Wednesday, July 10, 2013

So uhh...my nails are not "terrible acrylics"

I was planning to post some nail art today, but it seems we have a little issue to discuss!

A few weeks ago, I posted this photo on Pinterest:


Today, I discovered that in the weeks since I posted the photo, several people had posted comments discussing what "terrible acrylics" I had.  The problem with those statements (aside from being totally unnecessary little tidbits of cruelty), of course, is that

I do not have acrylic nails

I just have the terrible misfortune of having ugly natural nails!  Allow me to explain!
  • I have a painful, disfiguring, and incurable medical condition known as primary lymphedema praecox of all four extremities.  This means that my arms, legs, hands, and feet swell with lymphatic fluid.  I was born with a lymphatic system which was destined to fail.  The channels through which my lymphatic fluid travels did not develop properly, and I was born with incorrect numbers of lymph nodes.  For the first twelve years of my life, my lymphatic system handled things pretty well.  However, when I reached adolescence and grew taller, my wimpy lymphatic system could no longer handle my body, and I began to show signs of the condition.  I was finally diagnosed at the age of 16, after days of uncomfortable testing, and years of wondering what was happening to me.
    • Since your nails grow on your fingers and my fingers are constantly in a state of various degrees of swelling, my nails appear to be getting distorted as they grow.  Lymphedema is also known to be linked to a rare condition affecting nails, so there is clearly a connection between lymphedema and nail health.
    • When I was diagnosed, my doctor gave me a long list of things I could and couldn't do, as well as samples of lotion and antibiotic ointment.  Individuals with lymphedema are highly susceptible to life-threatening infections, particularly infections arising from breaks in the skin.  I have to keep my skin moisturized (to avoid cracking skin), avoid injuring my skin, and carefully treat and monitor any injuries I may get.  Even something as minor as a paper cut could cause massive problems if it got infected.  Necessary medical procedures, like injections, can even pose a risk to me.  I have to do everything I can to avoid being injured or developing an infection.  Therefore, I am not allowed to get salon manicures/acrylic enhancements/etc.  Even the cleanest salon poses a risk to me.  Technically, my doctors don't even want me to have long nails or do my own manicures!  I have chosen to take the risk of polishing and growing my nails because it helps me feel normal and pretty.  However, I will not take the risk of getting salon manicures/acrylic enhancements.  
  • I also have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which, in my case, includes a fear of germs, excessive hand washing, and lots of long showers.  My nails therefore get exposed to a lot of water, which causes them to bloat up and become misshapen.
I will not go into treatments and such, as that is a very personal subject

But why do your nails look so thick?

I tend to do thick coats of polish and I usually use a very thick top coat called Seche Vite.  As far as this particular photo goes, 16 Candles is a sheer polish, and I had to use 3 thick coats of it.  I also had to top it with an especially thick coat of Seche Vite in order to smooth out those big glitters!

I see glue!

I don't know what you are seeing.  Bits of my Elmer's Glue base coat?  Remnants of Seche Vite that went astray?  Elmer's Glue is an improvised peel-off base coat, which I use so that I don't have to soak my nails in remover to get my polish off.  The Seche Vite may have gotten a little messy because this swatch was a rush job.  

Haven't you mentioned something about glue before...?

I do use Krazy Glue to repair tears in my nails, but that just gets applied to the torn area, not the entire nail.  This is a very common practice among people who grow out their natural nails (though most people use a tea bag/silk patch and nail glue).  When I get tears, they're pretty much always "past the quick," so to speak.  I HAVE to repair it and keep the nail from breaking all the way across because if it developed into a bad break, there would be a risk of infection.

Why is your index finger nail so different from the others?

I have no idea.  It's the same situation on both hands (flat, curves downward, etc).  I hate it with a passion.  

Why don't you just keep your nails short if they grow out so ugly?

-I have short, swollen, fingers.  Having long nails makes them look a little longer and less sausage-like lol.  
-I have very short nail beds, so I need to have length in order to do nail art.
-I bit, peeled, and picked at my nails (anxiety and OCD-related) throughout my whole life.  Having long nails is a sign of my victory over that destructive behavior.  

You really shouldn't be growing out your nails and doing home manicures!

I know.  Everyone with lymphedema does a few things they technically shouldn't do (did you know that we're technically not supposed to do other normal, beauty-related things, like shave with a regular razor, or wear flip-flops?).  Breaking a few rules helps us feel normal when our bodies are so abnormal.  We just have to be very careful when we break the rules!

Show me your natural nails!

