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Benarroch, November 2022

My Dysmorphic Relationship With My Nose

This series explores my dysmorphic relationship with my nose. Growing up, my only insecurity was constantly fueled by “meaningless” jokes and comments. I soon developed a toxic relationship with the structure planted in the center of my face. 

Middle school and Facetune, an app for altering images, further deepened my insecurity. Social media’s high expectations and my falsely edited images that showed a smaller version of my nose only reminded me of what I didn’t look like. I realized no amount of editing could get rid of my ball-tipped nose and stop it from defining my existence. My self-confidence was completely gone. 

High school rolled around, and I slowly tried embracing my nose. This nose, a manifestation of my dad’s beautiful Spanish heritage, was what I hated most about myself. I realized no matter how confident I thought I became, the painful truth was that I could never truly accept my nose. 

This isn’t a story of self-love and acceptance. This is a story of a flaw that consumed me; that shattered me so much that plastic surgery soon became my reality. 

 

“Inheritance” reveals the origin of my nose through a portrait of my dad and me.

 

“Fixation” shows how I viewed pictures of myself. Whether it was a family portrait or a selfie, I would only focus on my nose and how it ruined the image. Thus, I created and printed a collage of pre-surgery-me, circled my nose in red for emphasis, placed wax paper over the image, and cut out holes revealing my nose and blurring the rest.
 
“WARNING! Media Symptoms May Include Dysmorphia” illustrates how social media caused me to hyper-focus on my flawed nose, where I ultimately adopted a dysmorphic perception of myself. I created this by printing my old nose and covering my face to show how I irrationally saw myself. 

“Be Careful What You Wish For” shows an extreme version of what I wish I looked like. To do this, I printed my self-portrait, folded the image to get rid of my nose, and sewed the fold to show the permanency of surgery. 

"July 2019” refers to the surgery that changed everything for me. After taking a post-surgery picture of my new nose, I printed it and rewrote a page from my journal in the negative space. I revealed this so the viewer could understand how deep my desire ran for a rhinoplasty and how much the lack of it caused. 

“Wishful Reality” depicts a reality of the nose I wish I was born with. I created this by printing a life-size picture of 12-year-old me—the age my insecurity peaked. Then, I cut out the nose and placed my new nose through the hole to give my 12-year-old self the nose she always wanted. My hands holding up the image symbolize that a small nose wasn’t my reality. My past will always consist of 12-year-old-me hating herself for her nose—something that my 17-year-old post-surgery self won’t have to deal with anymore. 
 

Inheritance

1 Inheritance  (2).jpg

Fixation

2 Fixation (2).jpg

WARNING! Media Symptoms May Include Dysmorphia

3 WARNING! Media Symptoms May Include Dysmorphia (1).jpg

Be Careful What You Wish For

4 Be Careful What You Wish For (3).jpg

July 2019

5 July 2019 (2).jpg

Wishful Reality

6 Wishful Reality.jpg
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