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Nedu Ahanonu: Self-Confidence & the Beauty of Becoming a Woman Who Paints Her Fingernails

I became a woman whose conditioned-to-be-sunny perspective becomes even now ‘rainbowed”’ once she catches a glimpse of her own fingernails. In 2019, I became this woman who paints her fingernails.

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Few things convey the message of ‘put-togetherness’, poise and self-care as effortlessly as neatly painted fingernails.

My hands are dipped in soapy water many times a day; from giving underwear the dignity of a fresh wash to freeing dishes of deteriorating food crumbs, to wiping wooden surfaces so they can be free of the wanted embrace of dirt (I had the not-so-bright-but-still-bright-nonetheless idea to insist on mostly-white furniture in dusty Lagos. Mind you, the effect is rather dazzling interior-design-wise).

Did I mention that I wash my hands near-obsessively? Yes! I am the one who sees germs and microbes crawling on doorknobs with her ordinary human eyes. Haha

Well, I never quite saw the need for coating my fingernails with coloured gloss religiously. I’d scoff that it would chip in multiple places before the day was over, and concluded that it was an exercise in futility, akin to pouring water into a basket. Painting your fingernails is a habit that could be sustained only if one was blessed with the patience of Job. “I had practical hands,” I’d say.

Anyway, my eyes skimmed over a nail-care article a while ago and the thought of intentionally painting my fingernails as a lifestyle became loosely planted in my head.

On one fine day, I applied the first coat of bold red. Sally Hansen‘s ‘Right Said Red’, is a most vibrant shade that does not try to cower in the shadows. It does not make itself small so that others can be comfortable.

My eyes widened at the transformation – which became even bolder, almost daring, with the second bloody coat. The shine made my heart lurch with inexplicable delight.

My confession is this: By the time the polish had dried, my fingers took a life of their own; they didn’t belong to me anymore. It seemed like they’d become possessed by a chic spirit.

More than once, I’d find my eyes travelling to find them and the moment my pupils locked in on their target, my eyes would widen in surprise at just how pretty they looked. I was in awe at the amount of beauty that a mere 2 coats of coloured lacquer could bring. Then, my body would be filled with an odd warmth and a glow of self-appreciation would wash over me.

And each time I’d go out, my fingers gave off a cared-for vibe of their own accord. I hung my hands differently and swung my arms differently. It infected my carriage and added swag to my stride.

I was the woman who took time out of a busy and stressful life to apply nail polish. A woman in control of her well-being, in spite of the jerky dance of life. A woman who puts herself first. A woman whose wholeness is her centre. A woman in her element.

My discovery is this: I found patience and became a woman who repaints her nails when the polish chips, a little dab here and there and voilà! Brand new again.  For what greater proof is there of resilience than the power to rise again, even when knocked down and breathless, knowing that the show must go on?

I became a woman whose conditioned-to-be-sunny perspective becomes even now ‘rainbowed”’ once she catches a glimpse of her own fingernails. In 2019, I became this woman who paints her fingernails.

Self-care and self-awareness are sisters, I managed to make them hand-clasping twins for me to enjoy life more and I will continue to bask in the happiness they bring.

The wholeness that they wrap me in is a gift.

45 Comments

  1. Maureen

    January 6, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    Lovely!

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 6, 2020 at 4:22 pm

      Hello Maureen,

      Thank you so much! 🙂

      1
  2. Clare

    January 6, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    While reading this.I stopped mid way to admire my own nails, made a mental note to pick up a bottle of red polish…..

    This is one of those simple yet profoundly thoughtful articles you read and you realise that the simple things of life are quite amusing.

    Cheers to selfcare and awareness this 2020.

    Thanks Nedu, i love reading your musings.

    2
    • Nedoux

      January 6, 2020 at 4:08 pm

      Hello Clare,

      It’s the little things… Thank you for making that powerful observation.

      I’m so glad you stopped by to read my piece. 🙂

  3. Lolelewis

    January 6, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    I used to be a woman who painted her nails but geez life comes at you fast! It might be time to change my mantra to “new year old me” lol

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 6, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      Hello Lola,

      I laughed so hard at that mantra! I agree with you, sometimes the old becomes the new, and even better while at it! 🙂

      Thank you so much for reading this.

    • Mabel

      January 6, 2020 at 8:29 pm

      I looked at my nails while reading this. Beautiful post, I should consider daring colours too.

      1
    • Nedoux

      January 9, 2020 at 10:26 am

      Hello Mabel,

      And you should! I most definitely plan to. 😄

      Thank you for reading this.

  4. Tawakalit

    January 6, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    This was so good to read, Nedu!

    Hope you keep this energy in 2020 and beyond.

    2
    • Nedoux

      January 6, 2020 at 4:36 pm

      Hello Tawakalit,

      I do hope so too! It’s the right sort of energy… Lol

      Thank you so much for reading this. 🙂

  5. Amara

    January 6, 2020 at 3:39 pm

    I love this! “ when the polish chips, a little dab here and there and voilà! Brand new again.“ beautiful write up Nedu!

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 6, 2020 at 4:10 pm

      Hello Amara,

      Yes o! The show must go on. #WeMove! Lol

      Thank you so much for reading this. 🙂

    • Chee

      January 6, 2020 at 4:53 pm

      Nice one nedu, you write so well, self care and self awareness are twins! I’ll be intentional about my nails this year🥰👍

      2
    • Florence Ahanonu

      January 6, 2020 at 5:26 pm

      Ever so inspiring Nedu. Your writings are always filled up with the need and encouragement to believe in oneself. Hope to read more of this.

