29 June 2006

'God I had the biggest nose ever' says 23 year old Francesca, a former receptionist of a record company hated her nose so much that she would freeze when she had to speak to strangers. Her rhinoplasty operation at The Harley Medical Group has transformed her life and Francesca has gone from receptionist to Managing Director of her own recording company - she will speak to anyone and is even a finalist for the 2006 Miss Brighton competition. Read her story here in New Woman.... �God, I had the biggest nose ever. Honestly, it ruined my life. Then one day, I just thought why not get it fixed?' says Francesca. 'So I did' �Ok, so there's a sexy new rock star standing right next to you. What do you do? Flirt like crazy? Well, when it happened to me, I put my head down and prayed they wouldn't notice me. It sounds weird, but although working as a receptionist for a recording studio meant I met famous musicians all the time, I was so paranoid about my nose that I just froze. They must have thought I was so rude. But I had no self-esteem because I hated the way I looked. And you can't get far without confidence in that world. To be honest, I'd always hated the shape of my nose, but when I broke it at 18 my obsession became full-on. In clubs I'd arrange the seating so no-one could sit either side of me and see my profile. I couldn't flirt with guys either. Sometimes I'd hear people laughing and get all paranoid they were laughing at me. I moaned to my friends, but they all said the usual stuff - it wasn't that bad, personality was what counted... Yeah, but you can't see your personality in a mirriw can you? Strangely enough, reading NW was the turning point. I was flicking through the ads in the back for cosmetic surgery, and I thought "Why don't I just get it done?" So I called the Harley Medical Group and booked myself in. It was that simple. And I've got to say, even the surgery was easy. Within an hour of the operation I was sitting up watching Trisha and eating lasagne. Then I hid away at my parents' house for a week with a cast on my nose. No-one thought badly of what I'd done, in fact my nan thought it was quite glamorous to have a nose job. And I admit, it did all feel a bit Hollywood. When I saw my new nose, I instantly felt feminine. Ten days later I was back at work, and no-one even noticed I'd had a nose job. It was a bit swollen and I had a black eye, but I covered it with concealer. The confidence boost was instant though, and when bands hung out in reception, I was all flirty smiles. One day a musician I'd liked for ages, Neil, turned up. I don't know what came over me, but I strode up to him and said, "So, are you gonna take me out some time?" Three weeks later we were living together. Can you imagine me having the confidence to do that before? Having surgery totally transformed my life. A week after we moved in together we both left our jobs and set up our own recording studio called Purely Random. I knew I was in a career rut, but the nose job gave me the confidence to do something about it. Now I'm the MD, and these days I get a buzz off meeting new people - it's what I love most about the job. The maddest thing is that I'm even doing some modelling. I'm a finalist for Miss Brighton and I've got some great photos that I'm really proud of. When people say "It's the inside that counts" I think it's true - but inside I felt ugly. Nobody noticed I'd had my nose done, but I did - it's changed my life. I'd still be a moody receptionist if I hadn't had it fixed. And that would have been such a waste.'

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