My daughter is a little lady. She gets her nails painted regularly. She has done more than I did growing up, as far as having her own style. I never thought I’d let her do as much as she does as such a young age. While she does have limits, her requests have yet to come close. I enjoy hearing her ask for pretty nails.
I come from a Mexican family of 4 kids. I am the oldest and only daughter. My dad was very protective of me growing up and not in a bad way. He was born and raised in Mexico – times were different then. I know he meant well and always had my best interest in mind.
One of the things I remember him never allowing me to do was get my nails painted. The most he’d allow was a clear polish, nothing more. I clearly remember the day I rebelled and went with a clear pink nail color. My cousin had painted my nails while we were visiting family in Tijuana, Mexico. While I was getting out the car my dad noticed my shiny pink nails. He looked at me and said nothing. He just walked away. The worst punishment was silence from my dad. I knew it meant disappointment, even at the age of 8.
I later learned why my dad didn’t like me wearing short shorts, make-up, or getting my nails done. Schools in Mexico didn’t allow girls to wear shorts or make-up or have long, painted nails. They wore uniforms and had very strict rules, mainly for the girls. He must have thought the same rules applied in California, or maybe he thought it meant I lost my innocence. I never really asked any questions after learning what he grew up knowing.
When my husband and I found out we were expecting a daughter I was beyond excited. I imagined playing dress up with her and getting our nails done. When she turned one, I treated her to a pedicure. It was the perfect way to get her ready for her birthday party. She was tiny but she was loving the bright color on her nails.
She is now 3 years old, and she continues to get her nails painted. I get excited to see her walk around with our nail polish case. She’s quick to ask for pink or purple “pretty nails,” and she does so with a big smile.
I know my dad meant no harm, but I wish he would have let me explore my sense of style sooner. I will continue to allow my daughter to explore her sense of style as long as her well-being is not in danger.
What are your thoughts on little girls getting their nails painted?
Read more of Ruby’s writing at Growing Up Blackxican