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Glee, Jews and their noses

Episode 18 of the second season of Glee, titled Born This Way deals with a number of issues: OCD, beards (not the kind you grow on your face), bullies and Lady Gaga. However, the Jews are most interested in how this uncommonly popular manifestation of pop culture addresses the Jewish condition – and this week’s episode is a doozy! It revisits the complex relationship between (some) Jews and their noses. See, Finn accidentally hit Rachel Berry and broke her shnozz. At the Doctor’s office, Rachel was told that she had a deviated septum and that this would be an ideal time for a “vanity adjustment.” The Doctor added “…it’s like a rite of passage for Jewish girls.”

Rachel returned to the Doctor’s office with fellow Glee club member, blonde haired, button nosed Quinn Fabray. Rachel was considering having her new nose modeled along Quinn’s and brought her along for a little photoshop nip/tuck comparison action. Rachel’s fellow Glee club members were universally opposed to Rachel’s planned operation. Fellow Jew Noah Puckerman, the guy who celebrates Rosh Hashanah by watching Schindler’s List with his family, stated “Your nose has been passed down from generation to generation as a birthright. It’s a sign of the survival of our people!”

What to make of all this? Do Jews really have big noses? Rachel Berry is played by Lea Michele. Her nose is definitely prominent, but does she get it from her Father, a Moroccan Jew, or her Mother, an Italian Catholic? As a Moroccan Jew myself, I can tell you we don’t have big shnozzy noses like some of our European shtetl brothers and sisters. Nose jobs are almost unheard of. And of course one should also note that Quinn Fabray, the quintessential shiksa Goddess, is played by Diana Agron who, in real life, is actually ethnically Jewish on both her Mother and Father’s side. So yeah.

I don’t really have any kind of deep and meaningful conclusion to make here. I mean I support Rachel’s ultimate decision not to have a nose job, although given her deviated septum, it may not have been such a bad idea. I can’t help thinking that the decision to get the surgery ought have nothing to do with ethnic imperatives. Jews are a diverse lot and ought not be defined by their noses. Right? Whether someone wanted to visit somewhere like Rhinoplasty Surgery NYC shouldn’t be based on what ethicity they are, since going under the knife is already a big decision in itself.

Besides, we definitely don’t want the legions of goyim watching Glee to think that Jews have big noses. Because then they would make fun of us and then it would only be a matter of time before Der Sturmer-like depictions of Jews became acceptable in mass media and from there it’s just a short hop to jack booted thugs wandering the streets and harassing Jews. For sure!

Yeah.

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14 Comments

  1. vanda j scott

    5/2/2011 at 1:37 pm

    Please let’s not go into this jewish thing about size of nose.
    my grandparents were all killed, I suspect that they may have had larger noses than I, who know’s.

  2. Remedy Hawke

    5/5/2011 at 8:53 pm

    Might be truer than you think if you’re working class or lower and Jewish in the coachella valley (palm springs). The most racist groups currently – and I do mean viciously anti-Semitic – are the Latino catholics and the Latino Jehovah’s witnesses. Not kidding at all. I have had them bump me out of jobs with repeated bogus complaints, stalking me from address to address, leaving pamphlets on my car at work, etc. Oh, forgot to mention the paint balling of only my apartment, gang signs cut into my back wooden gate, and a little Christian parade with megaphones yelling that we Jews are going to face retribution and finally hell if we don’t repent and convert. That last none was on a Saturday, sabbath. Nice, huh? Keep in mind I don’t know any of these people’s names, but I know their faces. I have never worked with them. Think about it. Guess what happened when I went to JFS for assistance? I got called a liar. Guess what happened when I tried to get someone to listen from Temple Isaiah? Because we’re poor I was basically called a loony. Rich Jews don’t have to worry cuz they kiss their asses to get their money. I was given a phone number for mental health when I went to Temole Sinai. So to all of them I say “Thanks for your solidarity.”

  3. Amiz

    5/9/2011 at 9:20 pm

    I feel a lot of Jewish girls do have noses, not all are big but they tend to be arched, but most of the girls tend to be really hot. A lot of people don’t even have problems with these girls noses, yet the girls tend to feel self conscious about them due to a few disparaging comments made from others in their lifetime, or looking at the non-Jewish girls on the magazines or all around them who tend to have petite noses and wishing for that.

