What do the Hamburger Helper’s spokesman The Helping Hand and I, and maybe you, have in common? No nail polish (nail varnish)! Unless you love painting your nails, you don’t have to. I never paint my nails. Should my life suffer because I don’t, it’s because of something else. My nails have little to do with it!
My personal story being pressured into nail polish started when I was young. Unsure when, maybe six, I had my fingernails and/or toenails done. The event and my on/off again nail care recollection isn’t strong with The Force in this mind. My mom made me have pedicures and manicures in rare moments thinking she was doing the right thing making me feel like a girly girl getting my nails done. I don’t know. My younger self had no idea what was going on or why I was supposed to like it. I did it. The end.
As I got older, my mom continuously told me “getting your nails done is part of grooming” and all the phrases surely found in a 1950’s women’s magazine. Girls at my junior high school did nail polish, complimenting each other on cute colors. I tried to fit in. Notice how posts on this section are filed under “Pretending to Fit In.”
Pretending to fit in never really makes you fit in. You get a ticket into the “fitting in” theater, nothing more. Once there, it felt like I was never one of the cool girls. They without me speaking knew after inviting me to chill with them I wasn’t through ESP. Something set them off, “Faker!” And clearly, good friends don’t befriend you only over your physical appearance! Not worth being friends with them anyway!
Whenever I expressed doubts, people like my mom or female classmates, or out of school in general, scolded me how nail polish is required. And I’m here to shut down that myth.
First, people with unchipped nail polish fall into two categories: people who go out of their way ensuring their nails are perfectly polished and those who don’t do anything substantial with their lives like wannabe Real Housewives .The first category does shellac, weekly manicures, the et cetera of inventions, maintaining nail polish nobody cares about. They could be spending this time watching Netflix or bettering themselves at school and work. The second bunch has convinced themselves they have no purposes in life; nail care is a top priority.
Ask a bunch of men what shade of nail polish you wore three weeks ago. Neither the straight nor the LGBT ones will know.
Do you like spending your waking hours living for doing and maintaining your nails to impress a few women whose opinions don’t matter? How ridiculous is that?
How silly it is saying nail paint is part of a beauty routine, right? The statement is like me suggesting all women need ribcage length hair because I wear mine that way, or you’re “ugly.”
Nail polish on me lasts one day, if I’m lucky, when professionally done. My nails grow super fast, meaning shellac gets a ghastly nail root in 36-48 hours. And sometimes, I feel like the sight of color on my fingernails looks really weird.
Currently, I have a stash of press on nails in my drawer handy, get it? For when I need to pretend to be a “normal girl” loving getting her nails done.
My mom, and the many who’ve scolded me, claim natural nails humans have are “unattractive,” “unkempt,” “unprofessional,” “ugly,” “masculine,” “tomboy,” and everything one can from mainstream society claim is bad. I’d like to know how humanity existed for centuries before the majority of women had their nails supernaturally painted lime green with toxins by nosy, underpaid, often exploited nail salon workers.
People telling me stuff aren’t being mean. They think they’re giving me a favor reminding me how “unkempt” I must look not doing my nails. As in not painting my nails means not tidying them up in my bathroom. “You’re pretty. You shouldn’t look unkempt.” So annoying.
Anyone concerned with looking masculine with normal, unpainted nails can wear a tight dress, resolving any misconceptions about your given birth gender, though you won’t need to. I’m pretty curvy and 100 percent promise you, when I walk around, I don’t have people questioning my birth gender because I don’t wear nail polish. I can wear a shopping bag and look female.
Your quitting nail polish won’t turn you into a man overnight, OK. And if you want a tomboy look, loads of tomboys do and don’t use nail polish.
An example off the top of my head because I did a James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction book review on my diary, do you think James Cameron sat around all day on the Avatar set changing nail polishes? No. Not because he’s a man. Because men do wear polish. Because he didn’t care nor had time to worry about chipping polish or getting an acrylic nail fill on his day off.
Pick someone who actively does important and/or cool things. Imagine how much time he doesn’t spend doing his nails. Imagine what you could do composing music on the piano, building stuff for a film set, being able to apply makeup on a client as a makeup artist without your nails being trapped in a makeup bag zipper, typing a VIP document, doing amazing things, or sleeping later, exercising better, living more, because you don’t slave off for your nails. Applying lip gloss takes a few seconds. Nails?!?? Hmmm. You get to the salon, wait, the process, dry, Oh it chipped, redo, fill, commute back home, it continues... or do it at home in what takes forever to dry and paint, fix, wait...
Some media publications want you to spend money on products you don’t need. Nail companies place ads in these outlets; their writers convey the “big money!” attitude writing up stories about nail polish. You get pressured into thinking being female means having your nails done or you’re “ugly.” Unpolished hands are “mannish.” That group of magazines trying to convince people feminist hairy arms are the most awesome thing since sliced Wonder bread won’t do that with nail polish because women thinking for themselves avoiding polish or using it once per year on a birthday eliminates major income for them.
No, unpolished female hands are female body parts, or whatever gender you do/don’t identify as because your nails belong to you. Your being as girly or masculine in your physical appearance won’t be affected by having nails free of damaging nail polish.
Do you like having ugly, witchy, mega stained nails? Your nails without polish won’t look normal until you grow out those previously polished nails. If you must fit in with society for one evening pretending you care about nails, glue on/press on nails are a quicker fix and less likely to damage your nails into funky stained red. Or green. Green and blue polish looks like you have fungus growing under your nails once it’s removed. Guess what? To hide it, you have to use polish again. The cycle continues.
I may or may not keep using glue on nails once my stash runs out. Unsure. I may pick up press on nails if ever I act in a film requiring the character to love nail polish or be a girly Legally Blonde type. I’m a filmmaker yet you never know. I wouldn’t turn down money to be in a movie over my nails. Probably not for my personal life unless required or once per year. The future is uncertain.
Absolutely not, never, ever do I want to use nail polish. That stuff is so hard to get out of your nails for months. And often, it destroys your natural nails. Using artificial nails from a salon is a guarantee your nails underneath will be destroyed.
Being a girly girl anyway doesn’t require nail polish, if you want that route. You can wear vivid pink, glittery shoes, ribbons, ruffles, bandage outfits, skirts, tight denim, the sky is the limit.
For now, I enjoy living like smiling huge like The Helping Hand here. My happiness increases from not being chained to my nail care!
Throughout this post, the goal is that we arrive to where nail polish is something you do if you enjoy it and not a societal requirement given to us, strangely, by women as opposed to men. Do polish if you want. Don’t if you hate it, like I do. Think about what you really like. Are you using nail polish because you grew up hearing you should, and nowadays, it’s normal to you? How does that sound like something you enjoy doing: doing something because you don’t know anything else, wasting 60+ minutes weekly on your nails?