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How to decide to get a nosejob or not?

by snog toddgrass1 min read2nd Jul 20209 comments


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The affect heuristic suggests that being attractive has many subtle advantages, both in social and professional life. These advantages might be too subtle to notice at any one interaction, but they are important in aggregate. If getting rhinoplasty made me 5 percentile more attractive (say from 35th percentile to 40th, or 65th to 70th), over my entire life it might be worthwhile. Rhinoplasty in a low-healthcare-costs country might run just 3,000 USD, and to my knowledge is a one time expense which does not require repairs or updates.

How can I assess the value for money/time? For one thing, asking people if you have a big nose is awkward and they would mostly lie. The doctors just want a sale, so they have the opposite incentives to lie. In any case, is there evidence in general that rhinoplasty actually makes people more attractive.

I have found one resources for this - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2691557/

(I suspect other ways of improving presentation, like buying neutral colored clothing and improving social skills are more cost effective, but am uncertain)

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The advantage of beauty isn't even remotely subtle. The difficulty is that most people lack direct experience of moving up or down quickly, so they don't notice it.

The level of effect of increasing your attractiveness is non-linear and variant between domains. Understanding what you're trying to achieve in detail is important to ensure you will be happy with the results.

You buy cheap surgery and that's exactly what you get. Think very carefully before you commit to that. A botched surgery (or one perceived as such) is very much something you may need to repeat. The surgery isn't difficult, the trick is finding someone that understands the fundamental aesthetics of beauty (or alternatively, you understanding it and them doing exactly as you tell them).

Taking a knife to a 'feature' nose is one of the most common aesthetic mistakes you can make. It is generally imperfections that make your looks notable. You want to look like a better version of you, not somebody else. That being said, some people hate their own looks so much that not looking like themselves is the whole point.

I read somewhere that men that get nosejobs that involve reduction can feel emasculated by that. Barring deformity (ie. you're getting so much work that your entire face will change) I can believe it.

I think, from past comments, you're a cis hetero male, as am I. Most of what I say here applies to anyone, but some subcultures or demographics may have sufficiently different beauty and behavior norms as to override other considerations.

Being (more) conventionally attractive has advantages. Being known to focus on physical attractiveness has disadvantages. And most importantly, attractiveness is different for different evaluators. It's quite likely that even if a change is judged as an improvement by your average contact, it can be significantly negative to some important people (your family, close friends who liked you how you were, people you have yet to meet who just prefer natural looks).

This is something you probably can't average out - the distribution and the specifics matter.

I don't mean to argue for "don't do it" - all evidence I have indicates that people who get plastic surgery are happier after than before. I know maybe a dozen people in this category (all women, and more boobs than face, but it's still evidence), and the only one who regrets it (at least enough to share with me) was a case of something going wrong and requiring further surgery and pain to get a smaller overall improvement than expected - she did not believe she'd chosen wrongly.

I do mean to argue that you can collect evidence much more than you've shared here. Asking people can be awkward, but no more awkward than explaining the bruises and talking about it afterward. People and doctors will sometimes lie, but more often will only partly obscure their true beliefs. The extremely common tactic is to tell a few close friends and relatives that you're considering this surgery, and ask what they think. You're not looking for a number or a final result from that, you're looking for general attitudes and specific reaction to your options.

Also, when interviewing doctors, ask for references - they'll be skewed, but still nonzero value as evidence. There _have to be_ subreddits and forums about the topic, and about sub-groups you particularly care about where you can ask (anonymously if you want) about opinions on size of schnozz and on remediation of such. Also skewed, but once you recognize that you don't want averages, but distributions of attitude across groups, that's not too harmful to your choice.

You can also collect some evidence by investing smaller amounts of time/money and seeing if that has any noticeable effect - which may be valuable on their own as well. Pay for a really nice haircut, and hire a personal shopper or consultant for a wardrobe upgrade.

I don’t think “Do I have a big nose” is the right question. Big isn’t necessarily bad. “Would I be more attractive after rhinoplasty?” Yes, some people will lie or avoid the question, so ask your blunt friends who also have good judgment.