ELLE (Australia) - - Contents -

sub­tle and no-one will no­tice”, but the re­sults are aw­ful! It’s like half my nose is gone. And the tip is pinched. It looks com­pletely dif­fer­ent. Trust me – peo­ple no­tice.

The im­pact on my life has been dev­as­tat­ing. I’m hav­ing trou­ble at work and in my mar­riage be­cause I cry so of­ten. My self-con­fi­dence is de­stroyed. I cringe when I look in the mir­ror. And I’m scared to death of get­ting a fix in case it comes out even worse. How am I go­ing to move past this? How can I for­give my­self when I feel like I de­stroyed my face? Should I risk a sec­ond surgery when it was messed up by a pro­fes­sional the first time? How am I ever go­ing to like what I see in the mir­ror again? – DEV­AS­TATED BY RE­GRET, SHAME AND GUILT Miss Re­gret You’re blam­ing the wrong per­son! If the doc­tor made a bad job of it, it’s the doc­tor’s fault, not yours. Send me pho­tos and let me take a look. Noses take at least a year to re­veal their shape af­ter surgery, so we won’t know for cer­tain for seven more months. Un­til then, I ad­vise you to say “to hell with it” and stop look­ing in the mir­ror. En­joy look­ing at your hus­band for a change, and your co-work­ers.

The other day I som­er­saulted over my dog, Lewis Car­roll, and broke my own nose. It was two days be­fore I saw my black eyes and the mag­nif­i­cent au­bergine bulge on my schnoz, be­cause I was on the great­est road trip of my life and fill­ing my eyes with ev­ery­thing but my­self. When I did no­tice it, I nearly crashed to the bath­room floor laugh­ing, took about 180 pic­tures and sent them to my friends with cap­tions that I can­not quote in this el­e­gant mag­a­zine. My nose used to go to the left, now it goes to the right. So what? No­body cares about my freakin’ nose.

I have sent you the name of the best plas­tic sur­geon in my city. Seven months from now, if you still think your nose is “aw­ful”, come here and we’ll drink oo­long tea and eat lit­tle cakes. I’ll be lik­ing my nose the way it is, you’ll be lik­ing your redo, and to­gether we shall present an ap­pear­ance highly be­com­ing to the beauty and wit of each.

PS: I have just seen your pho­tos. My God, woman! I want you to see a ther­a­pist asap. Not only are you beau­ti­ful, but you also pos­sess a very beau­ti­ful nose. A few ses­sions with a coun­sel­lor will help you see your­self as you re­ally are.


I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years – the hap­pi­est of my life. But when he started talk­ing about buy­ing en­gage­ment rings, I ex­cused my­self, stepped out­side, called my old love, flew to his city and spent five days in bed with him! Now both men want to marry me! Who do I choose? – AM I TO­TALLY IN­SANE? In­sane, my love Why pick im­me­di­ately? Let them fight for you. And en­joy them both as you make up your mind. (It may turn out to be nei­ther chap.) – RAVISHING RE­GARDS, E JEAN E Jean! I was feel­ing pan­icked to de­cide straight away. Thank you for re­mind­ing me – giv­ing me per­mis­sion – to take my time. – GRATEFULLY AND HOPE­FULLY LESS IN­SANE


My boyfriend is shocked when I don’t know a 17th-cen­tury historical event or an 18th-cen­tury philoso­pher. He some­times be­lit­tles my taste in books and movies. Other times, he sim­ply out­shines me. We both took ex­ams to get into law school, for ex­am­ple, and he scored far bet­ter. He also landed a more lu­cra­tive job than I did upon grad­u­at­ing.

We’ve been dat­ing for a year. Since we met while we were study­ing – the oc­ca­sions I have men­tioned ex­cepted – our re­la­tion­ship has been won­der­ful, re­spect­ful and lov­ing. Yet I’m feel­ing a lack of con­fi­dence in my in­tel­li­gence and ac­com­plish­ments. Is it ra­tional to feel this in­se­cure? Or is my be­hav­iour petty? – WHO IS SPINOZA, AGAIN? Spinoza, my sub­lime woman Of course your “be­hav­iour” is “petty”. My God! Whose wouldn’t be? I, my­self, am petty enough to bring the Ad­vice Colum­nist’s Curse down upon your boyfriend. “Be­lit­tles” your taste, does he? Fie fie! May his jaws lock when he mocks your choice in books! May his bow­els loosen when he hoots at your choix de films! May his nose run when he speaks to the boss at his “lu­cra­tive job” and finds he has no mono­grammed han­kie!

You know 10 times more about cer­tain top­ics than he knows (and 20 times more than I do – I looked you up, Miss Hon­ours stu­dent!). The se­cret to gain­ing equal foot­ing is to con­trol the top­ics that you talk about. Next time the lad is shocked that you don’t un­der­stand one of his ref­er­ences, blast his frontal lobes with in­for­ma­tion about Mary Woll­stonecraft or Artemisia Gen­tileschi. The in­suf­fer­able twit only flits like a butterfly (and you only crawl at his feet like a cater­pil­lar) be­cause he con­trols a larger num­ber of top­ics you dis­cuss to­gether and you’re a tad too con­cerned about ap­pear­ing in­tel­li­gent. Don’t be afraid of los­ing your dig­nity, and jump on him! Your con­fi­dence will come roaring like a po­lar bear.

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