No.   My natural nails are discolored, ridged, pitted, and have very misshapen smile lines.  I am extremely self-conscious of them.  You can get an idea of how bad they are from this old swatch of a jelly polish, which first appeared on my Tumblr last fall:

I didn't bother with watermarking back then, lol

So, there you have it!  I have ugly nails!  I know I have ugly nails!  You don't have to make me feel bad about it!  

If you have any questions, I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.  However, I cannot promise that I will answer every question, as we are dealing with a rather personal and private topic here.  



54 comments:

  1. I will never understand why anyone would make comments like that, even if it were true that they were horrible acrylics! Why take the time to make a nasty comment? Clearly those people are ugly on the inside--and baby, there are no acrylics for that. Thank you for this post, and I personally think your nails are beautiful *because* they are not perfect and typical. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't understand, either! Thank you so much for your kind words!

      Delete
  2. We should always remember that behind every post, every picture, and every word - there is a person who has feelings, hopes, dreams, and problems. I'm so sorry that people took the time to make fun/tear you down. You do whatever makes you feel better & more normal! :) You rock it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! I live every day of my life worried and afraid of the kinds of judgments people are making about me simply because they don't know that there are medical issues affecting my appearance and behavior. I shouldn't have to live that way, but unfortunately, people tend to not realize that the stranger they're judging has feelings and their own unique life story.

      Thank you for your kind words!

      Delete
  3. Awful people.
    You are a doll, and until they do something besides bully others online I think explaining yourself is a waste of time. You can not teach people unless they are open.
    Those women, especially the one who says she knows it was acrylic because she is a nail tech... SHAME ON THEM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, hun. I'm guessing that maybe some of them just aren't familiar with how thick Seche-topped indies can look? Who knows...

      Delete
  4. You certainly owe no one an explanation in response to trolls and/or troll-like behavior, but I applaud you for sharing your story. In sharing something like this, I hope you find others who have similar challenges, and that you feel very lifted and happy from the positive responses you're going to get from the people reading what you've shared. I hope you continue to do your own home manis in good health, and that your nails grow as long as you want them too, and that you continue showing them on your blog! Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! It means a lot to me <3

      Delete
  5. this is a really brave post. i don't understand why someone would want to say something mean to you, even if you did have acrylics. the fact that you don't only makes them look more dumb. do what makes you feel beautiful. it's not hurting anyone else. also, i think the pic of the jelly polish looks totally fine. big hug!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. I don't understand it, either! *hugs*

      Delete
  6. I think this post was extremely brave. It is so hard to open yourself up to a large group of complete strangers. I admire you for opening up and revealing such a personal and sensitive part of your life. People can be so cruel. Some think that because their words are on the internet and not face to face it doesn't have consequences. I don't understand why people can't use their words to lift others up instead of tearing them down. You are beautiful and brave and don't owe anyone anything. I have health problems as well and wear polish and blog about it because it makes me feel normal as well. Polish on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for saying that. I have a huge fear of being judged, so it took a lot for me to even start blogging to begin with...but I just love polish so much, so I soldiered on through the discomfort and started blogging. I'm sorry you have health woes of your own :-( <3

      Delete
  7. Oh lovely! People are utterly unthoughtful and you're clearly a very strong and courageous person! Don't let the cruelty of others get you down and never feel like you have to justify yourself - people who love you already know and people who don't, don't matter. Keep posting lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I will definitely keep posting. hope to post the nail art that was supposed to be posted today, tomorrow lol :-)

      Delete
  8. oh sweetheart, so sorry you had to ensure this. If it makes you happy, **** em! Feel beautiful and you ARE beautiful xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Debbie (and for the rough words aimed at the bullies! rofl). I really appreciate it.

      Delete
  9. I can't even begin to understand what you go through on a regular basis, but I do know what it's like to be trolled. It happened to me on pintrest, too, about a month into blogging, and on a photo I was actually quite proud of, and from a high school girl, for crying out loud. It threw me into a sad little funk all weekend. How stupid is that? :( Anyhoo, it prompted me to invite people to be nice or get out if they happened across my pinterest board. Feel free to use that :) It bums me out that you keep saying your nails are ugly because they're the farthest thing from it and I hope you can soon learn to love this part of you that you take such beautiful care of. Hugs, T :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry you've had to deal with this sort of thing as well, Liesl :-( . And yeah, I know I shouldn't call them ugly, but I just have this weird thought process where I think that everyone will assume that I think I'm perfect unless I acknowledge that I'm not....stupid, I know lol. Thank you so much for the kind comment *hugs*.

