Wednesday, October 2, 2013

31 Day Nail Art Challenge! Day 16: Tribal Print

Oooooh boy, I'm going to make some enemies today (but hopefully not because I know you're all wonderful, understanding people).

So, I'll just get right into the reason I didn't exactly follow the rules for this day. "Tribal" print is cultural appropriation, which is not good at all. Basically, since I am a white privileged woman (part of a dominate culture), it isn't right for me to decorate myself (my nails) with something that is from a minority culture that isn't my own, especially since the whole appeal to tribal print (the fact that it's called tribal print itself is offensive) is just that it is exotic and looks cool. This is problematic because a whole culture and its art and beliefs should not be reduced to some nail art. Not by me, at least. It's a popular trend, but I won't do it. I'm not going to exploit images from cultures that I don't belong to - images that hold meaning in these cultures, but not to me. I won't misrepresent a culture, I won't claim it as a fashion statement, and I'm not going to pretend that I'm part of something that I know I'm not part of. I know that there are people out there that are genuinely part of whichever culture they're representing in "tribal" nail art, and that's fine. Those are the people that should be doing this kind of nail art. Not me. I don't want you to misunderstand what I'm saying, because I'm absolutely supportive of assimilation of different cultures (the USA is the melting pot of the world afterall, and that's awesome) and learning about new cultures, but this isn't the same thing. This is saying "Hey, I think that design looks cool, so I'm going to paint it on my nails, even though I know minimal information about said design and your culture." I'm going to leave it at that. I hope this makes sense. If it doesn't, I hope you'll find more information in the cultural appropriation link (it's just Wikipedia, but I feel that it's pretty accurate) above, and if you have any questions for me, please ask them. I also hope this didn't sound antagonistic, because that's not what I'm about at all. My aim isn't to say anyone is a bad person for doing tribal print nails. I'm just explaining and educating why I won't do it, so I hope you can understand that. And if this happens to influence your opinions about tribal print in the process, then it's a win/win situation. And thanks for reading all of this, if you did. :)

That being said, I didn't do absolutely nothing for this day. Because it is a challenge, and even though I disagree with the premise, I'm not going to skip it. Instead, I picked a cool stamp from Pueen plate 49:

At first I thought the stamp was similar to Gaelic designs, but it's really not. I started with a base color of China Glaze For Audrey, and then two coats of a nameless Bon Bon polish that I've literally had since I was a kid. It's so old, haha. But it still works, and it's pretty! I stamped with Sinful Colors Calypso, which probably wasn't the best polish to use. It had a weird effect where it was darker on some nails than others? You can see it's much darker on my index finger in some of the pictures. *shrug*

Anyway, thanks so much for sticking around after my little mini-rant, haha. It's important to me, so I hope it wasn't too off-putting. Thanks for reading, have a great day, and happy painting! :)

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