      1
    • Nedoux

      January 9, 2020 at 8:54 am

      Hello Chee,

      Yes absolutely twins! 😄

      Thank you for your kind words.

  6. Immanuel

    January 6, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    Wow! What a masterpiece! I didnt expect anything else.
    Lol @ “your fingers being possessed by a chic spirit”.
    We shouldnt be so busy not to take care ourselves. Like ypu said, patience is one of the non negotiable means to take this seriously.

    I absolutely enjoyed your writeup. Gracias!

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 7, 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Hello Immanuel,

      Indeed, patience is that little bit of ingredient that makes all the difference in how we treat ourselves.

      Thank you for reading this 🙂

  7. Bollywood Hair

    January 6, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    Beautifully written!

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 8, 2020 at 2:35 pm

      Hello,

      Thank you for the kind compliment! 🙂

  8. Charsy

    January 6, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    You are such a great writer. Your musings are so beautiful to read. The wordings wash over me time and again and leaves me feeling refreshed. Maybe it’s indeed time for self care and self awareness for myself

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 9, 2020 at 8:57 am

      Hello Charsy,

      Thank you for the kind compliment.

      Selfcare is always a good thing. Well done! 🙌

  9. Chichi

    January 6, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    Try brown. It looks really good and elegant with our skin tone. I typically use a shade that is about 2 shades darker than my skin tone. Outside of that – femininity is a lost art and there is definitely joy of rediscovering it 😉

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 9, 2020 at 9:02 am

      Hello ChiChi,

      I love the angle you introduced to this. 👌

      Indeed, there is a joy in rediscovering Femininity and embracing it in one’s quest for self-care.

      Thank you so much for reading.

  10. B

    January 6, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Lovely read. Well done Nedu. I made a note to restart this & this is just the extra nudge I needed

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 9, 2020 at 9:04 am

      Hello B,

      I’m glad this motivated you like the nailcare article did for me. 😄

      Thank you for reading

  11. Tumi

    January 6, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    What a delightful read 💕

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 9, 2020 at 10:21 am

      Hello Tumi,

      Thank you so much for reading. 😁

  12. Gudy

    January 6, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    In 2020,I am the woman who paints her nails.

    This post made me look at my nails. I keep admonishing myself to do better by them but alas…

    I love the way you make words come alive. Paints a very vivid picture.

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 9, 2020 at 10:23 am

      Hello Gudy,

      Ah…We all have that one thing on our selfcare list. I hope to tick more off my list in 2020.

      Thank you so much for reading this. 😁

  13. Febi

    January 6, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    I do spend a while admiring my nails when I get them done 😁

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 9, 2020 at 10:25 am

      Hello Febi,

      Lol @ admiring. Me too! 😂

      Thank you so much for reading this.

  14. Sheila

    January 7, 2020 at 1:56 am

    You can never go wrong with beautifully polished nails. Last year, I became more consistent in keeping my nails fresh. I explored colours and truth be told, it gives you that feel of elegance.

    2
    • Nedoux

      January 10, 2020 at 4:21 am

      Hello Sheila,

      “Effortless elegance” from such a simple thing too! 😁

      Thank you for reading.

  15. Chiugo

    January 7, 2020 at 10:36 am

    I love this write up and i quite agree that touching up your nail paint develops resilience and patience! soft virtues to have. i am grabbing a Sally Hansen on my way home!

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 10, 2020 at 4:25 am

      Hello Chiugo,

      The patience bit is a real thing! 😄

      Thank you for reading this.

  16. Enyene

    January 7, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    Nedoux for the win! I hope this year sees you blessing us with more written gems.
    Funny that I’d promised myself better nails this year. I always stare admiringly at well polished fingernails. About time I stared lovingly at mine too.

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 10, 2020 at 4:27 am

      Hello Enyene,

      The aesthetics of nice looking nails will always be visually appreciated.

      About time! 😄

      Thank you for reading this.

  17. Juls

    January 7, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    You are just the right amount of rodo! Looking forward to more articles from you

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 10, 2020 at 4:19 am

      Hello Juls,

      “Rodo” cracked me up! 😂

      Thank you for reading this.

  18. Nedoux

    January 7, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Hello BN,

    Thank you for featuring my article.

    I read this again and the message resonates with me, even more deeply.

    May 2020 be kind and favorable to us all ❤

  19. MissMonday

    January 7, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    Doing my nails: go-to for a quick massage and some care. We do so much with our hands. When they’re painted and held and handled with care, I’m reminded of just how much they needed all that TLC. Lovely post, Ms. N. Good to read your winsome words.

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 9, 2020 at 10:33 am

      Hello Miss S.

      Ahhh! Massages will always reset one’s brain 😂

      I agree with you, we do so much with our hands. The TLC is much-deserved.

      Thank you so much for stopping by.

      1
  20. Abby

    January 8, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Beautiful! Would love to read more of your write ups. Back to the nail issue, I became that woman near the end of 2019.
    I must agree my carriage is different. I look at my nails and smile. But I must say I cheat. I get this thing done called dipped powder. The nails never chip. The effect however is still the same.
    This brings some validation to how I feel when my eyes meet my fingers and I find them meeting more these days.

    1
    • Nedoux

      January 10, 2020 at 4:33 am

      Hello Abby,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      You’ve raised a profound point, Self-Validation is at the heart of this really.

      Lol @ “dipped powder cheating”, I’ll consider doing that o! 😄

  21. Nedoux

    January 9, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Hello Miss S.

    Ahhh! Massages will always reset one’s brain 😂

    I agree with you, we do so much with our hands. The TLC is much-deserved.

    Thank you so much for stopping by.

    Thank you

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