Since I began my professional career, I’ve made it a point to have my nails manicured at all times. In Cape Town, my nail technician was a French-speaking mother of one and a wife. She helped me keep my French skills active and provided a much-needed reprieve from my 9-5.
When I moved to Johannesburg on December 28, 2018, the very next day I asked Twitter for suggestions for a new nail salon. The good people of my favorite app responded in droves and so I went to a petite nail shop in Braamfontein.
Since that day, I’ve consistently had my nails manicured. This has everything to do with the fact that getting a manicure is more about me spoiling myself than simply looking good. Let’s be honest, short, well-shaped, buffed, and glossy looking nails is a lewk. I could do the job myself, but that takes the glamor and pampering out of the moment. Leaving my office and sitting in front of my nail technician for her to apply acrylic to my nail beds is therapeutic. I deserve it. Every working womxn deserves it.
My particularity for white toes stems from the fact that a white pedicure makes your feet look like they belong on the white sands of the Carribean. Generally, however, I get a simple square-oval shape on my fingernails with an acrylic overlay to help them grow. This month, I opted for coffin-shaped, natural pink, acrylic tips. Not quite stiletto, but almost is close enough. With this new set, there’s a certain power I’m feeling. Maybe it’s that I resemble the glamorous womxn from my childhood who also had long nails, or it’s that I’m feeling particularly “grown” with my hands looking this pretty. Either way, I feel great, and once again, I deserve it.
Over the years, I’ve always encouraged my mother to get her nails done. She’s diligent about getting a pedicure but less so about manicures. Baby steps. Onica Nonhlanhla Makwakwa is one of the hardest working womxn I know. She excels wherever she goes. She’s also the best mother I could ask for. In all of the roles she plays, it’s so easy to forget to take small pleasures for herself, like getting her nails done, for instance. My mother deserves the world, but if she can’t have it all yet, she deserves to spoil herself.
I’ve seen what a bit of grooming can do for a person. From haircuts to facials, manicures to pedicures, and every other spa treatment in between, working womxn deserve to feel good about themselves. They deserve to eat their money and lavish themselves with the fruits of their labor. In close, all working womxn deserve white toes and manicures shaped like stilettos.