I hated painting my nails. While I zealously painted my toenails for decades, I hated painted fingernails. They always chipped, and I’d pick at the remaining polish and destroy my nails as layers peeled away like onion skins. I couldn’t stop myself from picking them apart.
Until my late 20s, I was too poor and cheap to get professional manicures. But even when I did (not often), I’d dread the walk over to the neat little racks showing off what brands and colors the salon offered to pick mine.
My nails have always grown quickly and are strong and thick. Every keyboard bares indents from my nails, water carving through stone to form a river over time. While they eventually break, my nails stand against the wear and tear I’ve put them through, like ranching, gardening, and washing dishes. I’ve never had gels or professionally applied length because I could have natural long ones. Mostly, I’d look down at my nails one day, and they’d be very long again. Or I’d break an index fingernail, and suddenly keyboarding was catawampus. Or a cis woman would notice my hands, exclaim at how very long my nails were, and share how disappointingly brittle hers are.
But polish? Every chip made me feel like a failure. Like a little bomb telling me I did something wrong. I just had them done; they should be flawless like a woman in an advertisement with her flowing hair, lush makeup, and buttery hands with flawless nails.
Intellectually, I know no one’s nails are flawless, even if fresh from a manicure.
I decided to add “equality” given that I do read a lot of articles with intersectionality that cover stopping a lot of -isms, and they are all equally important. As always, these are links that I found interesting and you might too.
Books Nominated for 2013 Hugo Awards!
Woohoo! Chicks Unravel Time & Chicks Dig Comics were nominated for The Hugo Awards. Big congratulations to the editors, all the other writers, and everyone else involved in the production and love of these books. 🙂
When I was 16-years-old, I shaved my hair down to a quarter of an inch and bleached it. I’d skipped out on school to visit my friend Justin, who’d run away from home. While talking with Justin and his friend Michael, the two flamboyantly gay boys convinced me that I needed to cut my waist-long hair off. Michael kept telling me that I was hiding my beautiful face from the world with the unruly rat’s nest I combed maybe once a week. For a moment, I was a gorgeous woman surrounded by my stylists.
I followed Michael up to his bathroom and braided my hair. Then we cut it off. Justin was laughing the whole time. Michael did the cutting and brought out the shears. When it was all done, I was disappointed. Disappointed because my hair naturally lightens in the sun and near my scalp, my hair was dark. So we solved that with bleach. They both pronounced me as fabulous as Annie Lennox.
Moral of the story: boosting my self-esteem in a non-sexual way is the best way to convince me to do about anything.