too on the nose


Senior Member

It's the movie Neon Demon
A young model is being instructed to lie about her age.
When she says she is 16, the manager says to her:
"You always say you are 19.
18 is too on the nose."

After doing some research on "too on the nose" I am not quite sure.
I am between these options: "too good to be true" and simply "fake, doesn't sound true".
Any idea about this?

Thank you
  • Barque

    I agree with mink-shin.

    It sounds too correct and could make people think that maybe she is younger (more so because she is younger) but is pretending to be 18 as that's the age at which one becomes an adult (in many places).
    The explanations above should be sufficient, but I will add one more in case any confusion remains.

    You need to be 18 to be treated as an adult, and not a child. It is important for a model to be an adult -- for example, if an 18-year-old poses nude, then there is no problem, but if a 16-year-old poses nude, it could be considered exploitation of a minor, and the photographer could be accused of creating child pornography! Therefore, the under-age model is being advised to lie about her age, and to say that she is an adult. Does that mean she should say she is exactly 18? No; because that is exactly the required age (=on the nose), it sounds like a lie. However, if she says that she is 19, which makes her more than sufficiently old, it sounds less like a lie, and therefore is a better answer for a girl who is looking to deceive people about her age.