Would You Support 18-Yr-old Daughter's Push for a Nose Job?

Updated on May 16, 2017
T.J. asks from Paradise, UT
29 answers

My daughter graduates from high school at the end of this month. She inherited her dad's larger nose, which she has always been self-conscious of -- it's honestly not that large, but she's been teased about it some since grade school. However, I feel like kids ALWAYS pick something to pick on each other for, and she's truly beautiful as-is, and I worry that she'll look fake or regret it if she has it done. She is pushing to have me go with her to a "consultation" about getting it done, but I'm resistant to going so soon. I know teen's brains are not done developing at this age and would rather she wait another year or two to make this big, life-altering decision. She, however, is now angry at me because "I'm not supporting her decision" and is threatening to just go alone. She plans on getting financing and paying for it herself.

If you were in my position, what would you do? Have any of you had a nose job, and if so, how old were you when you knew you wanted it, and have you regretted it or been happy you did it?

I thought it was supposed to get easier when they get older!

What can I do next?

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W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Her bones have stopped growing - the cartilage will continually grow.

GO with her. Listen to the doctor and tell her to get a second opinion.

Since she plans on financing herself? Go and support her.

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S.H.

answers from Santa Barbara on

I do think getting a nose job now (after High School and before college) is a good time to get it. She will not deal with all the HS gossip of look at her nose if she showed up Senior year with it. She is at the age where looks are so important (at least for me).

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Why won't you go with her? They might tell her she can't do it now, they will more than likely end up telling her how she can't afford it, and she'll have you there to talk about it with.

I'd think you'd want to be there for her. I know you might think she's too young but if she can afford to pay cash for a nose job then she's going to get it with or without you.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

I've had plastic surgery - it was more corrective, but I can pass along some advice based on my experience. A plastic surgeon consultation can be really helpful - some people decide not to go forward once they've seen them. A good surgeon will suggest other options (less invasive) first. The one I saw would suggest supportive bras, etc. before doing breast surgery. There was a wait time between the consult and booking so that you could really go home and do your homework and think about options.

That's the sign of a good one. I also got recommendations - my physician knew of many patients who went to the surgeon I saw, so that was helpful to me. I knew how they had healed, results, etc.

My niece had surgery for breast reduction around your daughter's age. Again, for her it was a matter of being able to wear clothing that fit, not feeling uncomfortable and strained, etc. so I suppose it was more 'necessary' than what your daughter is looking for. My sister went with my niece even though she was an adult. She had her questions to ask that my niece had not thought of. So I would personally go with your daughter. There's a recuperation period as well after any surgery - these are all questions you want to ask.

As for noses, I grew up with a very prominent nose. It bothered me my entire childhood. My mother simply said it's a fine nose, you will grow into it. That wasn't helpful to me at the time, but I actually did. My looks changed significantly between 18 and say mid twenties. My nose suited my face once my face had stopped growing. It's like my nose grew before the rest of my face caught up. That's a question you could ask the surgeon. Sounds weird, but also wearing my eyebrows a bit differently changed the emphasis off my nose. I had quite a strong eyebrow, and there were ways that cosmeticians and aestheticians helped me soften my look.

Right now, where you're somewhat upset and she's angry with you - not a great time to look into it. I would say we will in a few months, get used to the idea, and go in as a support to her.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

You have nothing to lose in going to a consult with her!!! Aren't you glad she asked you to go with her.

I've not been in your situation but if there were something that I knew drained my daughter's self esteem and I could possibly help her, I'd at least go to the Dr with her so she can have you by her side while the Dr talks to her about options.

You are not agreeing to a surgery just by going to a consult. Who knows, you may learn something too.

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C.F.

answers from New York on

I would go to ensure she asks all the right questions and ensure she is seeing a qualified surgeon not a doctor that just does cosmetic procedures (there is a big difference between the two)

Also I would ask her as a compromise to see a counsellor as well to discuss body image and whether surgery will actually help her.

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I would absolutely go with her. Honestly, I think I would pay for it too. There is no need to suffer with something so easily fixable. I had 2 close friends that had it done. Both looked great. One of them though ended up with some kind of complication (I don't remember now) and years later had to have a revision. I would certainly investigate top plastic surgeons first.

