Nose job for a big nose?
March 19, 2010 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Does a nose piercing emphasize or distract from a large nose?

I am a 16 year old girl with what many would consider a [large] nose. It's really, really big. I also kind of love the little nose studs and think it may help me to like my nose a little more, appear more confident.

I may well get a nose job within the next 5 years. I'm not ruling it out. Would a piercing be bad in that case?

And two bonus questions: I can't tell what the minimum age is in Washington. This suggests there may not be one. I wouldn't do this without parental consent, so I can get an adult to sign the forms. Is there a minimum age?

Second bonus question: Anyone know a safe, reasonably priced, clean place in Seattle to get it done? A place that would be willing to pierce a 16 year old, with parental consent.
posted by R a c h e l to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (30 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Observation: My sister has a larger-than-average nose and has struggled with acne problems most of her life. She has a nostril piercing, and maybe it's that I don't see her very often, but when I do see her, the light will inevitably cat the jewel and my brain translates it to: "sparkly zit"*. At least in her case, I didn't notice her large nose (or acne for that matter) nearly as much before the stud. YMMV, of course.
*she's my sister, I love her, I'd never tell her that to her face
posted by MuChao at 12:07 PM on March 19, 2010

Different people will react differently to the question of whether a nose ring emphasizes or distracts from your nose, and if it emphasizes, whether it does so in a good way or a bad way. There's no way to provide a blanket answer to that.

Since I can speak only for myself, I'd say it draws attention to your nose.

I don't have a problem with piercings or cosmetic surgery in general. If you like the idea of having a pierced nose, great, go for it, but I'd recommend against it as a way to make up for some other self-perceived defect. Doubly so for a nose job, for too many reasons to list: you're still young, the shape of your face is going to keep changing for a while, there's nothing wrong with big Jew noses (says the guy with a big Jew nose), plastic surgery is surgery—it's serious. And so on.

And I can't help but think of the girl I knew back in high school who got a nose job. And then broke her nose a month later, and needed more work to fix that. Then broke it again, and needed still more work.
posted by adamrice at 12:07 PM on March 19, 2010

OK, wording aside, I actually think this sounds like a good idea. I don't know about the nose job thing (apart from the fact that everyone I know who had a big nose and then got a nose job regretted it later) but I do think a tiny stud can look cute in a big nose. It's not going to make it look smaller, but it could make it look like you like your nose. Which might be a precursor to liking it.

Good luck!
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:08 PM on March 19, 2010

General rule of thumb - do not affix sparkly items to things you do not want noticed

But hey, if you like it, rock that nose and go for it.
posted by fermezporte at 12:09 PM on March 19, 2010

I know several very good looking men who appreciate larger noses. Unless there is some structural defect that is adversely affecting your quality of life, why spend the money and take the risk that your new nose will be fucked up and weird looking? Try out the piercing. Wait until you're fully grown. Don't even think about life-altering surgery at age 16.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:12 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Does a nose piercing emphasize or distract from a large nose?

It accentuates it.
posted by The World Famous at 12:12 PM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'd say it draws attention to your nose but if you really like the look of a little ring or stud, go for it!

On a related note, a friend had a big, aquiline nose (Swiss heritage fwiw) and after college with money from her first real job, got it done. She is thrilled. Personallly, I think she is lovely either way but she is happy & that's what counts. She also did it for herself not to please anyone else which I think is key!
posted by pointystick at 12:15 PM on March 19, 2010

While a piercing may accentuate your nose, it also tells people that you are aware of it and are choosing to ornament it, which some people are going to find very attractive in itself -- you are owning your body and subtly changing the way attention is drawn to it.

