From left: Me, Lil Bro, Mom. No question, I got my nose from my mom.

What’s in a nose length? When I look at my face in the mirror, I am always fascinated by how my flat Southeast Asian nose appears, especially each morning upon waking up. It looks to me that sleeping on my belly and burying my face in layers of pillows have tremendously pushed my nose further to the level of my cheeks. Every morning, it exhibits some sort of flattening movement with the nostrils extending sideways to a few millimeters more. One time, as I stared at my nose for a couple of minutes or so, I felt the bridge disappearing. I may be exaggerating, but my nose bridge may be non-existent at all in relation to, what I believe, the big world of flat noses out there. Without my eyes to define its presence, it could appear that my nose just popped out from nowhere.

Among my siblings, I am the one who have inherited the lions share of the flat-nose genes. Believe me, my older brother possesses a much pointier, well-defined nose. My other two siblings have quite short noses but they’re both kinda nice to look at. Mine, big and flat and not fun to see at any viewing angle. A Filipino-American girl (born from Filipino parents), who lives here in South Dakota, commented publicly that my nose is the flattest of all Filipino noses she had ever seen! I would have wanted to disagree with her because, the truth is, her nose wasn’t even good-looking. Instead, I laughed about her observation together with other Filipinos who have heard her.

There is really no point of being mad when a fellow Filipino tells me my nose is “out of the ordinary”. I have swallowed the naked truth that Filipinos dislike big, flat noses and prefer the long, pointy ones. Speaking of pointy noses, I do not have any problem with those who desire to go under the knife to change the appearance of their noses, or looks in general. Granted that surgery makes them feel more confident of themselves, why stop them? The worst thing you could do is to be a roadblock on their quest for personal satisfaction and be blamed later for having interfered.

I admit that I some point in my life, I dreamed of possessing a longer and nicely-shaped nose tip. Blame it to watching too much Philippine TV shows when I was young; shows that pampered excessively artists with mestizo/mestiza look as though they are the basis of true Pinoy beauty. So, in the hopes of getting my nose longer the natural way, I resorted into pulling the tip of my nose forward, perpendicularly, constantly. I don’t remember anyone telling me to do it. I just thought that it was the perfect method — training my nose to grow to the right direction and not expand sideways. Believe it or not, there were instances when I had to put a clothesline clip on my faintly-there bridge in the hopes of making the nose bridge stand out. This method, however, did not last long with me. Apart from the hell of pain it caused, the clipping per se never ceased to leave a red mark — the sort of mark that can only be composed by an angry hen beak-biting you. After the disappointing results of every method I’ve tried, I stopped. That was many years ago.

Now, in few occasions, I take pleasure from few foreign friends who find my nose “cute”. Whether they are saying it to make me feel better or make the discrimination sound less hurting, it does not matter to me. I have long accepted the fate of my nose growth. That it will forever be like this — a flat Southeast Asian nose.

And I am proud of it. It is part of me. It makes the unique Eric look that people recognize. It is not like that I have a disease for being born with big nostrils. In fact, there are others who have much, much larger openings than mine. Also, I have seen other people’s noses whose spread doubles in width than mine. If these people are contented of how they look in the mirror and how others see their noses, then why wouldn’t I be?

Lastly, have you heard about the rumor that eating carrots could make your nose pointier? Oh, never mind.