The Nasal Esthetic
The concept of beauty is, to a large extent, a subjective one. It is this subjectivity that has led to the old adage of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. However, this statement is only partly correct. There are certain features that are generally perceived as esthetically pleasing and others which disrupt the harmony of the face and are therefore commonly regarded as unattractive.
What is a Beautiful Nose?
Although the nose is located centrally in the face, an attractive nose should not draw attention to itself. In other words, the nose should be anonymous. People’s attention should rather be drawn away from the nose to other pleasing facial features, such as the eyes. Unfortunately, an unattractive nose may become the “center of attention” of the face. When looking at a nose, for example, it is generally agreed that large prominences or a drooping nasal tip are undesirable whereas a smooth and soft profile is attractive. For certain characteristics, it is dependent on degree. For example, marked asymmetries are undesirable, while minor ones may give a more natural look or confer a certain “charm” to the nose.
The nose is unique in that its beauty lies in its anonymity. We frequently hear comments such as “she looks so young for her age” which is usually a reference to firm and smooth skin, or “he has very nice eyes”. However we seldom encounter compliments aimed at the beauty of someone’s nose. In reality, a beautiful nose is one that is not “seen”. It is when the nose is prominent or conspicuous that it attracts attention. This prominence can be due to marked asymmetries or disproportions, such as a large hump, a bulging tip, or irregularities such as bumps from the bone or cartilage protruding under the skin.
The Evolution of Nasal Beauty
Our concept of beauty and its perception changes with time. This evolution is influenced by societal trends, particularly in the fashion, beauty, and health industries. All facial features, including the nose, are affected by these trends. If one looks back as recently as 20 years ago, the tendency was toward a smaller nose with a markedly narrowed bridge and a very small tip. In recent years, the definition of beauty has evolved to emphasize a more natural appearance. The signs that betray an operated look are undesirable. In other words, the operated look is “out” and natural is “in”. This not only relates to the nose but to facial features in general.
The current trend in nasal beauty emphasizes both size and proportion. A pleasing nose is proportional to other facial features. Specifically, an over-reduced, tiny nose surrounded by large eyes, cheeks, and lips is undesirable, and the reverse applies. As the concept and perception of nasal beauty has changed, surgeons have had to evolve their surgical techniques as well. Experienced rhinoplasty surgeons who consistently obtain good result for their patients have evolved to adopt a more conservative approach tailored to each patient, which avoids the operated look.
A Surgeon’s “Style”
In certain instances, the surgeon can be very consistent, obtaining a very similar result for every patient, leading that surgeon to have a “signature look”. This is also sometimes referred to as the surgeon’s “style”. However, successful surgeons are able to adapt their technique, and therefore their results, to the patient’s anatomy and their wishes. Just as different patients have a different perception of beauty and therefore a different look they wish to achieve, there is variability among surgeons as to what they perceive as a pleasing result. For example, some surgeons prefer to sculpt a sloping profile while others prefer a straight one. Each person, and therefore each surgeon, has a personal sense of esthetics. Make sure you share your surgeon’s vision for making your nose beautiful.
Dr. Samaha recognizes that each patient possess a unique anatomy and skin type with different wishes and expectations. Therefore every patient deserves a specific operation tailored to his/her needs and desires. This individualized approach is Dr. Samaha’s recipe to obtaining an excellent result, suited to the patient’s face.