It's possible to notice and appreciate a body part without being put off by it, even if it's a part not normally considered "beautiful".
posted by hermitosis at 12:18 PM on March 19, 2010 [12 favorites]

I think you should do it. You can always take it out if you don't like it. And 16 is the perfect age to experiment with your appearance, IMO.
posted by cottonswab at 12:22 PM on March 19, 2010

I have to agree that I would think it would emphasize it, not distract. I also agree with those saying don't do anything permanent at this age. Although a nose piercing isn't likely to be nearly as regrettable as the woman who gets a unicorn tattoo on her breast, and when she's 70, it becomes a giraffe. But if you get it pierced and then later on decide not to wear anything in it, it's liable to look like a giant open pore on your nose.

And FWIW, I'm jewish, and I wasn't offended.
posted by MexicanYenta at 12:23 PM on March 19, 2010

The only way I can see a piercing distracting from the size of your nose is if you got a larger stud that looks like it would be smaller thus creating an object-in-mirror-may-be-closer-than-they-appear effect. I am pulling this out of my ass.
posted by griphus at 12:26 PM on March 19, 2010

Jew here. With a big nose. Not offended.

IF you decide to get pierced, please go to an actual reputable piercing parlor where they use actual needles. Don't go to the mall and get pierced with a gun.
posted by gnutron at 12:30 PM on March 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

as regrettable as the woman who gets a unicorn tattoo on her breast, and when she's 70, it becomes a giraffe

I really dislike this argument whenever I hear it, because frankly hardly anyone in real life is interested in how aesthetically appealing a 70-year-old person's body is. No one will want to look at my chest when I'm very old, it will hardly be a thing of beauty, and so I may as well enjoy it as I choose to while I'm young and ripe.

As for the giant nose-piercing pockmark, I've never noticed one on anyone before.
posted by hermitosis at 12:36 PM on March 19, 2010 [4 favorites]

Personally, I think nose rings can look cool, but studs remind me of zits. Especially pearl studs. But YMMV. If you want to pierce your nose, I say wait a month. If you still want to, go for it.

I'm sure there are lots of good places in Seattle which do good piercing. When I got the top of my ear pierced, 13 years ago, I was given advice to make sure the piercing place used hollow needles, so that they would actually be removing a tiny bit of cartilage to form the hole. I don't know if that's useful for nose piercings---but I would suggest you do the research to find out before you go poking holes in your nose!

More things to think about: are you prone to colds and/or sinus infections? Allergies? If so, you might talk to people about how those things interact with nose piercings. (next week's AskMe?)

If your parents are willing to go with you, then you shouldn't have a problem with permission. (You might not have a problem even without---it's hard to tell.)

Re Jew nose: Jew here. Not offended. Found it descriptive--I've got one too.
posted by leahwrenn at 12:47 PM on March 19, 2010

Mod note: removed "jew nose" mention, carry on answering the question
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:52 PM on March 19, 2010

I have a nose that, while perhaps not properly termed "large," is somewhat oddly shaped. As a teenager, my kinder friends called it "distinctive." My boyfriend calls it a ski-slope nose, and we frequently joke that between his huge schnoz and my oddly shaped one, we should probably be barred from reproducing for the good of the child.

Anyway. I have a nose piercing, and I love it. I'd say that hermitosis' description of it also tells people that you are aware of it and are choosing to ornament it is right on the money. It definitely helped me like my nose much better.

As a solidly pro-nose-ring individual, I'd also recommend that you think about a slender, small nose ring rather than a stud if you're concerned about making your nose look bigger. A tiny nose stud can be overly dainty on an assertive nose (see: the sparkly zit comment above), whereas a close-fitting very narrow-gauge ring is feminine and ornamental but also *there* enough to make the whole look much better balanced.
posted by iminurmefi at 1:01 PM on March 19, 2010

In my experience, the girls whose nose piercings really 'fit' them all had rings— large and small noses alike. By contrast, many of the girls with studs either seemed to join in when it was trendy (like the 90s eyebrow stud fad) or it wasn't a big impact on their face either way.

