The other day I was getting ready to go out for a meeting. It had been a while since I’d gone out – what with everything going on in the world. So, it was a bit of a big to-do for me. I had to pick an outfit, do my hair, perfect my makeup; all the usual. You know, feeling good and looking good!
Anyway, I’d got the whole ensemble together, and all I was left with was to decide on my nail colour. Pretty simple choice for me, really. I tend to match the colour with my outfit, and that’s it. But, as it often does, my mind started wandering and I ended up on a whole thought-expedition about nail colour and how that may portray personalities. After all, there has always been stereotypes surrounding what colour nails a woman choses to wear.
For my books, I spend a lot of time developing my characters and thinking about how their personalities will manifest. So, physical appearance is something that can be used to suggest a character’s nature and personality. Looking at a person, we take in all the details, giving us little hints as to exactly who that person is. So, going back to nails, can the colour a woman chooses to wear indicate some characteristics or traits?
I did a bit of research and found a bunch of articles, blog posts, and commentaries about what your nail colour choice means about you. I’ve always tended to go with what makes me happy. I’m quite fond of vibrant and bold colours, and I’ll probably stay that way. But, this research into nail colour choice has given me something to think about when describing characters in my books.
I’ve put together some commonly agreed upon notions about nail colour that I found while researching.
It seems to be the general consensus that women who have red nails are confident. It is a bold and passionate colour, and those who wear it aren’t afraid to step into the spotlight. Red is a colour that can convey love, anger, and fervour. So, it’s definitely the choice of a self-assured and poised lady.
Pink is seen as a traditionally feminine colour. When seen on the nails it can convey an image of anything from girly to classy, or chic to cute. What I got from the various opinions found online is that it is actually quite a versatile colour, perhaps a more ambiguous representation of a person’s character.
The colour black has often been associated with the goth stereotype, but this is an outdated idea. From what I could see, the general opinion is that black is a classic colour that can represent strength, elegance, and authority.
White has connotations of perfection and purity. As a colour seen on the nails it can represent a modern and stylish persona. It has a fresh and clean feel to it, which could indicate a person whose quite pedantic and particular. As an indicator of a person’s character it’s a somewhat interesting colour and could be interpreted in various ways.
There were so many different opinions and so many different colours to cover, that I couldn’t fit them all into this post. It was an informative exercise for me to do this research, and it’s a bit of a shame I couldn’t go into more detail, but I doubt anyone wants a methodical essay about the sociocultural constructs of nail colour. What I can say, though, is that it’s fascinating to consider the tiny details – such as nail colour – when it comes to the conscious or subconscious choices we make when deciding how to express ourselves.