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R.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Since she's an "adult" and plans to do it anyway, and finance it herself, you might as well go with her to the consultation. It would be good to have mom's input. I haven't had a nose job, but I've been witness to some pretty crappy plastic surgeons. So help her choose a good surgeon, which will involve a good amount of research.

Don't let her rush into this without thoroughly checking out the doctor.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Unless her features were truly out of the ordinary, I wouldn't be able to support her decision.
I think it would be better to wait till she's 25.
There's no harm in going to the consultation and asking questions.
How is she going to get financing?
Does she have a job?
What about college?
That's expensive enough without adding plastic surgery costs on top of that.

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E.B.

answers from Honolulu on

I think I'd base my answer on the rest of the potential plastic surgery patient's life and attitude.

For example, say there's this person who can't hold onto a job or has unrealistic job dreams (not willing to start out being a server, wants to start as the general manager, for example, with no prior experience). The person mopes around the house, complains about everything, doesn't take good care of his or her general health. And he or she says that if that ol' nose was smaller, or those boobs were bigger, or something similar were changed, that life would be great and he'd probably get an awesome job offer right afterwards, even with no education or experience, and no drive to get off the couch and get out there.

Now say there's another person who has goals, who works hard, who has friends, who's generally happy and healthy, but is dissatisfied with one personal thing. Maybe she's sick of wearing glasses and wants Lasik surgery. Maybe he wants a smaller nose. Or a scar reduced.

I wouldn't be inclined to support the first person, but I would be supportive of the second person.

If your daughter is generally well-balanced, responsible, stays out of trouble, and if she is focused on making her life a good one - either through education or a job plan - then it seems like a nose job is a relatively safe decision. Make sure she researches it, and doesn't want anything too drastic. She still should look like herself, just a slightly better version. Make sure to look the surgeon up on healthgrades.com or similar sites that divulge doctors' records, complaints, training, education, etc. States keep public databases on all licensed professionals. Look up the clinic's licenses too.

If she feels like a complete failure, and spends her days sleeping and her nights partying, and feels like the nose job must happen before she can enroll in college or apply for a job or make friends, then I'd be less supportive. I'd try to help her see that nose job would be a final step, not a first one.

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

I have BIG lips. Always have. I was teased mercilessly in Jr. High and High School. I begged my mom to take me in and get plastic surgery. BEGGED! I cried. I wanted thin thin lips like the movie stars and instead I had pillows on my face.
My mom tried to tell me I was beautiful the way I was, that I didn't need to change anything, that Julia Roberts had big lips and she was a movie star!
I never went in and got them done. Boy did I WANT to though.

And now I am an adult. My lips are sexy. Seriously. So sensual and awesome. Husband loves them, they are great.

I am so glad that I didn't get them done! I didn't feel comfortable with my lips until I was about 19/20. By then I started hearing compliments. I was floored.
If I were in your position I would keep trying to encourage her. Remind her of her beauty, smarts, kindness....all the good stuff. BUT, I would also go with her to the doctor. Make sure that he is reputable and wont jack her face up.

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M.6.

answers from New York on

First, I would work with her on this so she just doesn't end up at some "schmo" who will butcher her face. Honestly, I would think that any plastic surgeon would still say no until her face is done growing (I feel like that would still be happening). Also, NEVER go to a place where you "pick" your nose you like.

My mom had rhinoplasty when she was in her late 40's/early 50's. She had wanted it ALL her life - ever since she could remember. She also was teased "some" at school, but not terrible. Interestingly, she has an identical twin who has NOT had rhinoplasty and does not think she needs it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder :) Anyways, my mom had access to the top plastic surgeons in the country, thanks to my step-dad's job at a prestigious hospital. He was/is VERY good and he told her that a good surgeon will design your "new" nose based on your existing cheekbone structure, the cartilage that is already in place, the spacing of your eyes, etc. You would NEVER know that my mom had it done - it looks like something she was born with and his work brought definition to her face that previously was not there. THAT is what plastic surgery is meant to do.

