Andrea Dorfman fell in love with a plastic surgeon and learned to embrace her 'flaws' in the process
This interview originally aired on Jan. 7, 2019.
In her autobiographical comic Flawed, filmmaker Andrea Dorfman surprises herself by falling in love with a plastic surgeon from the East Coast. Having struggled with accepting her appearance, Dorfman feels conflicted about the fact that Dave makes people "beautiful" for a living. Despite these reservations, a long-distance courtship blooms into a beautiful romance and helps Dorfman overcome her insecurities.
"I met Dave 12 years ago. When I first met him I didn't like him at all. He is a plastic surgeon and I was convinced that plastic surgeons made people feel bad about themselves because they highlighted what was flawed about us and tried to beautify us. I clearly didn't know what a plastic surgeon was. But those were the prejudices that I judged Dave with. Of course, the more I got to know him and got to know what he actually did for a living and saw that it was helping people out — taking skin cancer off and fixing people who had accidently cut their fingers off with a table saw, for example — I realized there is a lot more to plastic surgery than 'fixing' people's flaws."
High school insecurities
"When I was a teenager, as I say in the book, my nose got bigger and bigger from my point of view. A few people teased me and I started to feel deeply insecure about it. But then I met a girl who also had a big nose. I felt we were allies. We became friends and together we could we could sort of beat back the bullies by being proud of who we were and our big noses together. And then one day after summer vacation, she showed up and she had gotten a nose job. Her nose was this little turned up nose and I suddenly felt totally alone. I felt like I was now going to have to fight the battle of the big noses on my own. I was 13 or 14 years old at the time, just at the height of our own insecurities about what we look like."
"I think everybody's an individual and every situation is very specific. Some people with what would be deemed as a flaw can cope with it a lot better than somebody else. We all have different levels of sensitivity. But I'm very happy I didn't have a nose job. I'm happy that my big nose was the impulse behind telling this story."
Andrea Dorfman's comments have been edited for length and clarity.