I'm sitting here watching Glee, in which Rachel, faced with the confirmation of a deviated septum, is offered the option of getting a nose job. And I'm here to tell you that given the opportunity in high school, I would have gotten a nose job.
People take one look at me and immediately assume that I'm Jewish, or have Jewish roots. My maiden name is Pesacov, and yes, for 36 years I have rocked the "Pesacov Schnoz." One time, during my junior year of high school swim season, during a particularly rowdy co-ed game of Marco Polo that involved picking up bathing suit clad (and possibly half drunk on Zima - sorry, Mom and Dad) girls, my face was smashed against a fellow (male) teammate's shoulder. Despite the shooting pain and the tears that always appear when your nose has been planted against a hard object, my first thought was "OH HELL YEAH. I finally REALLY broke my nose and insurance will pay for a nose-job."
Before this incident I had already been to my doctor at least three times, insisting I had breathing and snoring problems and declaring I just MUST have a deviated septum. MUST. Alas, I apparently didn't. And even after banging it straight into Scott Harris' shoulder in 11th grade, I never managed to break it. To this day, I HATE people saying "But your nose is so YOU - you wouldn't be YOU without it!" I know in some way they are trying to be nice... but deep inside I hope that if I had the bump a little filed down or the "hook" turned up a bit, I would still be ME. The same snarky/anxiety ridden/lovable Beth. Just with a better nose.
"This nose is a sign of our people" - Puck
Yes, half of my ancestry is is Jewish. I wear my nose on a daily basis as a reminder of this. People look at my Dad and say "Oh, yeah, that's your daughter." And at my Grandma's 90th birthday 4 years ago, my cousins, with whom I have little to no relationship due to living on opposite coasts, could look across the table and say "Yup - we're related." Interestingly, none of us had had our noses fixed. As the conversation lead to our mutual attribute, we all realized we've accepted it. Whatever stopped us from really going through with it at some point in our lives, we have all lived 30+ years with this feature. My prom pictures, my college graduation, my WEDDING pictures; They all featured MY nose.
When my cousin turned to me and asked if it was still something I thought about changing, my response was honest. At this age, I would much rather spend the money getting my entire torso (boobs through c/s scars) done.
But as I look at my kids, I wonder what their noses will be like. Will they be lucky enough to have some strange 3rd generation gene that graces them with a perfect facial appendage? Or will they inherit the Pesacov Schnoz and come to me crying at 16, cursing their Jewish heritage and begging me to do something about it? I got through it, why can't they? Then again my mom walked uphill in the snow to school, and moving to California ensured that her children would never endure that particular hell. Will I let my children change something about them that they hate, or encourage them to be them regardless...knowing that this thought is slightly hypocritical?