What object makes you feel powerful? Is it a handbag you saved up to buy, a pair of designer heels you got for Christmas, or a shade of red lipstick that just makes you feel on fire? Whatever it may be for you, feeling powerful and confident is extremely important for all young women throughout their lives.
I once read a book called Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy by Geralyn Lucas in which the author discusses her journey through breast cancer and how wearing lipstick to her mastectomy made her feel the most powerful in her life, despite being physically at her weakest. This small tiny object that all little girls fantasize about putting on their lips changed Lucas’ life and gave her the confidence boost at one of the scariest moments of her life.
As young women, there are many instances in our day-to-day lives where we need an extra boost of confidence to get through, like right before giving a presentation at work, right before a job interview, or right before meeting a blind date for dinner. A little extra pick-me-up every now and then to boost our confidence is important. These objects, tangible and intangible, give us the power to be unstoppable and more confident, when in reality we are scared and stressing out!
For me, manicures increase my confidence. There is nothing better than getting a fabulous manicure and drooling over your gorgeous hands as the manicurist paints the final touches. I love manicures so much because it is one part of my body that I have full control over how it appears. Yes, I can style my hair, or buy the best clothes, but hair and clothes change. While controllable, it is sometimes extremely difficult. My hands—well, those will always be beautiful.
My manicured nails give me that extra confidence when I am nervous for a major event in my life or career. While this is a simple and intangible object, it makes me feel like the most powerful woman in the world. I get a manicure before any important event in my life, whether it be a networking event, a job interview, a friend’s wedding… one thing you will never see is Jenna without having her nails perfectly manicured.
I remember the first time I heard the words, “please pick your color.” I was about eight years old, and growing up I watched my mother regularly get manicures. It looked so luxurious and important to get a manicure; I was envious. Finally, when it was my moment, I felt so special as the woman shaped, massaged, and painted my nails. It is a feeling I will never forget. Then as I grew up, I would get manicures for monumental moments in my life, like my communion, or for proms, weddings, etc. But then I also got manicures because I was having a bad day, homesick during my first week of my undergraduate career, or right before a major presentation in school. Now as a working woman, I get a gel manicure every two weeks and always for special occasions. I feel more beautiful, more confident, and more powerful with my nails done.
Even though it is such a tiny and minimal object, it changes the way I think and feel. It is funny how those four little words I heard as a young girl has influenced me throughout my life in such a positive way. I feel like I can take on the world with these ten fingers painted in the color of my choice.
by Jenna M. Uszenski