Ugly Is as Ugly Does
  • Maggie Franklin
  • July 7, 2010

I am getting pretty sick and tired of defending fantasy nail art and stiletto nails. That's just all there is to it.

I have a digital picture frame on the shelf near my desk. The slide show it runs through consists of pretty much all the photos I have of my own work, several pictures of my dogs, the BF, various camping and hiking adventures — you know, some personal stuff that makes for good conversation — and lots and lots and lots of photos of nails gleaned from around the Internet.

One reason I finally put all those pictures on the digital frame is because I spend a lot of time telling my clients about the types of nails that some of my colleagues are doing, nail styles that are popular in other parts of the world, and different nail types that are even possible — stuff that's hard to describe to someone who's never seen it, like spiral nails.

I don't get to do these nails. Makes me crazy. I talked one client once into stilettos and she made it all of 48 hours before begging me to cut them down. I've done a grand total of four spiral nails in my entire career. I don't even get to do long nails very often.

Consequently, I don't have pictures in my own portfolio of these nail styles. But I don't want my clients to be out on the town and come back and say, "OMG! I saw this girl whose nails were all super long and pointy! Maggie, how come you never told me you could do that?" So I have all these photos on my digital frame slide show.

My clients still insist that stilettos are "ugly," but they are at least making an effort to assuage me by agreeing that just because they don't like something doesn't mean it's ugly. But good grief! If I have to explain fantasy nail art to one more person things might get ugly!

I don’t get it? How can these same people get that the fashion industry, the hair industry, even the car industry has concept designs? Entire shows, competitions, designs dedicated to showing off? To demonstrating what can be done with the medium of the industry? Not what is common or practical. So when a photo rolls around of a handful of nails that are 12 inches long and covered in 3-dimensional butterflies and dragons that stick out 3 inches on all sides, this is NOT an example of what someone had done for her son's wedding. This is NOT intended to be a practical design that someone really wears. This is obviously an over-the-top, avant-garde design. 

And how can you even utter the words, "That's so ugly?!" Are you even looking at it? That's AMAZING! That's all done with nail products! Can your nail-lady do that? Well I guess you'll never know because you won't let her do anything. (pant pant pant) Oh. Sorry. Well, that's why they call the column "Maggie Rants [and Raves]" I guess.

I just had to vent about the lack of appreciation for our art that permeates the masses to people who would understand my pain. I feel better now; but I think I'm going to work on coining the term "concept art" in our industry, and getting more of it in front of the general public so people stop seeing it and thinking it's something to wear and start appreciating it for what it's intended to be — art for art's sake.

Keywords:   clients  

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