Now, let me tell you a little bit about me, so you understand where this contest comes from. I'm a feminist, and I'm generally very politically aware. Just because I paint my nails and enjoy honing the skills that this activity requires, doesn't mean that I'm vain, shallow, self-absorbed, incapable of reflexion and morality, or less smart than any other human being - though there are some who would have you believe that. As if cosmetics and hobbies were incompatible with human and social responsibility.
Throughout history, women's artistry (be it stitching, crochet, pottery, knitting, etc.) has been reduced to the subaltern status of "craft" and I for one want to help revalorize it by giving nail art the respectability and recognition it deserves! We work so hard on these little ephemeral canvases which we share and admire while accepting their inevitable decay. The thought of this process alone is as compelling to me as any piece of conceptual art.
So, in order to show the world that nail art isn't meaningless, that any art form is indeed meaningful, capable of speaking loudly to and about the world around it, I have decided to politicize your nails, ladies! That's right:
I want you to design a socially engaged manicure that supports a cause and raises awareness about an issue that you care about.
I will not choose the winner. I thought it was only right that I would let the community decide democratically. And because it's important to reach as many people as possible when you carry a message for social change, I encourage you to spread the word about your creation and have your friends and family vote for your mani. Let's show everyone what a community of awesome women is capable of when they get together to create something grand!
We are NOT rivals or competing merchandises - we are our own persons, with concerns and opinions and hopes and dreams for the world we live in, and we are united by a common passion. I'll let nobody tell me that this passion, the passion for nail art, is silly in any way. It drives me to surpass myself, it helps keep me sane when life just gets too much, it creates moments of bonding with the women around me, friends and family alike, sometimes even with the odd adventurous man who will lend me his toes! Nail art is about friendship, it's about support, it's about pride in one's work, the desire to get better at something, and to share with others who are perhaps more or less skilled, but always willing to teach and learn, at once proud and humble, always grateful to the ones who make this possible: each other.
I want to make this contest not a reason for rivalry, but a chance to hear and learn about the concerns and opinions of other members of our community, so that in the end we may know a little bit more about one another, and what each of us holds dear.
- The manicure you post must be created especially for this contest. It should not be an old post. The reason for this is that I want to create a movement of creation and social action, here and now.
- You must post it online somewhere. It doesn't have to be a blog post. It can be on any public service such as Flickr or Tumblr, for example.
- You should accompany your manicure with a description of the issue you're trying to raise awareness for, and why this issue is important to you. It doesn't have to be long, but it can be if you wish it. It can be a single sentence, or many paragraphs.
- You must briefly present and link back to this contest on the page where you post your manicure.
- You may use anything you like to create this manicure.
- You must be a follower to enter the contest. If you're not following yet, look on the left-hand sidebar and click on the "Join this site" button. If for any reason you are unable to follow, post a comment here and we'll arrange something.
- This contest is open to everyone, from every country and of every age.
- You have until December 15th, 11:59pm EST, to submit your entry in the widget found at the bottom of this page.
(see pics below)
I have decided that every single contestant will get a participation prize: I will send you item #4 from the following list, a wheel of glitter in 12 different shapes and colours (hearts, flowers, stars, etc.). I don't know how popular this contest will be, but I reserve the right to restrict this participation prize to the first 50 participants so that I'm not ruined by the end of it! :P
The winner, as chosen by the voters, will get the following prize:
- A small nail stamping kit, including 2 image plates, 3 stamping polishes, 1 scraper and 1 stamper;
- Striping tape in 10 different colours;
- 2400 pieces (yikes!) of 2mm rhinestones in 12 different colours;
- Glitter in 12 different shapes and colours: hearts, flowers, stars, etc.;
- 12 plump bushes of tiny real dried flowers in different colours;
- Large individual dried flowers in 3 colours, approximately 30 pieces;
- Caviar beads in several different multi-coloured mixes;
- Fimo shapes in 12 randomly selected shapes: fruit, flowers, animals, hearts, etc.;
- 5 dotting or marbleizing tools, with 2 tips each;
- 6 paintbrushes, including long stripers, for precise nail painting!
Yeah, I'm like, jealous of my own contest's winner. :P Here are the pics: