Like many people who watched Project Runway this season (SPOILER ALERT), I was not a fan of Irina, and not just because she was “Meana Irina,” constantly tearing down other people in order to make herself feel superior.
It was her nose. Or rather, her lack-of-nose.
All three finalists have been touted as pretty, and I guess they all are (I’m a Carol Hannah girl myself), but from the first moment I looked at Ms. Shabayeva, I realized I didn’t like looking at her. Everything about her face screams, “Pair me with a big, beautiful honker!” (like the right purse for a dress) but, alas, she has a straight, flat nose that looks oddly, well, truncated.
Two things convinced me that I was probably right in assuming that somewhere along the line Irina's had a bout with rhinoplasty – One, unlike the other contestants, the only childhood picture they showed of her was a baby portrait – no tweener or teenage years. (Hiding some dark, big, hooked, bumpy secret, maybe?) Two, when Tim Gunn visited her family, all of the Shabayeva women, to a one, sisters and mother, had big, glorious, Republic-of-Georgia beaks. I fully admit that I could be wrong about Irina: she could have been born with that shaved-off nose, and more’s the pity.
You see: If you haven’t already guessed, I love me a big nose, on a woman or a man. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t adore a healthy schnozzle.
I blame it on Barry Manilow. Sure, he’s a fright now (speaking of ill-advised plastic surgery), but back when I was a kid, maybe 6 years old, before I even understood what a crush was, I used to love his music, and I used to stare at his album cover, enraptured. Ah, his big, hooded, blue-green eyes, his sun-limned feathered coif, his orange-yellow tan, and most of all, his freaking enormous sniffer.
So, the King of the Copacabana imprinted his big snoot on my young, impressionable psyche, and I have been a slave to the outsized blower ever since. (And yes, I’m starting to run out of euphemisms for noses.)
The list of my celebrity crushes ever since reads like a parade of Cyranos. Owen Wilson. Jackie Chan. Jeremy Northam. David Tennant. Even my girly crushes: Paget Brewster. Claudia Black. Granted, all these folks are darned talented as well. Correlation? You be the judge.
I especially adore and admire female celebrities who haven’t opted to shorten, straighten, smooth, or narrow their lovely noses. It’s a bold choice, considering Hollywood’s preoccupation with pert proboscises. Some of them I’m sure had little choice, having been in the public eye since they were children: and thank goodness. Sarah Jessica Parker leaps to mind. Otherwise, they would be forced to let the world in on their nips-n-tucks, like Jennifer Grey, Ashley Simpson or Kathy Griffin (better noses before, all of 'em).
I, alas, do not have a big nose. My friends who do will no doubt roll their eyes at this posting, and exclaim that I don’t know what it’s like, and they’d be right. Although many of us as children suffered some perceived irregularity that garnered unwanted attention from our peers; I never had to endure nose-related playground monologues from tiny, ersatz Jose Ferrers.
But I’m envious. Those in possession of grand snoots precede themselves into a room. A large nose is lovely; it gives a face strength and character.
I even married a man with a big nose. Granted, his Bunyanesque (his word) head somewhat mitigates the fact, but still, it is unquestionably considerable. His nickname as a child was, in fact, “Nose.” Not particularly original, but to the point.
So to speak.