      Delete
  10. You would think that after all this time that people would learn that words hurt, whether they are spoken or typed. I think your nails are just fine. When I first saw the picture I didn't see anything wrong, and I still don't. If I showed a picture of my hands my middle fingers on both hands are tilted to the side, not even close to facing straight up. Everyone is different, and that's because this would be a very boring place if we were all the same. I say forget anything those negative nelly's say and keep on with your bad self :) I see nothing wrong with your nails in any of your pictures and neither should you *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My middle fingers tilt like that too, and pinkies inwards, and nails curve and... I think it's FAR more common to not have perfect straight nails, to be honest :)

      Delete
    2. Raeven-Yeah, and these people were adults, so you would think that they would know better by now >.> ....I think some folks just need to re-do kindergarten or something, given the massive numbers of them who do stupid things like bully people, walk out into the road without checking for cars, etc! Thank you so much for your kind words *hug*

      Andrea-I never notice your tilting! lol

      Delete
  11. Thank you for sharing your story! And I agree with fishgirl182--the "bad" photo of the jelly polish looks fine to me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You're beautiful. Don't let anyone tell you different. I love your style, your sense of color and your manis.

    Rock on, girlfriend!!! <3

    ReplyDelete
  13. Let me tell you, after having known Tracey for over a year now, she's -very sensitive- and this is much harder for her to talk about and share with the world (told her she didn't owe anyone an explanation) than it seems from this post. I'm proud of her for posting this, especially because she -hates- any sort of attention being drawn to her in any way.

    Also, I told her there were far more good people in the world than not, and it's awesome seeing comments like the above cheering her up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohhh, mah sensitivityyy >.< lol

      Yeah, I really want everyone to read it because I feel the need to explain myself, but at the same time I'm like "oh no, people are really seeing this!" rofl >.<. I'm very grateful for all the support! Overwhelmed and grateful lol.

      Yeah, yeah, you told me so :-p <3

      Delete
  14. I think it took a lot of courage to post this, because, really, you don't offer anyone any sort of explanation! I think your nails are beautiful! I wish I could get mine to grow that long! :) As with anything in life, people put other people down to make themselves feel better about themself. But! There are a lot of amazing people out there, especially in the nail polish community. I think the person (or people) who said something about your nails is just jealous!

    I'm not sure if I follow you yet, I tried to check, but it won't let me. As soon as GFC is working again, I'm following as soon as I can if I'm not already <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words!

      Yeah, I need to go on a following spree myself once this settles down a bit! I'm still confused about what's going on with GFC lol. You can also keep track of me on Bloglovin, Facebook, Tumblr, etc :-)

      Delete
  15. I'm so sorry you felt the need to explain this - but it takes a lot of courage to speak out about it. I think your nails are perfect for showing nail polish as they are so long and have a lot of surface area. I couldn't do nail art because I don't have much room...I would fit half a heart on one of mine. I hope you are able to move on from those comments and know that the majority of us love you and your blog:) Keep up the great work and keep your chin up :) Take care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Essie <3 . I know my friend Andrea (from Indigo Bananas) actually kind of likes when I post swatches of her products because the curves and imperfections in my nails show off the duochrome effects better lol.

      You're nails are totally long enough for nail art! Try it!

      Delete
  16. Some people just have nothing better to do than try to put others down and make them feel just as miserable as they are in their lives. I know it's hard to ignore when people are just being a$$hats, but just know that those people don't matter AT ALL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words, Cynthia. I appreciate it <3

      Delete
  17. *stands and applauds you madly*

    You are so brave to be so open and to share something so deeply personal. I know that is can't have been easy but you were so gracious and factual while letting us see you all the way through it. That takes guts, girl.

    I'm sorry that people were horrible to you and said such awful things to you and made you feel as if you had to write this post but I am glad that you did. I learned something from it and I am coming away from reading it a little more enriched.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much <3 . I'm glad you found the post to be educational!

