'If your nose is the 'before' picture': Woman snubs beauty standards with viral Twitter photo

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

It feels like the body positive movement has swept through social media over the past few years with the force of a tidal wave.

Where there used to be one, very tight mould for conventional beauty in the mainstream, we now see a rainbow of looks, shapes and bodies being celebrated on major platforms.

One teenager is now challenging us to widen our lens however, snubbing traditional facial beauty standards with a post daring us to embrace the feature so often relegated to the ‘before’ image - the big, bold and beautiful aquiline, or curved, nose.

Holly Hopkins is snubbing beauty standards with her viral Twitter thread celebrating noses of every shape and size. Photo: Supplied

19-year-old Holly Hopkins turned the internet on its head this week when she celebrated her nose with a touching photo and caption on Twitter that has since gone completely viral.

Twitter celebrates the ‘before photo’ nose

Posing on a side angle, Holly showed off her profile in the shot, captioning the image with a stirring message of dissent.

“It’s okay if your nose looks like all the “before” pictures,” she wrote.

“I hated my nose [so much] much for the longest time and felt so insecure about it but I am learning to love my side profile even if it doesn’t look like the “ideal” beauty standard.”

Where the button or straight nose is the staple of everything from fashion to Hollywood, whether by natural design or surgical insistence, Holly’s Twitter post sparked a celebration of noses of every shape and size.

Thousands share photos celebrating unique noses

Emily Maclean was one of the women who jumped on the thread with a stunning profile shot. Photo: Supplied

The thread quickly began to light up with selfies of thousands celebrating their own unique noses.

Holly tells Yahoo Lifestyle she didn’t anticipate the Tweets staggering popularity - currently counting almost 170,000 likes, ten of thousands of shares and at least 3000 comments.

“I was quite nervous to post a photo of my side profile definitely, it’s one of my biggest insecurities so posting it made me feel really vulnerable,” she wrote.

“I’d been chatting with a girl about how she loves her aquiline nose after hating it for a long time so I decided to post mine. I never expected it to get so much attention, it really was just for the little following I’d built up at the time.”

Arabelle Raphael was another who jumped on board the thread with her own photo. Photo: Supplied

She says that for her whole life her nose was the first physical insult people would reach for when they needed one, and says until very recently she was planning on having a nose job herself.

“It’s taken me a long time to start liking my nose,” she says. “Up until recently, I’d always said I wanted a nose job.”

She hastens to add that she is fully supportive of anyone seeking cosmetic surgery, saying it can be a ‘wonderful thing’, but that she hopes those who choose to embrace their natural features can feel supported in doing so.

Body positivity ‘needs to expand’

Lily Pickard shared a beautiful profile shot as part of the positive response. Photo: Twitter

“We focus a lot on body positivity which is really important, but I don't really see much catered towards someone who has a nose like mine,” she explains. “I think we’re so used to seeing people with nose jobs we don't realise they're so much more common than we believe.”

She adds that body positivity still has a long way to go in celebrating every shade of beautiful, adding as a thin white woman she’s aware that though her face may not fit the mould, she has it better than many.

She says the positive response to her photo is inspiring, particularly given Twitter's rather nasty reputation. 

“Social media is so often a negative place especially for people who don't look “conventionally” attractive so it was really lovely to see everyone being so positive and nice to each other.”

Some of the people who shared their images on the thread tell Yahoo Lifestyle the tweet mad them feel part of a really important movement.

“It’s been so nice to be part of something so full of kindness and self-acceptance,” Lily Pickard who shared a profile snap says.

Arabelle Raphael who also shared her image says she has always been teased for her nose, saying she sees possible racist and anti-Semitic implications of the tendency to dislike aquiline, or hooked noses. 

“I’m not surprised this took off,” she says. “It’s something I’ve been teased for since I was little, when I get harassed online it’s the first thing people go for.”

Thousands of others also shared their appreciation for the tweet.

“My biggest insecurity but slowly starting to like it,” said one woman.

“Thank you for this!” another wrote.

“Rise up nose-bump gang,” was one’s encouraging message.

The latest push comes as mainstream stars like Lizzo challenge long-held beauty standards on a public forum.

Looks like there may be a new frontier of body positivity, and it looks beautiful from where we’re sitting.

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