I Felt Super Insecure About My Nose Until I Realized It’s the Reason I Can Sing

Barbra Streisand ran so that I could fly.

Growing up, I had a difficult relationship with my nose—it’s bony, bumpy, and stands out. The first time I was teased about my nose was in middle school, when I got into an argument with another girl and she called it big, but it was far from the last. While my nose was always the sore subject of high school bullying, I was convinced that it was the source of my singing talents. As an aspiring singer, the greatest compliment someone can give me is saying that I sound like Barbra Streisand—my musical idol—and the fact that we both have perfectly flawed noses helps me feel confident with mine.

Whenever someone makes a snide comment or an intentional dig, I can’t help but think of her. Streisand is one of the few entertainers who’s won an Emmy, an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Tony Award, all while not fitting into the industry’s status-quo beauty standards that still echo throughout the industry today. To me, she’ll always be living proof that it doesn’t matter what someone’s projected beauty ideals are of you; what matters is how you feel about it.

Singing has always brought me so much joy, and without my nose, I don’t know if I’d sound as good. The thought of losing that joy is harrowing. Whenever I flirt with the idea of changing my nose, I always snap back and ask myself why. To fit into an “elite” society of abnormal beauty standards where everyone’s nose looks the same for a fleeting moment of acceptance? No, thanks.

As my strong-willed Italian mother would say, “Opinions are like assholes: Everyone has one, and they stink.” Her point being that even if I did change my nose, there would still be people who’d find fault in my appearance, so why change it if it could affect my source of joy? Plus, whenever I find myself in an uncomfortable position, I always ask myself what Barbra would do in my shoes. Would she change for others? No! So why would I?

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