job or not is a very personal decision.  People will have something to say regardless, so who cares.

    • S_Simmons01

      I agree! Peoplel always have something to say so I say do what you feel is right for you. You can literally sit and do nothing to offend anyone and someone will say “why are you sitting there doing nothing?” So live and let live!

      • Sue


  • sholla21

    I’m very happy with my nose. It’s not going anywhere, lol.

    • Sue

      Amen! Although I have no problem with people fixing their nose, I just can’t do it! It’s been with me for so long and it’s a part of my identity and…I’m a chicken, I can’t go through no surgery like that!!

  • Lynn

    so you do want to be white women

  • At the End of the Day

    Final – if you can afford a nose job…get it..don’t worry about everyone else’s judgement.

  • Final

    I’ve wanted a nose job for years now. Not because I want to “be white” so to speak, but because I thoroughly and truly believe my nose makes my face more unattractive. I’m sure there will be tons of comments about how black who go under the knife are traitors and uncle Toms, but honestly? Wanting people to stop saying/thinking, “Haha, you look just like a light skinned, female Jay Z” or “i can practically see your brain through those nostrils” has NOTHING to do with not wanting to “look black”. Which is a retarded statement anyways. Africans do not all have wide noses. They’re diverse.

    I thank doctors like these. You can whine about them “making us all look the same” and other bull, but unless you’ve been in the person who is considering the surgery’s shoes, be quiet. You do not speak for me and you do not know what I’ve been through to makes me want this.

    • Guest

      Be happy.

    • 4b

      You have to do what makes you happy. If a nose job (or whatever job) gets that done then so be. Ultimately it’s your face, it’s your life and it’s your money. Good luck!!