There are multiple colors, brands and types of nail polish. As many bottle as there are, you can create just as many designs. The same goes for people. While we may all generally look the same (like a bottle of nail polish) we are all incredibly different at the same time. My rowing team consists of over forty girls, and while we each work hard every day in our training at practice – whether we are on land or the water, in the boats, pool, weight room or a field or gym somewhere – we all express ourselves differently. One of the ways we do this is through our nail art. Many of us have large collections of nail polish that we often use to come up with new designs. Sometimes we go to get our nails done, but for me personally, I always love creating something new.
I especially love zebra stripes! ~Amanda
“I like keeping my nails colorful because it puts me in a good mood when I look at my hands. I don’t usually wear any jewelry so this is my way of decorating myself! Also coming up with designs makes me have to think creatively.” ~ Anonymous
“My friend actually painted them for me for Valentine’s day. I love having other people paint my nails and letting them do whatever they want to switch it up from what I usually do myself. It’s awesome to see what people think of when they are given free reigns to express their creativity!” ~Veronica DeSalvo
“After a long week of training, class, and homework… the one thing I look forward to is getting my nails done on a Saturday afternoon. It’s my one hour to relax and pamper myself after a stressful week.” ~Andrea Samulewski
“Nail art is such an easy way to express yourself. I get all of my nail art inspiration off Pinterest. I usually switch up the colors to make them more suitable to my style. I created the nail designs using a very thin needle. After adding a few different colored layers of nail polish, take the needle and simply scratch the wet nail polish in the desired design. It’s a really simple way to add more detail to a basic polish.” ~Stephanie Ford
“These are called ‘newspaper nails.’ You paint your nails normally, then dip your fingernails in alcohol, press pieces of newspaper onto them, and peel off. I love writing and I am a journalism major, and this was such a cute way to express that with my nails!” ~Bailey Irelan
“I like to paint my nails on certain occasions because it spices up my outfit. I also like the challenge of making interesting designs because it forces me to find creative ways to execute the design.” ~Sundoes Elbery
Some other designs that I have done! I love experimenting with new ideas and trying new designs every time I do my nails. I don’t often repeat a look because there’s so many new things that I can try out instead! I love painting my nails, I think it is a fun way to express yourself. It’s not permanent and if you don’t like it you just take it off and try again. I usually like to have a base color and then create a design on top. There’s also a 90% chance that my nails are going to be pink. I think I have more shades of pink than I have the rest of my colors combined.
“I like to paint my nails for self expression it usually reflects my mood for the week and/or the season.” ~Ashley Cha
There is no ‘I’ in team. We all work together to win. My teammates and I train hard every day, often twice a day. Doing our nails is a way that makes us feel good about ourselves when we are constantly working hard to get better. We are often covered in sweat, dirt or even Raritan River water if someone splashes us. Having nice nails is a way to still feel pretty about ourselves even if we feel completely disgusting. Oftentimes, especially when we are on the water, our hands get torn up. We don’t wear gloves and so we build calluses or have blisters. Therefore, as bad as the insides of our hands look, it’s nice to know that some part of you still looks good. This helps you feel better about yourself and sometimes gives you that extra confidence you need to push harder.
Rowing is a synchronized sport. We do the same moves at the same time in order to get down the racecourse as fast as we possibly can. But while we are constantly working hard to be similar, our team is made up of many different girls. We express ourselves with our nails, for our nails are as different as we are, but they also bring us together. We’ll paint together, compare ideas and nails with each other. Painting our nails gives us something to talk about other than just rowing. While painting your nails may be considered completely superficial, it’s also something that creatively expresses you for who you are. It builds confidence and team camaraderie. It brings us together in different ways that we may not always expect. We paint our nails to stand out in a world that is always trying to synchronize us.