Ethnic cosmetic surgery seen as self-hate for race/ethnicity?

Hi everyone, I am half English, half Hispanic and have a typical "Asian", flat, wide, low-bridged nose. I am considering augmentative surgery to create a more "Caucasian nose". However I have deep concerns on how people will judge me especially as it is not simply changing a fault, such as a crook or bump, but actually changing the ethnic appearance. I am proud of my ethnicity to just confirm. In your experience, do family/friends react any different to "ethnic surgery", especially rhinoplasty?

Doctor Answers 7

Ethnic cosmetic surgery

Thank you for the question. When choosing a cosmetic procedure, the most important consideration is what matters to you. Oftentimes, even slight changes to the shape of the nose can produce a dramatic effect on appearance, improve your breathing, and fill you with self-confidence. You can certainly expect your plastic surgeon not to pass judgment on your decision to undergo any type of procedure. 
An in-person examination with a board-certified plastic surgeon would be the best way to assess your needs and guarantee an individualized medical advice. Best of luck! Dr. Michael Omidi.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Ethnic rhinoplasty

The decision to perform a rhinoplasty procedure is an individual one, and can only be answered by the patient.  Be very specific on the changes that you are trying to accomplish with your surgeon.  Digital computer imaging would also be helpful to get an idea of what can be accomplished on your nose with your facial features.  For more information and many examples of ethnic rhinoplasty, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 145 reviews


Dear danasc, Changing your nose to fit the aesthetics that you find attractive has nothing to do with patients not being proud of their ethnicity. I perform multiple ethnic rhinoplasty procedures a week and my patients are proud of their ethnicity they just want some refinements to their nose to better balance their facial aesthetics. Family members and friends typically come in for a rhinoplasty as well after they see the changes so I would not be concerned. See the ethnic rhinoplasty gallery link below for examples and the video above. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Ethnic Cosmetic Surgery

Wide flat noses are frequently seen in patients with different ethnic backgrounds. Narrow, well defined and projected noses are also frequently seen in English/Hispanic individuals. You are not looking to change your ethnicity but simply improve your appearance consistent with your aesthetic tastes. You don't have to apologize.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Ethnic changes

Ultimately this is going to be on you. You have to be sure you want these changes and will be comfortable with them. Most true friends and family are supportive of a patients goals but it is definitely true that some people are very critical and hostile about ethnic change. I have had the experience of a patient whom I thought had a wonderful result return to me later upset that she felt ostracized at her church for "no longer looking African American" enough. This cannot be predicted and can be very hard on patients and is something there is no going back on.You may want to consider a compromise and see what kind of refinement you can get without major ethnic change.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Ethnic rhinoplasty

This is a VERY common concern amongst ethnic rhinoplasty patients. Whether it be a desire to narrow the nostrils, acquire more nasal tip definition, or narrow and bring the bridge "up"....the most important thing in discussing your ideal with your surgeon during consultation is what YOU think.  Your surgeon will guide you - they have more experience with what can and can't be done with your skin type, facial proportions, etc.  You can certainly achieve what can be considered a more "caucasian" nose, while still retaining all the defining ethnic features that make you, well, you.  At the end of the day, that is what makes most people happy.  It is not about changing who you are completely, but just making minor improvements that improve your self-confidence.  I have found that most family members and friends accept these decisions as often times they are well thought out and guided.  I hope some of this helps answer your question.  Best of luck!

Miguel Mascaro, MD
Delray Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Ethnic Rhinoplasty

The real question relies in what YOU think.  There are many Hispanic, Asian or African American individuals with caucasian appearances that are deemed to be aesthetically-pleasing - and one can still differentiate that they are not caucasian.  In my experience, most family and friends accept a loved-one's decision to improve their sense of self-confidence, as long as it is a reasonable endeavor.

John Layke, DO, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.