I'd say think about it, maybe even buy a cheap ring to test it out on your face at different locations and angles (a captive ball ring with the ball removed should stay well enough to get an idea). If you still want a nose job in five years, then do it. IANAPS but have had reconstructive surgery, and I can't imagine a small, needle-pierced hole affecting the course of a rhinoplasty on a large nose.
posted by a halcyon day at 1:03 PM on March 19, 2010

I see where you're going with this, but it's not going to matter so much what other people see as emphasis or distraction. What's really going to matter is whether YOU see it as emphasis or distraction. For that, you're going to need to look at a lot of noses pierced with studs. A great place to check this out is at BMEzine: hundreds and hundreds of pages of pierced nostrils, of every shape, size, and color.

You write, "I also kind of love the little nose studs and think it may help me to like my nose a little more, appear more confident." If you love the look of the nose stud, and you're prepared to care for a piercing, then yes, you should get it. I think your statement says it: if something as little as a stud makes you like your nose a little bit more... you know what you have to do! If you do decide to get a nose job later, the stud will have to go. Actually, any surgery that involves anesthesia, the stud has to come out. Depending on how well-healed it is, you may be able to put it back in after. You may find that after you've gotten the piercing, you'll feel good enough about your nose that you won't want a nose job.

As to your bonus question, I've seen excellent, gentle work done by Zack at Piercing Evolution in Everett.
posted by juniperesque at 1:05 PM on March 19, 2010

A small stud will celebrate your nose's magnificence.
posted by carmicha at 1:06 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I suggest getting a fake nose ring and wearing it for a while (even if only at home) to see how you like it. They also make magnetic nose studs you could try out.
posted by lorrer at 1:16 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Wife (who has a big nose and a nose stud in Seattle) strongly suggests buying some rhinestones and some eyelash glue or spirit gum and trying out various locations, sizes, and colors. She tried a temporary (clip-on) ring, but decided that didn't work for her nose. If you decide to go for it, she says Laughing Buddha on Capitol Hill is awesome. According to the FAQ at Slave to the Needle, you can get some piercings including the nostril at 16 with parental consent.
posted by The Tensor at 1:56 PM on March 19, 2010

Mod note: few comments removed - if you want/need to call out other commenters on what you perceive to be their philosophical failings, go to email or MetaTalk, do not do this here. thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:27 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

$5 will get you a magnetic nose stud that you can try out until you're comfortable you want a permanent piercing.
posted by platinum at 2:32 PM on March 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

One of my closest friends has a large nose, and she struggled with it throughout her childhood. During her early 20s she made peace with who she was and what she looked like, and she got her nose pierced with a sparkling stud. Not only did it look fabulous, but it looked RIGHT, like she was meant to always have one. Love your big nose! Adorn it! And if you don't like it down the line just take it out. I no longer have my nose pierced, and you have to look pretty close to see where the hole was. You're 16, what an awesome age to decorate!
posted by missmary6 at 2:54 PM on March 19, 2010

You can search with BME (and also with BME here) to find a piercing shop in your area, and the previously mentioned Slave... and Laughing Buddha both get high marks (although that's only from a few votes). You can also read people's experiences in Seattle although many of those will be out of date (ie done by people no longer working in the area).

I would also vote for a close-fitting, thin-gauge ring over a stud. And suggest you spend several evenings at home comparing a glued-on ball/gem to a clipped-on ring and try to decide which you would prefer long-term. When a nostril piercing is done for wearing a stud, it is usually done at a different angle (from 2 o'clock to 7 o'clock) than one done for wearing a ring (which should be done closer to horizontal, 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock, and parallel with the vertical plane of the face).

Wearing a stud in piercing done at the second angle (horizontal) doesn't look bad or, usually, even noticeably different. However putting a ring in a piercing done at the first angle (diagonal) often pokes outward and diagonally from the face and can seem noticeably odd unless the ring is quite small and snug-fitting. That said, a nostril usually heals faster and easier with a stud/nostril screw instead of wearing a ring for the initial healing period.

