One thing you hear often when you’re considering rhinoplasty surgery is that there’s no such thing as “perfect” nose. The surgery can improve the way your nose looks and even the way your nose functions. But, you don’t want to assume that the surgery will help you achieve perfection. A new study published at the end of June in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery found that, while there is no “perfect” nose, there is definitely a type of nose that meets the ideals of one specific demographic. While it doesn’t go so far as to call one nose perfect, it does confirm that the choices made by many surgeons when performing rhinoplasty fit within the current standards of beauty.
The focus of the study was on the attractiveness of certain degrees of nasal tip projection, or NTP. The researchers created composite images using a database of 300 photos of young white women between the ages of 18 and 25. The doctors conducting the study used composites because of the long and involve process that would have been required if they were to use patient photos. Each woman in the photos was normal looking, without any abnormalities. The doctors created 15 variations of each of the photos, adjusting the tip of the nose to angles ranging from 96 degrees to 116 degrees. The photos were then shown to people in focus groups and in online social network groups. The angle that was deemed the most attractive by focus-group participants and online participants was 106 degrees, meaning the tip of the nose was upturned just a small amount.
While the results of the study are interesting, it’s important to remember that there is still no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to shaping the nose. Most rhinoplasty surgeons will shape the nose in a way that best flatters a patient’s face. A British plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles East, noted that many surgeons will shape the tip of the nose between 95 and 110 degrees for women, based on the other facial features. It’s worth noting that the study was only conducted using images of white women in their late teens or early twenties. Just as beauty ideals and standards have changed over time, they also vary among different ethnicities. What looks appealing to one ethnic group might not work on another. For example, many people of African or Caribbean descent do not have an upturned tip, but rather have a nose that tips downward. The ethnicity of the patient is something a surgeon will consider before surgery. There are also different beauty standards among men and women. For example, the ideal NTP for men is usually much less pronounced than it is for women. Typically, a surgeon will rotate the nose at an angle between 90 and 100 degrees for men.
Getting the Nose You Want
When you go in for a consultation with an experienced rhinoplasty surgeon, you might consider bringing with you a picture of the type of nose you want. For example, many female celebrities, such as Scarlett Johansson and Kate Middleton have the so-called ideal nose, with a 106 degree tip. Your surgeon might use the picture as a guide but will also work to craft a nose that works on your face and with your specific features. Visual aids such as computer imaging will help him create a nose for you before the surgery. You can review the images with your surgeon before the surgery to confirm that you are on the same page. No surgeon will recommend trying to achieve perfection from a nose reshaping surgery. It’s essential that you have realistic expectations about the surgery and the results. Your consultation with a surgeon will not only help answer any questions you have about the procedure. It will also help you understand what to expect from the surgery. Dr. Jeffrey Epstein is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in nasal surgery. He’s available to answer your questions about the procedure and to help create a nose that works with your facial features. If you are in Miami, schedule an appointment with Dr. Epstein today. Call (305) 666-5884 for a consultation in Miami.