Post surgery is extremely painful - not kidding. My mom has a very high pain tolerance and she was miserable. The only "issue" she has had all these years is since her surgery, she suffers from a slight runny nose when she runs (she runs marathons). She swears it wasn't an issue prior to the surgery. She just carries a tissue as it is just an occasional clear drip that happens.

My mom doesn't regret her rhinoplasty, but that is almost solely due to choosing an excellent surgeon. I think that MOST people only regret plastic surgery when it doesn't turn out well.

Good luck!

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

She's 18. She plans to pay for this herself. Why not go to the consultation if she asks you to come along? This is obviously important to her. Being supportive is just being present with her while she learns more about the procedure. It doesn't mean you will ultimately agree with having it done, or having it done right now, or done with the particular person you see. You may have the opportunity to ask questions she wouldn't think to ask. I would keep an open mind and go along.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

I don't think you have to worry about her getting financing, she will need you to co-sign I would imagine. I agree with you that a choice like this should wait until she has spent a year or two out of high school. Things in college are not the same and the chances that she will still be made fun of for her nose are slim. Plus teens are not done fully maturing until their early 20s so making radical changes to ones face seems premature, she may grow into her nose more. It would be different if it was a true quality of life issue, like a breast reduction.

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B.A.

answers from Columbus on

Since she's determined to do it with or without your support, I'd go with her just to be certain that she's asking the correct decisions. Since she's willing to pay for it herself, my concern would be that she might choose to go with the lowest-cost provider just to save money, and end up with horrible results. While you're there, you can ask questions about how people's faces change over time. (You can show her teen and adult pictures of someone like Hillary Duff to illustrate how people's faces tend to think and become more defined as they age.)

The first thing I thought of when I read you question was Jennifer Grey from Dirty Dancing. Even after all of her fame, she had a nose job. And ended up regretting it because it made her look just like everyone else. Granted, your daughter will probably never be a household name like Jennifer is. But her story is a good example of how having something that distinguishes us from others is sometimes a good thing.

And, as someone else pointed out, your daughter's perspective is very limited at this point. She may feel like others made fun of her in high school-- and that may even be true. Fortunately, college and post-college life aren't as judgmental.

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N.P.

answers from Chicago on

in a heartbeat
my daughter will be 18 in a few weeks, also graduating this year, and yep, if she felt she needed something like that and we could afford it then I would do it. I would rather she go off to college and her adult life with confidence. I do remember when I was a teen someone in our church had a nose job, turned out her nose had been broken in the past, no one knew when or how, so the nose job was covered 100% as a medical necessity.

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C.C.

answers from New York on

I think you should encourage her to think carefully about "growing into it", as some posts below note.

Has your daughter had experience with makeup? Cosmetics can change the look of a face, draw attention different places. Maybe take her to get a makeover and see if that changes her opinion?

Ultimately, if she is determined to do it, this summer might be as good a time as any, if she does not have big summer plans - she can recover at home under your care, not miss any school, and not miss work.

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T.P.

answers from Indianapolis on

I would go to the consultation to support her. This is something she that has bothered her for a long time so I don't think you can change her mind. Just make sure she is going to a reputable plastic surgeon. Making this change will boost her self confidence. Good luck!!

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R.A.

answers from Boston on

At 18, she can decide what she wants to do with her body. However, it does sound like she wants your support and help. She most likely would be getting it done regardless, it may just be later on and without you. I'd rather be supportive and attend the consultation. The Plastic Surgeon would be able to answer any of her or your questions, and also discuss whether or not it is plausible and worth it for her to go ahead with thher procedure.

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J.K.

answers from Wausau on

She's 18 and can do what she wants, with or without your approval. Because a nose job is not harmful to her in the long run it would be better for your relationship to at least not be argumentative. Ultimately, it is her choice and her potential regret. You can't fully protect her from this, but the benefit of going with her to a consultation is so you can vet the surgeon and help prevent plastic surgery nightmares with a quack.

FWIW, I'm with you about thinking she should wait. I just know she isn't going to hear that.

