Thursday, 28 April 2011

Black nail polish

I’ve just shortened my nails and painted them with black nail polish. Painting my nails relaxes me and gives me the feeling that I can control something. This is one of those rare things in my life that I truly can control. I can choose the colour of the nail polish. I can choose how many layers of nail polish I’ll use. I can take it off whenever I want. 

But the feeling of control isn’t the main reason why my nails are always painted. I’ve always loved tidy and nicely manicured nails.

As a little girl I always admired older women who had long, beautiful nails painted with a very striking colour. That would usually be red or black. And I also remember that I’ve always wanted to have painted nails. The colour didn’t really matter, I just wanted them painted. But my mum always said that little girls shouldn’t have their nails painted and that when I’ll be 15 I can paint my nails any colour I want.

I patiently waited for my 15th birthday to come. On the day I turned 15 I went to the local shop and bought myself a very special birthday present. A black nail polish. As soon as I came home I painted my nails and I still remember what a mess I have made. Nail polish was all over my fingers and it looked quite terrible but I i didn't care as long as I was allowed to have my nails painted black.  

My mum was terrified when she saw me with black nails and she started yelling at me that I’m crazy and that she won’t allow me to go anywhere like that. She wasn’t happy when I reminded her about the promise she made years ago and she claimed that she never said that. But I convinced her that she did and didn’t leave her a lot of choice. Either she would let me have nail polish all over my fingers or she would help me apply it all over again. You can imagine which one she chose.

Today I have quite a collection of nail polishes. I don’t know the exact number but I would guess that I have around 20 of them in different colours and shades – black, red, blue, violet etc. My mum doesn’t say anything anymore but I can see the horrified look on her face when I come home with a very striking colour on my nails. And she also doesn’t have to help me paint my nails anymore. 


  1. My Mom thought only hussies wore red nail polish. Couple of days after I got married went straight to the store and bought some red nail polish, just because I could! I get it, I really do Starlight! Nice post. Hope you are feeling better!

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  3. Great story starlight! Everyone struggled with their mums for something similar and you used a little thing like polish color to tell us how you asserted your independence and made the first grown up choice yourself. Very neat.

    I hope to your polish collection some day.

  4. I feel the same, control over my nails is very important!
    My experience as a kid was i couldn't get my ears pierced until i was 14 :)
    It's ridiculous now that i think about it. I also wanted to say Bravo on black, i have yet to try that.

  5. Today I was stuck in a traffic jam, not moving for an hour. Luckily I had some nail varnish in my bag, so that kept me occupied until I got going again!
    I think we've all been there with those little acts of rebellion against our parents. Mine was to get my ears pierced, something my dad thought was a terrible thing to do.
    Nice post - really struck a chord.

  6. I'm surprised your mum is that offended by black nail varnish- it's so much less obvious than black make up or goth clothes. I guess it's a generational thing.

    I have 20 or 30 colours myself - tonight I am painting my fingernails red with a layer of red glitter and my toenails peacock blue.

  7. I am addicted to painting my nails since I stopped biting them like 5 years ago. They are still really weak from way too many years chewing at them so the polish helps. I haven't rocked a true black but I do dark purples and browns that look black in the winter and fall and love it. Now that it is summer I go for the reds, pinks, purples, greens, blues...pretty much all the shades. SO much fun!!

  8. I would love to have nails long enough to put nail varnish on but I can't stop biting them. Really enjoyed reading your post. Glad you are writing. x

  9. Oh I too have always loved painting my nailes... Ahhh.. I also let my daughter have hers painted too. It's so much fun.

  10. @Barbara - I'm glad you liked this post, I thought it was boring... It's funny that we gain our independance with such small steps.

    @Shopgirl - Thank you hun, I'm glad you liked it.

    @PhoenixWings - Thank you for commenting. You should go for black it's a great feeling :)

    @Sharon - Thanks! I guess all parents are alike. They have to forbid something :)

    @Baglady - My mom didn't like striking nail polishes when I was little, but now in her early forties she changed her mind. She borrowed a blue nail polish from me a couple of weeks ago.

    @Jewels - You just reminded me that I should buy "summer nail polishes" - a bit lighter shades of red, violet, green and yellow =)

    @Froggy - Did you try nail polishes against biting nails?

    @Doria - You're such a cool mum :)

  11. Red is my go to color. But I do LOVE LOVE black and also french. Black is cute on short nails. Looks a bit scary on the really long hooker nails. But that's just me. lol

  12. Haha, my Mama's problem color was "blue". She said it reminded her of the blue under the nails of drowned people due to lack of oxygen. That's what I get for having a mother with medical training. ;)

    I too LOVE having fun colors on my nails. Due to my work environment, I'm limited to fun colors on my toes...but I still rock the hell outta it!

  13. Lovely story. I had a friend when I was little who's mum was a beautician. When ever I went round for tea, the house would always stink of nail varnish remover. She used to paint our seven year old fingers beautiful colours much to my mums horror! Whenever I smell polish it always reminds me of her. I really loved the way you wrote this post. :-)

  14. So funny to read this here. I swear I had some sort of existential crisis recently when I cut my nails very short in order to properly play the banjo. It's impossible to press the strings down effectively w/long nails!

  15. brought me back to the big deal of shaving my legs.
    It had to be done and Mom said no! Finally, after a year, I just did it. I remember it was a Sunday night in Summer. I had bathed and shaved and put on my pajama's with the short bottoms. As I stretched out on the floor to watch tv, my Mom saw my sleek, smooth legs and sent me straight to bed. Oh well, we all go through it! LOL
    Keep on with your polished self, good read!

  16. @Annah - Thank you for commenting :) It's nice to hear what oter people like.

    @A Redhead Named Sam - One of my fears is that I would have a job where I couldn't have painted nails. It would kill me :/

    @Bth - Thanks, I'm really glad that you liked this post :) And how lucky you were, I wish I had a friend like yours. =)

    @Jayne - Some women have wonderful short nails and they look very good with all sorts of colours. =)

    @Jules - LoL, why didn't she want you to shave your legs?