    Though 75% of females tend to have a little bump on their nose, the arched nose is definitely something a lot of Jews have in general, yet not all of them.

    I’m a girl who’s from the Jews and I too have a predominant schnozz. It’s just my speculation since I pay quite a bit of attention to noses, lol.

    • themiddle

      5/10/2011 at 4:51 am

      Yes Amiz, Jewish girls do have noses. Very observant.

      The rest of it is silliness.

  4. dee

    5/23/2011 at 6:12 am

    To be fair, Dianna Agron’s mother converted to Judaism. But that’s not the point. The point is I’m equally annoyed that these filmmakers or television producers are introducing a whole new generation to the old uber-racist nose-Streisand storyline! Glad to know it will be around forever.

    How about half-Jew (wrong half, btw) Lea Michele gives it a rest with playing Jewish characters. Instead, why doesn’t one of the following full blooded Jewish actors play a Jewish character, explicitly and unmistakeably, for once:

    -Paul Rudd

    -Joseph Gordon-Levitt (yes, I know he played a fake Jewish space alien 15 years ago)

    -Mila Kunis

    -Natalie Portman (yes, I know she played a Jew once in some indie movie nobody ever saw)

    -Gal Gadot

    -Logan Lerman

    -Sara Paxton (okay, her dad isn’t Jewish by birth, but still, she trumps Michele’s background)

    • Frank

      7/1/2011 at 1:10 am

      So Lea Michele was suppose to turn down her big break on tv becasue they made it a Jewish character?

      Do you know if when she went in for the part the character was Jewish? Or did they decide to make the character Jewish?

      Really give it a break on on her roles. If it is a good role she has the right to accept the role.

      Sara Paxton doesn’t have a 10th of the talent as Lea.
      And I don’t think Paul Rudd would work as a 16 year old girl.

  5. dee

    8/6/2011 at 6:44 am

    Frank, I didn’t say she should have turned down the role. I’m talking about the producers and filmmakers and what they put in their movies.

    Sara Paxton is a good dramatic actress. See Last House On The Left.

    And I wasn’t talking about any of these actors playing Rachel Berry. Just playing an explicitly Jewish character.

    • Brad C.

      9/9/2012 at 2:23 am

      I personally don’t see how that makes a difference. Why should it matter if a fictional character is portrayed by someone of a different ethnicity/religious belief? The actor’s skill is what is most important, not where they came from. As long as it is not a blatantly obvious miscasting (example: a white person playing a black character or vice-versa) then it really doesn’t matter. At the very least Lea Michelle is at LEAST half Jewish but this is really irrelevant. The point is that she has the appropriate, temperament, acting ability AND singing ability to play Rachel Barry. The role was PRACTICALLY written for her anyway. To choose someone less qualified for a role simply because they are “fully Jewish” or would be idiotic.

  6. JEW1!!!

    1/16/2012 at 10:33 am

    JEW or no jew????

  7. JEW1!!!

    1/16/2012 at 10:38 am

    100 per cent… like a jew milking or making a penny bleed.. whaTS the of objecTIve of A jEws defense? to get the Quaterback!!!! get it? ooyy ga velta vish!!!

  8. Drew Kim

    2/23/2012 at 1:03 am

    I think its not the Jews who are being tagged as having big nose. People in Middle east and other Arab countries do posses big noses but i guess these are just okay since it is proportional to their face. Which i think is more important.

  9. Michael Salzhauer

    2/23/2012 at 4:02 pm

    New Groggers Video explores Jewish Noses! It’s like an all Jewish Glee episode. Check it out!

  10. dee

    4/11/2012 at 7:20 pm

    Lea Michele stated on national television that she was raised Catholic, and that her Jewish father “gladly” attends church with her and her mother.

    The book is closed.

    Now, let’s pretend the last two and a half years never happened, and you guys in the Jewish press can start writing about people with two Jewish parents, like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Logan Lerman, Mila Kunis, and Anton Yelchin.

    Starts at the 9:40 mark – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyfCHFy8r-k

  11. s

    7/3/2014 at 4:52 pm

    I have only 1/4 moroccan/sephardic/mizrahi ancestry but I was cursed with a very big nose from that part of my ancestry.

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