By Liana Jacob



As a child, skin care business owner, Nicole Spinden (43) from Washington, USA, was bullied by her primary school peers for her nose. They would throw rocks and torment her every day on the way to school.

She would often cry over the lump on her nose and despite asking her parents to undergo surgery, they refused. It wasn’t until 2010, when she went to her ear, nose and throat doctor about an issue she had with her ear that she discovered she had a deviated septum and needed to fix her nose to relieve it.

Nicole pictured embracing her nose despite being unhappy with the results. MDWfeatures / Nicole Spinden

He told her that he could help her and without hesitation, she agreed to have a nose job. However, following the surgery, she noticed that her septum had shifted back to its original shape and her breathing had worsened, which worried her. She went back to the doctor but she was encouraged to wait longer before undergoing her next surgery. In 2012, she had it done again but the same thing happened, and it became more swollen.

When she had another nose job to fix it in 2016, her nose began to swell even more and she instantly regretted getting it done. She had collectively spent £27,470 ($36,000) on her surgeries.

She now plans to get her nose fixed again but with a more reputable doctor and despite her disappointment with the results she now feels more secure in herself and believes that being authentic is beautiful.

Nicole pictured shortly after her third surgery. MDWfeatures / Nicole Spinden

“I was an only child; we didn’t have much money. Couple that with insecurities, growing up I felt my nose was awful, I always wanted to have it smaller,” Nicole said.

“I used to be teased about it. I really didn’t know that medically I had something wrong with it, that it was deviated because I never went to the doctors about it.

“I remember asking my parents if they could get me surgery, and they would always think I was crazy. They just brushed it off because they didn’t want to see my insecurities.

“During elementary school, I lived out in the country and I would have to walk a quarter of a mile down a street to school.

Nicole says that now she has a harder time breathing due to her surgeries. MDWfeatures / Nicole Spinden

“There were these girls, they would always throw rocks at me or try to torment me. People on the bus would sing horrible songs about me, just being jerks.

“When I went to the doctor for something do to with my ear, he was doing an exam and told me ‘I could actually fix your nose and insurance will cover it’, my face lit up, I was so excited.

“I would be able to breathe better and my nose would be aesthetically fixed, I thought everything would be great.

“But I was wrong. I never even thought about the possibility that it would not work – that never crossed my mind.

A side profile of Nicole’s nose now. MDWfeatures / Nicole Spinden

“When I went to have the nose surgery, I had to wean off the medication I was on following the doctor’s protocol to stop forty-eight hours before the surgery. But it did not work.

“When I had my second nose surgery, they did it differently, they put me on opiate drugs until my procedure was over.

“But the septum started shifting and my husband went with me. My doctor said, ‘you’re going to have more scar tissue if you don’t allow it to heal longer. I’ll operate anyway.’ I think that was the first mistake, because you need a year for it to heal.”

Despite regretting her decision of having surgeries, Nicole’s health is now deteriorating as she struggles to breathe normally.

She is now working towards the future and hopes to undergo another surgery to help with her breathing.

“I do want to get my nose fixed again; I’m hoping to get a doctor who knows what they’re doing. My face is my work. My nose is worse off than when it was natural, and I wish I never touched it,” she said.

Nicole pictured with her husband before her surgeries. MDWfeatures / Nicole Spinden

“It hasn’t affected my business except just when having my own insecurities; I don’t allow my appearance to dictate my life.

“I’ve been able to accept myself for how I am, and it is what it is. I look in the mirror and I can still see the lump and all the things that are wrong with it.

“I’ve had three surgeries; I can’t breathe well at all, when I’m running, I have to breathe in through my mouth.

“With social media I definitely think we’re out in the public eye more than we used to be; we’re always posting pictures, so there is pressure on that, but I also think we’re more accepting of different beauties.

Nicole pictured (middle) with her family. MDWfeatures / Nicole Spinden

“It’s not just skinny models now. I think the more natural, the better, the more authentic we are, the more we step into owning, that makes a person beautiful.

“My advice to those considering surgery is to think ‘why do you want to get it done?’ For me, I grew up very insecure.

“I was always hard on myself and compared myself to models and beauty standards that don’t exist because now we have photoshop.

“So, find out why you choose to have it done; is it for aesthetic reasons, or for your health. Also, doctors are human, and they make mistakes but there is this misconception that once you come out they will be able to fix everything, when this isn’t always true.”