My Kid Has Painted Nails and I Worry

Heather Chaet
14

kid fingernail paintingThere's been a lot of talk lately about kids with their nails painted. Specifically a boy with pink nails in that J.Crew ad. This ree-donk-u-lous media uproar was fresh on the heels of a minor uproar in my home ... well, okay, not really an uproar, more like a heated convo ... in my head. 

My daughter had her nails painted for the first time the other day. I came home and found her with one of our fabu babysitters, in the middle of the room, her freshly painted nails outstretched. They were bright yellow, a shade called "Need Sunglasses," which she thought was hilarious. Kiddo was beaming. She was giddy. She was thrilled to have "beautiful painted nails" -- yup, that's a quote from her.

And then it began. A heated discussion with myself. Not that I was mad at the sitter for doing this. Not at all. I was quite thankful actually. Kiddo had mentioned wanting to paint her fingernails a few times.

I was peeved that I hadn't done it. You see, I'm just not a girlie girl.

The last time I had my nails painted was at my wedding. I don't wear dresses but once or twice a year. I don't like pretty smelling lotions or bubble baths. Yet my daughter seems to love all of these things. This (almost) 4-year-old has more girlie-ness in her now-yellow pinkie nail than I do in my whole body.

The debate I had with myself: what is a non-girlie mom to do with a girlie-girl daughter? Do I try and be more girlie than I am, so as to "model" good girlie-ness for her? No. As much as I would do anything for her, doing that would not model an even greater lesson -- being true to yourself, even when others are doing different things.

So what do I do, I asked myself. I decided to model something we encourage Kiddo to do every day -- to explore different parts of her. We tell her every facet of her is fantastic. As a result, clad in the twirliest skirt imaginable, Kiddo pretends to be a mean T-Rex. With plastic necklaces and bracelets piled on, she builds skyscrapers that would make I.M. Pei smile (and then destroys them with her trucks).

Yes, just as we tell her to explore every part of herself, I'm doing that too ... which includes a little girlie-ness. To wit, I'm typing this with freshly painted nails. The color? "Holy Pink Pagoda." 

What nail color are you wearing?


Image via Zitona/Flickr

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