Nail art being A Thing seemed to really explode once Pinterest became a major player for your internet time. Between all of the aspirational pictures of cakes and furniture, the variations on that “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, the borderline eating disorder “thinspiration” images, and projects for a picturesque craft time with your child that totally won’t end in tears and glue poisoning, are A TON of pictures of perfectly manicured nails. You know the ones: fingers clutching the bottle of nail polish that has been expertly applied to the nails of a some freakish person who doesn’t bite their cuticles.
Pinterest being how it is, these nail pictures started to have a lot of chevron and ombre, until eventually the more creative corners of the nail art world made their way in.
Some were pretty and/or cute:
Others were adorably nerdy:
But if you look at these pictures long enough, you start to realize that there are people in the world who a) actually patronize those year-round Christmas stores off of the interstate and b) think, “I WOULD LIKE MY HANDS TO LOOK LIKE THIS STORE!”
And that there are some truly odd people who think, “I am not enough people. I need more people to exist on me, preferably the characters from The Great Gatsby. They seemed like they were fun to hang out with.”
But how can nail art and directing some substantive amount of time and energy into manicures actually improve your life? Let’s look to pop culture for some solid examples:
Nails Can Boost Your Street Cred
Gwen Stefani has been rich for quite some time now, but in the 2005 video for her single “Luxurious” she played a high-school-age chola who visits the local nail shop because obviously. Stefani was 36 at the time, still not Latina, and I would wager had not seen the inside of a neighborhood nail shop since the early 1980s, if ever. But I guess this is what she wants to do as an artist, or something. Anyway, you sound like you know what you’re talking about if you say that you need to go get your fill-in, so if it makes her feel more “real,” then cool.
Nails Can Enhance Your Beach Activities
In the 1993 video for their single “Right Here,” R&B group SWV hung out on the beach in riding outfits, doing stuff like fishing, riding horses, and singing with a band, all while displaying some truly epic nails. I can’t endorse doing any of those things with nails at that length, so imitate at your own risk.
Nails Can Help You Be Amazing in the Future
One aspect of The Fifth Element that always fascinated me were the brief mentions of the cosmetics of the future. Some kind of Chanel device that can magically apply perfect eye makeup, and can also quickly change nail polish. Why isn’t this real? Get on that, Science.
Nails Can Help You Inform Your Closest Friends of the Risky Kidney Transplant You’ll Be Having in a Few Hours (and/or Your New Habit of “Driving Nails Up Your Arms”)
In Steel Magnolias, Shelby sits down for a manicure and allows Truvy to find out the hard way that her arms are totally messed up and her diabetes has reached a critical point. Oh, and by the way, she and M’Lynn are checking into the hospital tomorrow morning for a kidney transplant. No big! Let’s get those nails did!