Can Black Women Ever Get Past The Idea Of Nose Jobs Being Taboo?

simone shephard

Early this week, popular social media star comedienne Simone Sheperd addressed criticism about the obvious changes she made to her face.

When her followers left messages like this on her IG page:



Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 6.00.48 PM



Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 6.01.38 PM

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 6.02.03 PM


She addressed the matter truthfully on her Facebook page:


Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 6.03.16 PM

The reaction from her followers isn’t a surprise, but still, it begs the questions: does having a few mild plastic surgery procedures mean you reject or despise your blackness? Many would say yes, but allow me to play devil’s advocate.

Do all nose jobs mean the erasure of one’s black or African features?  Though “slender” noses are attributed to whiteness, white people are still the number one consumers of plastic surgery procedures, with nose jobs at the top of the list.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2015, white women made up 71% of rhinoplasty procedures done in the country, while black women only accounted for 6% of total nose jobs done. If white people are “born” with the gold standard of noses as many imply, what exactly are they fixing? I say this to say, the perfect nose for some, may be more about symmetry or definition rather than specific features associated with race. What if Simone Sheperd felt one of her nostrils was bigger than the other? What if they flared in a manner she wasn’t fond of? Or maybe she wanted to see more bone structure in the form of a bridge at the center of her nose.


Patti Labelle who has also been vocal about getting her nose done early on in her careers says she felt her nose was too big. When you see Patti Labelle now, do you feel her surgically enhanced nose makes her look white? Is it too thin?

If we are going to be completely honest, the average woman with money and who works in an industry in which her face is constantly magnified would at least consider altering what she considers a “flaw.”  This is not to say that it’s right or wrong, it simply is what it is.

The truth is, there are so many celebrities who have gotten mild work done–so mild, their procedures are practically unnoticeable to the average person. There are plenty of black women in Hollywood who appear to fall in that category. Is it that they want to look more European?  I say in some cases but not all.

So here’s a question for discussion: will getting a nose job ever be stripped from our unofficial list of taboos? Speak on it!

Abi Ishola
Abi Ishola


Abi Ishola is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Beyond Classically Beautiful, the acclaimed photo series turned multimedia platform. On any given day, you can find her tucked away in a perfectly lit Brooklyn coffee shop working for several hours. Then she dashes off to pick up her daughter from daycare. Abi is also a TV Producer, a proud FIT Alum, Nigerian-American, and a soul searcher.

  1. I dont see why it still consider as taboo as mention in the article white women are primary consumers for plastic surgery. We are in the Era of beauty where it pays to be bootylicious, big lips, nose etc… if an individual have the monetary funds to change something that s/he dislikes then yea

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Stay connected for a daily dose of beauty beyond categories.