I’d never felt more ashamed of my big, Jewish nose.

I was 16, sitting beside my mom at a plastic surgeon’s office in Ottawa and trying to remain calm as the doctor touched my face with plastic gloves. He pointed out all the ways he could make my nose more beautiful: shave down the bridge, cut an incision in my nostrils, lift the tip to make it look more “feminine.”

The surgeon’s various medical degrees were hanging on the wall, obviously meant to make me feel like I could trust him. But I didn’t feel soothed. I felt embarrassed, self-conscious… and angry.