      Really, just...thank you. This all means so much to me. You have no idea <3

      Delete
  18. Im so sorry that you even had to do this post... I only see ONE ugly thing here, and that is the people not minding their own busines!!!! I can imagine how this hobby makes you feel beautyfull (even Im sure you are without np) DO NOT let those BITCHES take that from you :) Lots of <3 from Denmark!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Lots of love for you, too <3

      Delete
  19. In 100% honesty, I think your nails in both photos look really nice. They look thick and beautiful, and I don't see why people thought they looked bad :S
    My nails grow all weird so I can grow them very far past my tips. Several of my nails (the pointer ones in particular) grow warped, and at the edge start growing down, instead of out. The nails on my right hand are also a lot flatter and larger than the ones on my left.
    (Oh good golly I have OCD too, I know how rough that can be :()
    I think you did an amazing post to inform people about your condition and how not to judge people without knowing anything about them. I'm sorry that you had to deal with this :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much <3. I wish everyone's nails grew perfectly so we could all be happy! lol

      I'm sorry you have to deal with OCD, too :-(

      Delete
  20. Some people's mothers obviously didn't raise their children properly. What happened to " If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? My nails grow wonky and curl at the edges and I don't have a life threatening health issue to deal with on top of it. I'm sorry that people were rude to you about it. They're most likely jealous that they can't paint their own nails nicely by themselves. I'm new to your blog, but I do hope you'll continue and not let a few jerks get you down!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People will never cease to amaze me...for both good and bad reasons lol. Thank you so much for your kindness, and for following me! I hope you'll enjoy my posts...I definitely don't plan on stopping :-). I've got stuff planned for months to come :-D

      Delete
  21. So many comments say exactly what I want to say, so I will just say thanks for being so brave in this post. No explanation was due those idiots, but your being willing to expose yourself in such a way...it take my breath away! Thanks for not only for being brave, but giving me the courage to expose myself a bit more on my blog too. *sending positive feelings your way*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, that means a lot to me, Tina <3 . I still need to work on being more open about my life and me as a person, really...I tend to be afraid that people will be like "oh, just shut up and paint your nails" lol.

      Delete
  22. *sending positive feelings your way*
    Rock on!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your nails aren't ugly! If you want them long, wear them long! But I will say that I think they are pretty short too! =) Rock on girlfriend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Lacquerologist! That's so sweet of you to say that <3

      Delete
  24. Just wanted to say--I think it is fabulous that you are brave enough to be so open about your illness and haven't been bullied into not posting your beautiful nail art. The beauty blogging world can get really full of "traditional" versions of beauty that NO ONE really lives up to without photoshopping, hours in front of the mirror, etc. I love painting my nails but I don't want to be a part of a community that doesn't embrace different versions of beauty. <3

    I also totally get where you are coming from in "breaking" the rules a bit, and I hope no one makes you feel guilty for it. Right now my health conditions are not visible on the outside (it's a whole different can of worms to hear that I look like the "picture of health" when it's so not true)... but sometimes I feel "guilty" for exposing myself to the chemicals in nail polish, etc. But I avoid toxic stuff in so many areas of my life--eating healthy, not using harsh cleansers, etc.--so I think we deserve some colorful nails if we want them :) Maybe someday you will feel comfortable with short, naked nails, maybe not--it is all up to you because it is your body!

    <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much <3 .

      I'm sorry you have health issues, too :-( . Rock on with your rule-breaking! lol

      Delete
  25. I am late on the up-take, as I am so far behind on blogs/blogging, emails and life in general but I wanted to comment.

    People can be so cruel which leads me to believe that if people would be happy with their own life, their would be no need to grind down others.

    Personally I LOVE your nails. I am sure your health conditions are no ball but you seem to really have a handle on life and always do some of the most fantastic and spot-on manis!!

    My nails are slightly misshaped/crooked and I get self conscious about how they are not 'perfect'. I come here to get inspiration!!

    Don't let the bastards grind you down :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm behind on everything as well, no worries lol.

      Thank you so much for your kind words and compliments! It really means so much to me <3

      I'll try! :-)

      Delete
  26. I have just found your blog and am reading from the beginning (cuz I'm weird that way, lol). In the future I would let your fans respond to these idiots (let 'er rip ladies!). The only polite response to these kinds of bottom feeders is 'Nunya business'. Seriously, that would be as polite as I could be to questions and comments that are so far beyond polite that their makers would need a passport and a visa to even think about entering the obviously foreign to them land of basic human decency and good manners. People so totally lacking in respect for others don't recognize it from others anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate the dedication to reading through the whole thing! When it happened, I told one friend...who then told a bunch of other ladies on a forum what happened and they all rushed to my defense lol. Thank you for your kind words <3

      Delete
  27. Wow you never know what someone is going through or dealing with, I hate you had to explain due to nasty comments. On the other hand lots of people learned something new and may be reminded not to be so quick to tease or make fun of someone. Glad you've embraced your condition and have a blog to showcase it on....good for you. Be blessed

    ReplyDelete