Are noses being worn longer in New York this season?

Have you ever noticed how strong the generational influence is on portraiture?

If you look at photos from the 1920s all the girls seem to have tip-tilted noses, neat little chins and big round eyes.

It is hard to tell what any specific early 18th century woman looked like from her portrait, because they all painted to look the same: plump along the jawline, heavy-nosed and pop-eyed. Most of these portraits seem to be informed by the same ideal woman, though there is no way of knowing who the original beauty was. Likewise, 16th century portraits all feature people with long thin faces, long bony noses and sunken eyes. Since such a volta face is genetically impossible we are left with the only explanations being fashion or toadyism.

Now, more than ever before, women manage to achieve a consistent image of beauty. If you look at images of modern celebs and wannabes they are indistinguishable identi-girls; tall, skinny, broad-mouthed, with high round breasts and an expensive mane of hair-extensions. And they all have the same short little round-nostrilled nose, sometimes even a nez retroussez, though these days it is achieved with the knife rather than the brush.

But it seems that a tip-tilted nose is so last year, darling. Take a look at the noses on this lot and see what you think. (Poor Helen Shifter, she’s stuck with last season’s schnoz, and doesn’t it age her? She’s so brave about it, too).

I could draw conclusions, but you are an intelligent person and it’s late, so I’ll trust you to draw your own.

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3 responses to “Are noses being worn longer in New York this season?

  1. I like a good strong nose, being the proud owner of a ski-jump type snoz myself.

    I’ve often pondered the reasons why our noses and ears seem to get larger with age. Is it a physiological enhancement to assist failing senses? Or just something to make us look more deserving of the respect that all our years of experience has earned us?

  2. Cartilage, unlike bone, never stops growing. And that’s what ears and noses are made out of. It never stops growing because of the wear and tear on joints – your knees, my knees, all knees are in a permanent state of one-step-ahead-of-destruction, right up until they start twinging and you realise you are no longer replacing as fast as you wear it down. Ears and noses are dignified side-effects of this.

    Fashions in faces are so tiresome. It’s only partly reassuring to realise it isn’t a mere modern madness. I know a lot of people who would have been recognised as extremely beautiful if only they had lived in Renaissance Italy, or Victorian England, or in the 1930’s. Today, they are invisible. Weird, and unfair.

    I’m just glad I’ve had the visual education to recognise beauty in all its infinite variety. To my eyes, very few people are ugly. To bitch a little, to my sister’s eyes, very few people are beautiful. I’d rather keep my eyes. Surely so much ugliness must be exhausting?

  3. I was thinking a bit more about this – and wonder if the prevalency of identical noses is related to cosmetic surgery.
    To those in the know, a celeb’s facial appearance is a walking advert for whichever surgeon did the work.
    Whether or not it’s a chicken/egg situation, I don’t know. Do they all go to the same surgeon and ask for One Like Hers – or does he/she just trot out the same remodel job regardless on everyone they treat?

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