What I Know from Noses

Hochman, Anndee

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Short Story

Annotated by:
Squier, Harriet
  • Date of entry: Oct-07-1997


A teenager with a large, classic, Jewish nose, decides to get a "nose job." She has seen how her aunt blossomed after getting her nose fixed, and believes her life would improve too. It does. But as she grows older, and begins to appreciate her Jewish identity as well as the need to learn to look inside, not outside, for one's personal value, she wonders about the rightness of her action. Clearly, her self esteem improved; she did learn to like herself for the first time. Still, if she had a daughter with a big nose who wanted to be fixed, what would she advise her?


It is not uncommon to read essays by feminists clearly in opposition to cosmetic plastic surgery as a means to force women to conform to impossible physical standards. The narrator in this story, in contrast, thoughtfully reflects on both the advantages and disadvantages of the surgery she has had. The lack of a clear resolution is effective for promoting discussion of the topic.


Published in Inside Magazine, Spring, 1993.

Primary Source

I Am Becoming the Woman I've Wanted


Sandra Haldeman Martz

Place Published

Watsonville, Calif.




Sandra Haldeman Martz

Page Count