I have had a reoccurring daydream as of late; I want to get wild, airbrushed nails done. Acrylic, gel, whatever. I don't even know what those terms mean in the world of NAILZ. I just know that "I wanna get my nailz did". The look? A pedi/mani like the last one I had in Hawaii to show off well-tanned feet and open-toed Chanel platforms? No no. An infomercial-ready French manicure, mayhaps? Wrong again. Actually, despite living in the heart of Hipsterville MTL, I want something that screams 'suburban'. I want to lash out against the grain of good taste by going for the nail equivalent of 'mall hair'; bad chunky highlights, garishly false red tones, or chemically-straightened hair that ends up looking dead.
I think the problem with bad 'mall vanity' is that, in its attempt to mask its fakery, it establishes a new norm of falseness that eventually becomes accepted into the fold of sought-after aesthetics. Think: obnoxiously long fake eyelashes, orange self-tanned skin, gravity-defying breast implants and overly hair-sprayed coifs. It doesn't matter to people that these tacky looks are poor copies of the real so much as they communicate, 'I got my (fill in the blank) DID!' which, is to say, 'I am a lady of luxury; a woman with leisure time and money to spend. I can afford a particular level of vanity.'
When I bike back to my hood from the nail salon, I know most people won't get my protest in aesthetics or, they will believe that I'm being 'ironic'. Well, I'm not. I'm thinking of requesting that a whole solar system of planets and stars - heck, maybe even a purple galaxy for good measure! - be airbrushed onto my nails principally because I've been re-watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos and it's got my inspiration station ready to rocket to the moon. And, because my friend Jenny said she would do it with me. And we both grew up in a suburb of Vancouver, BC and now reside in Montreal's Mile End, and as a a curator (she) and a radio host and stylist (me), we've got too much cultural cachet for our own good. Time to check the urbanism at the door. Suburbia: here we come.