The New Yorker
Eat, sleep, nose job
Iran could hold the world record in plastic surgery
By Najmeh Fakhraie
June 6, 2000
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
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
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
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"
Najmeh Fakhraie is a 16-year-old student in Tehran.