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Reclaiming The Side Profile

© Photographer: Lottie Bea Spencer

Radhika Sanghani calls on you to help break one of the last beauty taboos by showing us your #sideprofileselfie

I’ve spent my whole life hiding from a side-profile photograph. Every time I see a camera I know exactly how to position myself so my nose isn’t captured on film in its full, crooked glory. I know I’m not the only one - and I want you to help me put an end to it.

In our society, big noses have been taboo for all too long. Take Hollywood. While there are plenty of larger-nosed men, there are just a handful of female celebs with strong profiles: Barbra Streisand, Lady Gaga, Lea Michele, Anjelica Huston and Meryl Streep. Unlike their male peers, they’ve had to deal with criticism of their looks for years, and it’s no surprise that many aspiring female actors are rumoured to have had nose jobs before, or early on in, their career.

As a result, I grew up thinking that you can’t be beautiful unless you have a snub little ski-slope of a nose, like Kate Middleton or Mila Kunis – and I know other women have too. There just aren’t enough larger-nosed ladies with stereotypically ‘hot’ roles in movies or ad campaigns to make us think an aquiline profile can be pretty.

But times are changing and fashion and beauty is becoming more diverse than ever. Catwalks are suddenly full of plus-size models, Hollywood is finally starting to understand the importance of representing all races, and it’s no longer unusual to see a model with a disability or condition like vitiligo in a major ad.

But despite all this, I feel like the only taboo that hasn’t been broken is the big nose, and it’s not right. We've seen the ulfiltered spotty skin, the stretch marks, the cellulite and the body hair all being reclaimed as our own and beautiful online. But noses are still hidden in subtle head tilts and awkward poses. We need change. It’s why I’m using this article to launch the #sideprofileselfie.

All it involves is taking a side-profile photo of your face, and then posting it onto social media. It may sound minor, but it’s an incredibly empowering thing to do, especially if it means conquering your side-profile fears and owning your looks. It’s also a really powerful way to inspire those who can’t yet imagine being brave enough to post a #sideprofileselfie.

I was terrified to do it myself. In my 27 years, I’ve never willing posed to the side. But my #sideprofileselfie honestly helped me to love my nose. Yes, I look nothing like Gigi Hadid, but I don’t care. My nose is mine, and I'm determined to love it just as it is.

Back in previous eras, women wanted ‘Roman noses’. They were seen as powerful, and I think that if we reclaim them, they still can be today.

My theory is beauty standards have lauded small noses over big ones because they fit in with the idea of women being delicate, dainty and not taking up space. But we’re not. We’re bold, strong, and we can take up as much space as we want, even with our bodies.

#Sideprofileselfies are a way for us to take pride in our profiles, so join me in posting one. Let’s spread the big nose love.

Join us and post your #sideprofileselfie with @graziauk and @radhikasanghani