Beauty Trends From History: How to Fix Your Nose (If You Don’t Have One And It’s 600 BC)

Quick: if I say “plastic surgery,” what procedures do you think of first? For me, it’s breast implants and liposuction and Botox. Then I wonder if Botox is really “surgery.” Then I start wondering who gets calf implants.

Jocelyn Wildenstein has all of the plastic surgery

With all of the wonderful and scary surgeries available today, I almost forget about nose jobs, which is silly, since that’s the first type of plastic surgery I learned about. “Rhinoplasty” is one of the first fancy words I learned to use in order to show off (hey, a fifth grader has to start somewhere). I attribute this all to Clueless and its mockery of nose jobs.

Because how could I not include the greatest plastic surgery joke ever?

And of course, growing up to the accompaniment of Michael Jackson’s ever-shrinking nose had a big role in shaping (pun!) my perception of plastic surgery. Oh, Michael – the smaller it got, the more I grew up.

The nose knows

But don’t look down on the humble rhinoplasty. Not only does it still serve as the gateway drug to a lifetime of fixing yourself up all pretty, but it seems to have been the very first cosmetic surgery.

Sushrutha was a surgeon and writer who lived around 600 B.C. in Benares, India. He described history’s oldest-known rhinoplasties in a Sanskrit treatise called “Sushrutha Samhita” which contains riveting materials such as descriptions of 700 medicinal plants as well as his instructions for a nose job.

Sushrutha - paving the way for Michael Jackson

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    • Dr Rhys Branman

      Yes indeed! This is true. The very first recorded rhinoplasty was in ancient India. And who gets calf implants? Lots of people including bodybuilders (yes they do cheat sometimes, some of the women get breast implants as the fat is lost, so are the breasts), everyday women get calf implants too. Very cute article! Oh, and very cute scene from Clueless.

      Dr Rhys Branman

      Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center.