But if you get it pierced and then later on decide not to wear anything in it, it's liable to look like a giant open pore on your nose.

This is rarely true. Piercings are usually done inside the curl of the nostril. If you remove it, it will be quite obvious on the first day and gradually become less noticeable as time goes by. A more defined curl will hide it well (people struggle to see where mine was). If you have less of a define curl, it may be more obvious.

a magnetic nose stud

I have seen some people have rather unsightly allergic reactions to those on their earlobes--and mucous-membrane that is the inside of your nose is more sensitive than the epidermis of an earlobe. I'd recommend something stuck on with eyelash glue instead.
posted by K.P. at 3:10 PM on March 19, 2010

I have a SPECTACULARLY enormous nose and I hated it for my entire life until I got a nose stud. Now I love it. There's something about adding an ornament to one of your features that makes it seem "on purpose". See also: prince alberts.

The first time I got it pierced it fell out after a month and it healed up (I got it done again on the other side) - I have a tiny pock-mark on my nose on that side, which I don't notice much. My partner had one for 4 years and he has a slightly larger scar that is still only about 1mm across.

Also: the idea that you have a big nose, while perhaps true, is mostly in your head. Nobody notices nose size except the mean kids at school, and it won't make you less attractive to anyone who would have fancied you anyway. So get a nose stud if you think nose studs are awesome. You'll feel way more attractive and that'll make you way more attractive.
posted by teraspawn at 3:37 PM on March 19, 2010

There's something about adding an ornament to one of your features that makes it seem "on purpose"

You know, at first I was thinking something like this. But then I started thinking about the people I know with big noses. I'm from a notoriously large-nosed ethnicity myself, so I know a few.

One of the most strikingly beautiful women I know has a nose that absolutely dwarfs the rest of her face. It totally fits her. She hasn't gotten any goofy body modifications or anything to "make it seem 'on purpose'". She's just an intense, passionate, slightly crazy individual, and having this striking nose just completes the package. She's a person who's actually comfortable in her ow skin, and I feel like meddling with her incredible nose would just make her seem ordinary and pedestrian, whereas now, she looks like nobody else you've ever met. Maybe this woman is you and you don't need to do a damn thing to your face to look great, and you don't even know it.

Talk to people who actually know what you look like and who you are. We don't know anything about your personality or your style or how you come across. And don't just talk to other sixteen-year-olds, for the love of god, or just to your mom. If my friend referenced above came and asked me if I thought she ought to pierce her nose, I would (I am certain) gasp in horror.

There are plenty of people who don't have a feature that anyone cares about. I cherish my friend's nose and would be so sad if she felt like she had to doll it up with some kind of crazy gewgaws in order to feel good about it. Maybe all your friends wish they had your cool-ass nose and you never knew.
posted by little light-giver at 7:21 PM on March 19, 2010

If you can get it done safely and take proper care of it, I say go for it. Worse comes to worse you take it out and have a tiny scar. Whether or not it will emphasize or distract doesn't really matter as much as how it will make you feel. I had some facial piercings that i felt called attention to the parts of my face that I liked, and they did increase my self-confidence a bit.
posted by inertia at 11:15 PM on March 19, 2010

I have a large nose and I had my nose pierced for years. It definitely drew attention to it, but, it also made me like my nose more. In fact, because of it, I put the thought of ever having a nose job out of my mind.

Unfortunately, I have very elastic skin and my nose ring ended up migrating. I had to remove the piercing and I do have a noticeable scar from the piercing. Still, I'm glad I did it and once I'm done with the surgeries I need, I will be getting it repierced on the other side.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:31 AM on March 20, 2010

Girl at work (accountant!) wears a tiny sparkly nose stud and it really suits her and her nose, which is also on the large side. However the only reason why she gets away with this (in our line of work) is because it is tiny and because she is always immaculatedly styled and dressed. But then you're probably still at school and that's likely not an issue.
posted by koahiatamadl at 6:23 PM on March 21, 2010

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