This is cool and then again, not.

Good morning loves!

I wanted to share a neat picture and article with you because it's something that means a lot to us in the nail polish world. That, and I haven't had a good rant for awhile. Enjoy!

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I love this picture. I don't so much love all of the analysis, however.  This Forbes article discusses in detail just what everyone else thinks Justice Sotomayor's nail color choice says. 
My biggest issue with the analysis is that yet again, women are judged so harshly for their looks. If you look less feminine, you are still criticized for not being feminine enough. If you like wearing nail polish, you can be criticized for not being serious enough. Especially if you choose a nail color like a red.
It is frustrating! Let's also look at the cultural angle too.
Two commenters are quoted as saying that the red polish is highly symbolic of Justice Sotomayor's Latina heritage. My problem with this is it invites the stereotype of the fiery Latina and I think it ends up being very patronizing. It says that Justice Sotomayor couldn't possibly handle the job because she's so emotional as a woman and more so as a Latina woman. Yet again, we come back to women are silly, illogical creatures who just like pretty things. Arrgh!

I look at this picture and I see a strong, authoritative woman and I get a sense of whimsy when I see her nails.
I know my nail polish color doesn't interfere with my ability to problem solve and resolve conflict at work so I really doubt that Justice Sotomayor will be hindered in her ability to interpret law and uphold the Constitution because she is wearing red polish. I'm just sayin' is all.

So, what do you think? Is the criticism sexist and racist? Regardless of your political affiliations, do you think  nail polish/ cosmetics/ clothing makes any woman less capable in a leadership role in government? (Because I remember Condoleeza Rice's amazing black boots she wore when Secretary of State. I didn't approve of the job she did but I wouldn't blame it on her choice of footwear. Stunning though it was.)
Can women reclaim their traditionally "feminine" sartorial choices and empower it? (Thinking of Madeleine Albright and her pins and brooches, here.)

Thank you for indulging me. Hope you all have a lovely day!


  1. Very interesting to read this on a nail blog because it invites one to think a little.
    Hm, my reaction as a Brit. All I know about Ms S is that Obama got major heat for appointing her??? Is that right?
    OK, so I know nothing. That's a given.
    I don't like the photo as a photo. Her pose seems very forced and I don't like her being seated. Wouldn't it be more natural to stand?
    So the article is a profile of her, yes? Well, it's impolite and unjust to comment on her appearance really as she hasn't set herself up as a style-guru to the masses.
    I think I'd be very impatient with anyone who tried to suggest that her choice of polish has a bearing on her competence and we all do know, don't we, that men can be badly-groomed, badly coiffed, badly dressed and nobody would even notice. Nobody would care.
    So it is an example of sexism if this women is to be criticised on account of her nails. It should be matter of indifference to us all unless there are those who would like to do the gracious thing and compliment her upon her appearance. Otherwise remarks are better left unsaid. Elementary manners.
    I invite the next person to rant now...

  2. I think it is all just ridiculous. It brings to mind the quotation often attributed to Sigmund Freud, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." What I mean is that perhaps Judge Sotomayor just wanted her nails to look nice, and there is no deep, symbolic meaning behind her color choice at all. Heck, maybe red polish was the only thing she had lying around the house.
    It seems like all the media does lately is dwell on the fashion choices and appearances of women who hold powerful or influential positions. Since before the Obama was elected, there has been nothing but talk about what Michelle Obama is wearing. Then, you have instances of women who are on television a lot caving into societal pressures to look a certain way and getting plastic surgery. After the surgery, the media is a-buzz with talk about it. Anchorwoman Greta Van Sustern's plastic surgery comes to mind. Pressure to look good for the media was probably the reason she got the surgery, and then the media makes a big deal out of it like she did something horrible.

  3. This is great! Thank you Ja and Deb for your comments.

    Ja - Now, any Supreme Court appointee will cause a lot of heat for any President whether Democrat or Republican. It's all very partisan. What troubles me about the heat for Justice Sotomayor is that that there is a lot of soft racism. "She's not the right Latina." Who would be? I suspect none would be for the critics. And I dislike the accusations of so-called reverse racism. Racism is racism. It matters not one's pigmentation and it is wrong.

    Deb - Good points all. I recall the flutter over Ms. VanSustern's eye surgery. What? She can't do something to make herself feel good? Like this made her less capable of doing her job? (I'm not a fan of hers but I won't dispute her credentials.)
    A lot of the pressures for women to look a certain way are media created and commerce driven. It's heart rending to even find myself caving in some way to said pressures. Frustrating!

  4. Really interesting. It bugs me that nail polish would even be considered relevant to her job performance. Doing a fashion bio on her is boring. She isn't trying to be a fashion plate! I just don't see the importance of analyzing her grooming habits.

    Silly. (by the way, most of my Latina friends wear bronze tone polish or none!)

  5. So much analysis over nails... it's silly. Why can't she just wear a nice color she likes without causing people to write a whole article about it? Who cares if her nails are red? Saying anything about it in relation to her job is just ridiculous.

  6. This is just more proof that the media makes as much sense as underwear at a nudist colony.

    Her polish, her makeup, her hair style, nor her shoes have any barring on her abilities, intelect or her job.
    I hate stereo types no matter if they are gender, religion, or race based they are nonsence.

  7. I'd like to know what her nail polish color has to do with what she'll do on the Supreme Court? I'm sure not one of the male judges were ever questioned about their appearance. It seems like there will always be a doubl stand no matter what we do. I love red nail polish. I not only think it's sexy but it's also classy and a strong color for a strong women.

  8. First, I love how she wears red. It looks beautiful on her nails.

    I can't help but wonder how people in another country that enjoys style (such as France) would see such a photo.

    There is so much pressure on women in this county and so much contradiction. Showing sensuality and style can be necessary in one public job (I am thinking of women in the media) and detrimental in others. It's so difficult to navigate such expectations and ridiculous to have to do so. A woman with nice nails should feel free to polish them. How often is a man questioned for wearing a red tie?


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