With your defined curve, a bump at the bridge followed by a downward plunge, you took over my face, never fitting into what I thought was beautiful. All around me were those cute button noses, slender with a gentle slope into a neat point. Even now, as I assess men, my eyes zero in on their noses, my mind telling me my future children deserve a chance to inherit a nose they’ll love. 

I look in a mirror and my hand immediately migrates to your tip, index finger pushing up gently and wondering “what if?” — the same hand whose thumb hovers over Snapchat stories of ‘non-surgical nose jobs’ whenever they (quite targetedly) show up on my feed. I often joke with my mom, cursing her for the genes that plopped you on my face.

My mother — who has an identical copy of you on her face, adorned with a light dusting of freckles. When have I ever looked at her and thought she was anything less than the most beautiful person in the world? Have my eyes once seen her nose consume her face, as you do the more I look at you? And why should I not afford you the same consideration?

When I look in the mirror and my eyes inevitably zero in on you, I’ll try to see my mom. I’ll see her father, a man who passed away when she was 9 but whose pictures could easily be those of an old Egyptian movie star. 

A lifetime of self-scrutiny imposed by deeply ingrained white, Eurocentric beauty standards will be hard to undo. But you are my inheritance — a direct link to generations of my family before me. How could I look at you now with anything but love? 

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