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Eat, sleep, nose job
Iran could hold the world record in plastic surgery

By Najmeh Fakhraie
June 6, 2000
The Iranian

As I walk in the street it amazes me to see the number of people who have broken noses. We could make the Guinness Book of Records it seems. Why are they so careless? Don't they look to see where they're going? I tell that to a friend. He breaks out laughing for the longest time. It doesn't seem that funny to me. He finally manages to say : "Their noses haven't been broken, not in an accident at least. They've all had nose jobs!"

Boy I feel dumb. I try to change the subject.

He was right though; they've ALL had nose jobs. But there are just so many of them. This summer alone six girls I know are going to have plastic surgery to change the size and shape of that part of their face they smell flowers, pizza and dirty laundry with. Of course that's not including all the ones I know who are waiting until next year. But when I think of it, the only person I knew with a nose job all the way across the world was Paula Jones.

You eat, you sleep, you breath. These are the necessities of life; one simply can not live without them. Same goes for a nose job. It's a MUST.

When I talk about how surprising it is to see my friends having the guts to do something like that, a plastic surgeon tells me : "Sixteen is not young at all. I have girls in here as young as nine. Of course I never operate on them. But sometimes they can be a nuisance."

"One 10-year-old sat in my office for three hours cringe her eyes out," he adds. "Her fifteen-year-old sister had just had one and she told me that she was not going to leave until I agreed to operate on her nose as well. And her mother was sitting beside her the whole time. I don't know how I managed to get her out of there."

And the trend isn't just in with the girls. Boys are also keen to change their appearance.

The same doctor says, "I never had a boy in here until five years ago. But now they also come quite frequently. Though their age group is a lot younger."

Males are usually between 15 and 25. While females vary from 9 to 45.

You don't necessarily have to have a big nose to have an operation either. One friend whose nose is smaller than my cousin's but is going to have surgery anyways, tells me: "Its not just that I want a smaller nose. I like the prestige that comes with it. It's just so cool." And I'm left wondering: Can't people here find something else to be "cool" with" Something that takes a lot less pain?

The prices aren't cheap either. If you want a good doctor the prices vary from 800,000 tomans to 1.2 million. But as I've heard so many times before: "I don't care. That's my dad's problem. He can figure out a way to pay for it. It's his RESPONSIBILITY to pay for it."

I guess that makes sense. Because God forbid that a human being should walk on the street without the assurance that he or she is "cool" enough.

Najmeh Fakhraie is a 16-year-old student in Tehran.

Comment for The Iranian letters section
Comment to the translator Najmeh Fakhraie

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