Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Out of order week 17: Earth Apprection

This is what happens when you ask your husband to go through your swatch sticks and pick one or two colors for you to make a manicure out of. He picked two magnetics and a matte green, leaving me to try and figure out how to make a coherent mani design out of that! At least I have three different magnet designs to choose from, which helps. I also decided that this would qualify for my skipped challenge of week 17 - Earth Appreciation. It's not only green and brown, both beautiful nature colors, it employs a magnetic field to create this design, part and parcel of the necessary balance of our Earth's ecosystem.

The colors Mr. IJAH chose were Nabi magnetics Cappucinno and Green, and Zoya Veruschuka (aka Veruschka, as my bottle label says one thing and their website says another.) I used Nabi Green on all my nails except my ring fingers, on which I used Cappucinno. I used an arrow design magnet, though as I occasionally get it off-center, it sometimes looks more like a wave, which is what prompted me to use an angled french tip for the Veruschuka.

I put Veruschuka down the sides of my thumbs, which I think really accented the wavy stripes of the magnetic polish, and I did arrows on my ring fingers. The two pictures above didn't show how striking the Cappucinno came out (you can barely see the striping in those pictures, but it was very obvious and pretty in real life) but the picture below is a little blurry, which helps show the gorgeous sparkle of the Cappucinno and it also shows the striping a bit more clearly.

A bonus manicure! My son, J, is 5. He doesn't ask for his nails to be painted as often as his big sister does (she's 8, and B does her own nails more often than not), but he just came over and asked me to paint his nails the other day. I asked him what design he wanted, and he requested lightsabers. I was very sad to tell him that I didn't think I could draw those on his little bitty nails very well, but suggested we do a gradient from white to blue, instead, to indicate the lightsaber's colored blade. He thought that was an acceptable alternative, so we did some sponging with Sally Hansen's White On and Blue Me Away, which resulted in this:

J can sit still well enough to get his nails painted, but there will never be a time you can get him to hold still well enough for cleanup afterward, so he made do with the polish around his nails. (Also, it is impossible to paint a 5-year-old boy's nails neatly in the first place, even if we hadn't been doing sponging! :) He was very happy with the end result, though, and he wanted his picture taken just like Mommy does. Now, this is a nail art blog, not a social activism one, so if you don't want to hear my little segue into gender issues, feel free to skip the rest of this post, as you've already seen all the pretty pictures. But I've gotten comments from time to time, and I've seen a lot more comments to other people on the web, about allowing little boys to wear nail polish. I get a lot of comments about the fact that his hair is long, because people initially assume he's a girl, and they get embarrassed when they realize after the fact that he's got a boy's name, or they hear us refer to him as "him" rather than "her". (No, we don't bother pointing out the error to strangers, since we don't consider it that important that other people are well informed of his gender. He thinks it's funny when they think he's a girl, so there's no stress or trauma there.) Yes, my son has long hair. That's by his choice. He wanted his hair cut a few months ago, and I asked him whether he wanted short hair or just wanted the hair out of his eyes (he wouldn't let me cut it at all for a few years, and I had to reassure him I wouldn't be cutting it off each time I had to trim it *grin*), and he got all excited about the idea that he could get the hair out of his eyes and still have long hair! So yeah, he has long hair and bangs. Yes, in American culture, I'm not surprised when people assume he's a girl, because it's common in our culture for boys to have short hair and girls to have long - and at 5 years of age, he doesn't have any gender-specific characteristics for them to make a clear assessment other than hair. But while we're not on a righteous crusade against gender stereotypes in our household (I never got annoyed at my mother-in-law for consistently buying only pink and purple clothing for our daughter, because B likes pink and purple), what I am crusading for is for the kids to learn that it's okay to be themselves and to grow up being willing to stand up for their own ideas of what they like and control over their own bodies. I do argue over terminology in our house - having long hair or painting his nails does not make J "look like a girl". He's a boy, and therefore any way he chooses to look, still looks like a boy. I don't make my daughter play with cars or guns. I don't make my son play with dolls or nail polish. But I think it's just as okay that he loves Legos, lightsabers, and long hair and nail polish. It's fine for B to play with dolls, wear makeup on occasion, and like learning about guns. It's also perfectly okay in our house for B to be a cross between Princess Barbie and Wednesday Addams. We don't blink if she comes down in pink and lace on one day, and black and red the next. You never know if she's going to paint flowers, butterflies, or blood drops on her nails. And that's okay. She's our Princess Wednesday Barbie Addams, and we love her in all her gothy sparkles. And if J decides he wants to wear camo pants and painted nails, that's fine with me.

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