We love a big booty. Why not a big snooty?
Who nose why Iggy Azalea went under the knife.
I always liked her look. With her prominent facial features, large bum and moles, she challenged conventional ideas of what it is to be sexy in showbiz.
But yesterday, in Seventeen magazine, the singer revealed she had had plastic surgery.
The trumours began to surface after May's Billboard Awards, where there was something very distinctly different about the singer. Her snuffer had gone.
Of course, it hadn’t gone. But it had been shaved into a shape that dramatically transformed her face, making her look like all the other Kardashi-clones gracing the red carpet.
As someone with a big beak, I felt rather disheartened to see another one bite the dust. But who can blame Azalea? She’s just wearing the school uniform. Forget breathing, the nose has become a staple accessory in the quest for beauty. One of the few body parts where smaller is better.
It’s not only the A-listers turning to surgery. In 2014 Rebecca Adlington had rhinoplasty to reduce her nose after years of abuse about its size. That someone of her profession thought it essential to reconfigure her face spoke volumes about the state of things. It didn’t matter that she was an Olympic swimmer. She was a woman and she didn’t look right.
Azalea was a beacon of hope for women campaigning against a society that would like us to regress into infancy while retaining our sexuality
In years to come I fear that girls will be far more inspired by Adlington’s surgery than front-crawl technique. From statistics you can already whiff a worrying increase in the amount of women wanting nose jobs – 3,841 in 2013 (a 19 percent rise from 2012).
Many of these are teenagers. This trend doesn’t say to me women want to look better. It says: women want to look like babies. We have fetishised neoteny, and made ourselves into strange hybrids of young and old. Mature physiological assets such as big breasts, lips and bottoms are acceptable, whereas infantile features such as button noses and small hands are perceived as attractive and feminine.
But I don’t want to be a baby. And I don’t want to be like Azalea, or all these other women with disappearing faces: the Kardashians and Simpsons and Agrons of this world. In essence, they are experiencing the ‘Anti-Pinocchio’ effect: the lies grow (‘I haven’t had any plastic surgery’), but the noses shrink.
I can’t see how they are any better for filing away their noses. Just as I don’t feel anyone improves from plucking away their eyebrows or pumping collagen into their lips. Noses are what give us individuality and character; we are all the sum of our parts.
You only have to look at the likes of Lea Michele, Barbra Streisand and Davina McCall to see that quite apart from being – as Hollywood might suggest – a hindrance, a larger nose can be a positively sexy asset. One of plastic surgery’s greatest tragedies is, arguably, the loss of Jennifer Grey’s nose. It was big, sure. But it was great. Without it she’s not exactly unattractive – yet, she has lost a certain je nais se quoi.
Slowly but surely women are turning into an army of small-nosed, doe-eyed Martians, losing a very public fight against the plastic surgeons. Just the other day in between a Made in Chelsea television break I was presented with an advert for plastic surgery. If I was impressionable; more susceptible to the idea that my nose was some sort of face parasite, perhaps I would pick up the phone.
But I like my nose. So I didn’t.
I liked Azalea’s nose. She was really quite beautiful with it pre-surgery. But it’s gone now, and I mourn for it like a fallen soldier. Azalea was a beacon of hope for women campaigning against a society that would like us to regress into infancy while retaining our sexuality. My only bit of hope comes from big bums. They haven’t always been in, but somehow J Lo, Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose have made them the next big thing.
If we can promote a big booty, surely we can do the same for the big snooty.
Follow Charlotte Gill @C_C_Gill