Have you ever changed your mind about something?
I have, but it’s not a regular occurrence. As my husband sometimes says: “I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.” But that’s men for you. Another of his sayings is “you can fix anything with natural talent and good looks like mine.” You can’t ever imagine a girl saying that, can you?
So what have I changed my mind about this week?
Tattoos and nail art, actually.
Tattoos are something I always advise my clients to be careful about. Tattoos are more mainstream than they were even ten years ago, but for a lot of people they still convey negative messages regarding rebelliousness, lack of academic achievement and yes, low social status. In the UK, which has a rich and full history of sumptuary law, tattoos were found only on sailors who had travelled to foreign lands and mixed with the (lowly) indigenous populations there. They were never something a gentleman or lady would do. For the rich, art belonged on their walls (possibly clothes) but never on their bodies.
This is especially true for girls (“you don’t put a bumper sticker on a Bentley, darling” as one of my friends says), but is still the case for chaps.
Scott is a delivery driver for a parcels company. He’s brought me several parcels over the past couple of years and so I’ve got to know him a little. I know Scott as a kind and conscientious man, devoted to his little boy and with a smile for everyone. But it took a deep breath before I could even speak to him as Scott is covered with tattoos, and is also a devotee of extreme piercings. Add his shaved head and you can understand that, at first sight, he really appears very scary indeed. One look into his gentle eyes dispels that fear, but it takes quite a lot to meet his eyes in the first place.
So tattoos have always been a big no no for me.
I’m still not rushing out to get a mystical fairy inked onto my boob, but my opinions have relaxed, ever so slightly, around this area.
Nail Art is a very different thing. For years and years (since having the children in fact) my nails were naked. Then I turned fifty and realised that, actually, naked didn’t work any more. And not only for the nails, dears…
But I still wasn’t going beyond a tasteful french manicure or possibly a pretty coral for parties. This was, I suppose, because the only women I had seen wearing nail art were operating the tills at Wilkinsons or similar (yes, you can call me a snob – it has been said many times before). Furthermore, you seemed to need impossibly and impractically long nails to do it.
Then I noticed a client of mine wearing it, and then a colleague. The messages these women gave off with their beautiful nail art was all about grooming, about caring enough to spend money on themselves. On these girls it looks glamorous and edgy and yes, very classy.
And after all, nail art is temporary. If you don’t like it – then it comes off after a couple of weeks.
So I have taken a deep breath and, just for Christmas, indulged.
Because, after all, if a girl can’t do Father Christmas and all his Reindeer in December, when can she?
Nail Art (all original) by the incomparable Cat at the Nail Boutique at Phoenix Hair, Huntingdon.
I’ve already warned her I want the Angel Gabriel and the all the Heavenly Host next Christmas!