Channeling Chinatown

Okay, someone please explain this to me. Apparently, here in Beirut, nose jobs have become so popular that those who cannot afford them, or don’t even actually need them, can still opt to wear bandages across their nose…to fake a nose job. Yup. The newest trend to hit the Beirut fashion scene is the post-op nose bandage. Seriously, what the what??

Jack Nicholson in Chinatown. If only this movie had been made 35 years later and in Beirut...

Jack Nicholson in Chinatown. Ahead of his time. If only this movie had been made 35 years later and in Beirut...

Sorry, but how or why is this considered a chic look?? Okay yes, nose jobs are extremely commonplace in Lebanon – in a 1999 article in the Daily Star discussing the rising popularity of plastic surgery in Lebanon, journalist Anne Renahan wrote, “The Lebanese nose:  a facial feature that some people are starting to say is an endangered species on the verge of extinction.” And that was 10 years ago… Today plastic surgery is more popular than ever and the nose job is still leading the way as the most commonly elected procedure – but still, why wear the bandages if you don’t have to??

In that same article, Rehahan continued with several interviews with Lebanese plastic surgeons, including Dr. E.M., 65, a member of the Lebanese Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and  Aesthetic Surgery.  Apparently Dr. E.M. “…[didn’t] think that the high number of nose jobs in Lebanon [was] a fashion trend. The low cost of operations means that it cannot be considered a status symbol because to a certain extent it is available to everyone. ‘The operation is easy to do and can be done in a day. And it’s also cheaper here than other countries  the average price of a nose job in the States may be up to $6,000. In Lebanon it can cost as little as $1,000,’ he says.”

Okay, first of all, I don’t know what world you live in, but in my world, $1,000 is still a fairly large chunk of change. But if, for argument’s sake, you say that $1,000 is affordable, meaning that nose jobs are not considered a status symbol, than why bother with the bandage trend at all?? What’s the point?

To me it reeks more of Halloween than high fashion, but hey, I’m no fashionista.


13 responses to “Channeling Chinatown

  1. lebanese nose = sexy!!
    i hope they don’t go extinct…

  2. Have you ever read the book “Lipstick Jihad?” It talks about people doing the same thing in Tehran. You should read it – it’s your kinda book!

  3. Ha with this blog post I cannot but recall an anecdote of May who was surprised about the visibility of domestic violence in Lebanon with all these beat up women with bandages on their faces….untill she realised she wasn’t looking at victims of domestic violence but at incredibly amounts of nose-jobbers or apparantly even ‘faking-it’-nose jobbers.


  5. I was wondering when you’ll start writing again because I love your blog…all the way from Romania. 🙂

    That reminds me of my July trip to Lebanon. I met a group of ppl working in advertising on the plane and among the first things they asked was: ” ohh I suppose you’re coming to get ur nose done..?” :))

    And speaking about online life, I wish there was more editorial content posted on Time Out Beirut. It would be very useful for trevellers.

    • Wow! It’s so incredible to hear that my blog is being read by people all over the world!! Thanks for the feedback! And love that you were asked if you were getting a nose job on the plane – hilarious! Back to blogging now – sorry for the break – just needed a bit of time to adjust to working full time and blogging. I think I’m good now 😉

      Also thanks for the tip on the Time Out website. I’ll pass on the message!

  6. Considering that you’re featured on , it shouldn’t be that hard to believe. 😛

    Mabrouk for the full time job. As you’re saying, it can’t be that bad working for Time Out 😉

    I fell in love with lebanon right after I fell inlove for real (about 4 years ago) and I’m trying to learn as much as I can about it although I’m not able to travel there too often. Blogs like yours and some forums keep the interest alive 😉

    • True, true, but it’s still exciting to hear!! Thanks for the congratulations on the new job – I’m very happy!! Keep reading! And if you ever make it back to Lebanon, let me know and we’ll go explore the country some more together! Hugs from Beirut!

  7. Colette, update us 🙂 I know there were some good concerts recently in Lebanon .

    We’re coming over in December and I already arranged for you to be a special guests in a live music pub with AUB teachers playing 😉

  8. Pingback: Channeling Chinatown « Half & Half | Drakz News Station

  9. Collete,
    This post about the nose job bandages is really something. And your posts are all so insightful! And it’s awesome that a writer you really respect commented on your blog 🙂

    I’d love to feature one of your posts on Pink Pangea (, a travel site specifically geared towards women travelers. Submit a photo of yourself in Lebanon and write a post about your experiences. You might also want to provide some tips for other women travelers to Lebanon. We will be sure to link back to your site.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

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