I have had it up to here with Western beauty standards! Even conventionally pretty white actors are pressured to change their appearance to fit an impossible ideal. Lea Michele was told to get a nose job, Kate Winslet was told to lose weight…it’s a nightmare.
Michele reflected on one of her defining physical features in a recent profile for Town & Country. “Honestly, it’s all been one incredible dream on top of an incredible dream…people would tell me to get nose jobs, that I wasn’t pretty enough for film and television,” she reflected, adding that Barbra Streisand became an inspiration in many ways, including as a star with her original nose.
One could even argue that having a strong nose is a prerequisite for playing Fanny Brice, the part established by Streisand and now inhabited by Michele: In “I’m The Greatest Star,” cheering herself up, Brice sings, “Who’s an American beauty rose? With an American beauty nose,” a line that wouldn’t make much sense if the actor onstage had the widely sought-after ski jump.
This isn’t the first time Michele’s opened up about this particular criticism. Over a decade ago, she said that she’d been told to get rhinoplasty when she was a kid, but that she never considered it.
She wanted to look like herself and like her father, and credits her parents with instilling in her a confidence that rude comments can’t diminish.