UT students share experiences with rhinoplasty

Ikram Mohamed, Life & Arts Reporter

On her 18th birthday, Grace Todd sat on the examining table before her doctor, brimming with anticipation as he removed the cast off her nose to reveal her rhinoplasty results.

“I feel more confident in my own skin, as opposed to being constantly self-conscious about what I look like from another person’s point of view,” mechanical engineering sophomore Todd said. “I was able to fall in love with a better version of myself.”

The term “plastic surgery” has carried a negative connotation for decades. Oftentimes, society casts people who undergo plastic surgery procedures as “vain” or “fake,” but some UT students who got work done to help ease insecurities want to shed these labels and educate the community on the true experience.

Growing up, Todd said she received comments about her nose shape that made her feel uncomfortable. Even though the stigma that comes with plastic surgery flooded her thoughts, when the idea of surgery arose, she decided to explore her options. Deciding on a date in December 2020, she felt secure in her decision. Suddenly, because of COVID-19, Todd’s appointment was moved up to July.

“(My doctor) had a patient cancel because they tested positive with COVID-19. So, he called me and (asked), ‘Can you get a COVID test today and have the surgery done in three days?’” Todd said. “I didn’t have much time to get mentally prepared. After I (scheduled) the appointment that night, there was a brief moment of panic. But it was one of the best decisions I’ve made.”

At a young age, Robby Goldman’s brother threw a book at his face, leaving him with a crooked nose for years. The radio-television-film senior said he received a rhinoplasty the summer after his high school graduation. Although he underwent the surgery for aesthetic reasons, the procedure also helped fix his breathing and eliminate his nosebleeds.

“I had lived with a crooked nose for as long as I could remember,” Goldman said. “ (Rhinoplasty) was just something that I really wanted to get done for the longest time.”

Neuroscience senior Marilynn Gonzalez said she’s always been insecure about her nose, especially in times of weight fluctuation.

“I’ve always wanted (a rhinoplasty) and I always joked about it,” Gonzalez said. “One day, my dad was like, ‘You know what, we can look into it.’”

In November 2019, Gonzalez said she began meeting with doctors in Mexico to discuss her options. She went through with the procedure two weeks later and said her friends called her “fake.”

“It’s my body,” Gonzalez said. “It is how I perceive myself at the end of the day and not about how (others) perceive me.”

Gonzalez said despite the stigma around plastic surgery and the criticism she received, she doesn’t regret getting her nose done.

“I (got) my nose done for myself, not for the approval of somebody else,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t regret anything.”