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In case you missed it, people are using TikTok’s hooked nose filter to gratify their non-hooked noses.
If you’re someone who has never been insecure about your nose, these terms might be unfamiliar to you. As someone who got a rhinoplasty, known colloquially as a nose job, at 18, I am happy to explain.
A hooked nose is a nose that has a bump in it: Think about noses like Barbara Streisand’s, Adrien Brody’s, or Lady Gaga’s. There is nothing wrong with these types of noses. However, throughout history, noses with a bump or a hook have been associated with non-white peoples—therefore racism and ethnic prejudice have ascribed hooked noses as ugly or unattractive. Hooked noses have also been strongly tied to Judaism and ethnic Jews.
Feeling insecure that one’s hooked nose doesn’t fit in with white, Eurocentric beauty standards causes some to get a rhinoplasty in order to remove the hook or bump from their nose.
TikTok came out with—and then deleted—a filter that gives users an enlarged, hooked nose. And many users have made—and then deleted—TikToks using the filter and said that seeing themselves with an enlarged, hooked nose makes them feel better about their noses, many of which are not hooked.
These kinds of videos have drawn backlash.
“You guys are using this filter for a ‘confidence booster’ not realizing [you’re] mocking African/Middle Eastern and Jew noses,” @jennaluvsmoney says in her video about the filter. “Just to feel better about yourself.”
“This trend is just saying ‘I’m glad I don’t have Middle Eastern features’ without saying it,” @phat_squirrel says in her TikTok.
“OMG I couldn’t imagine having a giant ugly huge bump nose,” @lislynn says sarcastically in her video using the filter on her nose, which has a bump in it.
Why it matters
When I decided to get a rhinoplasty, it was because I felt my hooked, bigger nose made me look unattractive. Plus, people made sure to tell me that I had a big nose on multiple occasions.
I am a Jewish woman. My real nose looked like my mother’s, and her mother’s, and my great grandmother’s. And because I was made to feel that there was something wrong with the way my nose looked, I got rid of a physical attribute that tied us all together.
I don’t entirely regret my decision to get a nose job, but I don’t want people who feel self-conscious when they see TikTok’s hooked nose filter to think that they have to change themselves.
It’s the dominant beauty standards that need changing.