These segments of the blog will be called 'black or white'.

It is my goal to determine whether the trends that I stumble upon originate more from black culture or white culture. I already know that I will ultimately be stereotyping some things into one culture over another and then will feel somewhat guilty about doing so, and then even on top of that will argue or defend my blackness as some may or may not agree with what I'm posting as it relates to the color of my skin, but I'm going to write the posts anyway.

This "latest" trend with nail polish and manicures is where the ring finger is painted with a polish of a complimentary color to the color chosen for the majority of the other fingers. It is called a "mixed mani" - how appropriate!?! I've seen my principal do this on her nails since the fall and have liked it but thought I shouldn't try it or like it for myself because it seemed like something only white people were doing and ahem - younger women. Yes, I hear myself - it sounds wrong to say it out loud, but it's what I was thinking.

So, today after enjoying some time at a friends' baby shower, I needed to opt out for some "me" time and chose to go and get my nails done. Indecisive as I was, I sent the Asian woman back to the well organized shelf of colors three separate times. Just an aside, am I the only one who gets overwhelmed by those fake nails and the hundred colors they ask you to pick from in less than one minute? Watching an Indian girl sit under the hand/foot dryers, she had to be in her early twenties with the lovely sky blue on her fingers (and the color that seems so "in") and I thought I would try it on all ten fingers. It looked good on her dark skin so it would stand to reason that it would be great on mine too.

But.I.am.40. 

40-year-olds don't need to be so bright and flashy and loud and, did I say bright? So, me and Amy (my new manicurist) decided that a great compromise would be black and then the blue on two fingers. Amy thinks I wasn't paying attention when she switched my request for Black Onyx to a deep hue of brown, but this is what we came up with and I like it.

Aware that my influence was my 26-year-old, white co-worker, I was at peace with imitating her in this regard. And when I was sure that I was imitating white culture, I looked across the nail stations at a black woman with a wave of weave and some very non-conservative clothing options and saw that she had the same mani but with red polishes. She had glitter and stickers on her ring finger but at the core, it was the same trend. It blew my original theory (that this was a white trend) out of the water. 

Conflicted, I left the nail salon constantly looking at my fingernails trying to determine whether this was "me". Crystal Gibbons wrote a post about the trend and I could absolutely relate to her and everything she shared in regards to the emotions around the manicure. Aware that this trend is fairly old in the fashion world (see this post) I am glad that it is one that has made it to my hands and that I've been courageous enough to try. 

Black or White? Neither, it's just plain fun!
 


Mary Collins
03/24/2013 11:16

I love that choice is so great for women when choosing simple pleasures . I have added a sparkly diamond like piece to my left ring finger before and liked it a lot, the polish was dark red and the glitz was noticably nice. I have also had the USA flag painted on my thumb nails too. Imagine that.....MC

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Gigi
03/24/2013 19:54

It really is the little things, isn't it?

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Mary Collins
03/25/2013 09:09

By the way, nice hands girl.

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Shan
03/27/2013 07:16

This was a great read! Personally, I have seen this trend worn by many ethnicities and I've thought it was cute. I myself haven't tried it but I have admired it like you-from afar. My mother who is in her 50's has sooo rocked this trend! Your nails look very nice and maybe I will jump on board.

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Gigi
03/27/2013 22:04

Send me a photo when you try it out. I'm definitely going to do it again, but with more complimentary and subtle colors. I think I'm hooked on this simple pleasure.

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