We're kicking off a new advice column today, courtesy of a very knowledgeable and very anonymous fashion guru.
"I’m well past adolescence, but am still teenager-shy about parts of my body. For example, my thumbs. The problem is, I love nail-polish and I’m not afraid of color or style, but I avoid it entirely because I don’t want to draw attention to my wide, oddly shaped thumbs. I wish my nails were long, lean, delicate, and feminine. How do I use and make a statement with nail-polish in spite of my setbacks? Help!" —Fat Fingers
Dear Fat Fingers,
You say that your thumbs are wide and oddly shaped, which means they are probably rectangular or square-shaped. You wish you had more tapered and rounded nails and fingers, correct? You call your nails a “setback” but honey, the only setback here is your attitude. Your quadrilateral digits are the perfect little canvas for some killer nail art, which is something that’s not always easy on a smaller, more tapered nail. Don’t believe me? Have you seen many tapered paintings hanging in a museum? Exactly.
Tapered fingers, left. Not to be confused with tapir, right.
There are a few things you can do. Personally, I think it would be cool to embrace the unique square shape of your nail, but you do of course have options that may help you feel less like your thumbs are your big toes. For starters, you can get fake nails. They come in all shapes in sizes, from small and natural to falcon-sized, but, as our Global Editor Connie found out, the falcon ones aren’t so practical unless your only goals in life are to hunt mice and build a nest on a mountaintop or something. You can also grow out your nails a bit if you tend to keep them short and use a file to give them more of an exaggerated curve or point so they look less square and give more contrast to the shape of your thumb. Make sure that you give the same treatment to your other nails; if you give your thumb special treatment, then it will stick out more and the rest of your fingers will feel sad and jealous—that would really suck for all parties involved.
Now, let’s get into the good stuff. The first thing that came to my mind is this amazing striped nail art from Honestly WTF. Just like in dressing, vertical stripes versus horizontal ones can make your nails and your fingers seem longer and leaner. And conversely, just like many of us tend to avoid horizontal stripes for making our ass look huge, your should also avoid bi-costal lines on your nails as they will draw attention to your finger width. Besides, it's bad enough having to ask if your ass looks fat in horizontal stripes; asking if your thumbs look fat will make you look like a crazy person, so just make sure your nail stripes go up, up, and away, and you'll be golden.
Another great idea for giving the appearance of longer, leaner nails is to give yourself cool tips. If you have a steady hand (some masking tape or paper reinforcements can also help), a highly-arched French tip or crescent-moon manicure can emphasize a rounder nail and finger. If your hand is shakier than our country’s current financial situation, then you can definitely get this look done at a salon, too. As for colors, the world is your proverbial oyster. Lighter colors and darker accents may look best, but go out and experiment for yourself with what you like. Take a few hours over the weekend or at the office when nobody's looking (or smelling, I guess), and try a different color and pattern on each nail until you find something that you like, or you die of paint fumes—whichever comes first.
Anyway, these are just a few tips that can help you feel more confident about the shape of your thumbs and allow you to participate in some sweet nail trends. The bottom line, however, is confidence. Don’t live life without nail-polish just because you don’t like the way your thumbs are shaped—life is too short and there are too many gorgeous lacquers out there to try. Besides, if you gussy your nails up right, people won’t come up to you and say, “Hey, your thumbs are weird.” They’re going to ask you how you got that killer manicure.