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K.M.

answers from New York on

Would you fix her super crooked teeth or have a large birthmark removed from her face? I would at least go to the plastic surgeon with her.

D.B.

answers from Boston on

If she wants you to go with her, I'd go. It would be helpful to have another set of ears to see if she's asking the right questions, if the prospective surgeon is telling her about side effects and complications or just rushing her into it, and to see if said surgeon is realistic with her about what she can expect and not expect (e.g. her life isn't going to be all rainbows and roses if she gets a nose job).

You'll be better able to see how she handles the situation if you go along - and resist the urge to do all the talking. Let her run the show with the surgeon, and you'll see how mature she is.

It's a consultation - it's not the operation. One step at a time.

And yes, if she wants it, she should pay for it. But find out if there's a medical reason why this would be a good idea and whether insurance will cover any of it.

Going along means you are supporting her decision to get information. It's too soon to know whether either of you will support the operation itself. One step at a time.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

She's 18, so she's going to do it whether or not you approve.
Go with her, and tell her that while you think she's beautiful as is, you will stand by her decision to do as she pleases with her own body.

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S.W.

answers from Detroit on

I see you have a lot of input already but here's my 2 cents anyway. Have you ever see the TV show Botched? You risk IQ points by watching it but one of the things they emphasize is finding the right surgeon for the procedure. Just because she goes to the consultation now doesn't mean she has to have the surgery now. You never know, the surgeon might actually recommend she hold off for a couple of years. I know she's of age but you're still her mom and she still needs guidance and assistance with uncharted waters. Your last comment makes me smile. Mine is 15 and I often wonder what I'm in for... :-) S.

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D.E.

answers from Phoenix on

I personally love the way nose rings look. I feel like I have kinda a big nose and was afraid to pierce my nose ,because I felt it would draw more attention to my nose , but it actually looks really good on me . Nose rings can also look good on any nose. It doesn't have to be small and cute. I waited until I was about 25 and I feel like it never goes out of style. I think 18 is an appropriate age to pierce nose . Now anything under 18 I would say definitely No. I would say have her get a fake one first to see if she likes it.

S.T.

answers from Houston on

If it were my child, I would go to the consultation. Support and agreement are not the same. I would go to show my support of my child's personal concerns and to be the second pair of ears (more seasoned no less) during the consultation. Undoubtedly you will have questions and concerns which your daughter does not think of and perhaps will not want to raise.

My friend had breast augmentation when we were in college. She paid for it, did her research on which type and which surgeon, etc. Her mother utterly refused to go with her to any of the appointments or the surgery itself. I took my friend to the surgery and cared for her post surgery. At the time I remember wondering why is her mother not here? Fine, mom doesn't agree but clearly adults can do what they please and mom's attitude didn't change the outcome. My friend had her surgery in spite of her mother's disapproval and lack of support. I remember filing the incident away as something to remember when I became a parent. Good luck whatever you decide.

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S.L.

answers from Denver on

I wouldn't have a problem with it. I would, however, make sure that her growth and bone development has finished (there are ways they can check this). Some kids are late to fully develop (like my kid).
If it helps her self confidence, fine. It's kind of like cosmetic orthodontics.

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

Many years back when I went to secretarial school in NYC a girl had her nose done. She brought in pictures of before and after. The nose she had was a strong one and the "adjustment" made her nose a bit smaller and she was happy with what she had done.

Go with your daughter. Ask any questions you might have about the surgery and the recoup time. Build a strong bond between the two of you that will last a lifetime. Remember, it only takes one small thing to ruin a relationship between a daughter and mother for life.

Good luck to the two of you. Please do report back on what happened.

the other S.

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D..

answers from Miami on

You should do this. It's her face. And you should be supportive. You don't have the right to tell her no. You have the right not to pay for it. But not the right to tell her no. And you are just being selfish if you don't go with her to the consultation.

The other thing that you can do IF you are involved with this is to make sure that she has the best surgeon possible. She needs one that is peer reviewed by other plastic surgeons. That's VERY IMPORTANT. It requires research on your part. And the surgeon needs to specialize in faces.

Get started on researching. You will probably be better at this than she is.

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