Cara Westworth aka @kawaiiklaws is using fingernails on men and women as canvases to help people express themselves through small pieces of art. Most recently she’s been helping people pay tribute to the likes of David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Cara’s been visiting local craft beer bars hoping men might get on board the popular trend. 📷: ABC’s Jessica Hinchliffe #Brisbane #nails #art #popculture #kawaii #kawaiinails #kawaiinailart #queensland @abcnews_au #abcopen
Last week I was interviewed by ABC Brisbane for my nail business Kawaii Klaws. Apparently an ABC employee who is a regular at Ben’s bar saw me doing nail art at their Star Wars event which he thought was really cool so he suggested his colleague Jessica Hinchcliffe contact me to do a piece. She sent me a message and we arranged a time for her to have a chat with me and take some photos. I actually just assumed she was just scouting for possible stories but we did a proper interview and the next day I was on their website and even on the radio! I was obviously super stoked by it because it was a really nice piece and obviously I want to spread the nail art love in Brisbane!
A day later, Ben noticed that the article had been reposted by the national ABC Facebook page! It was one thing for the people of Brisbane to be aware of my work, but all of Australia? How cool is that? After some cheering, I then asked “so… what do they have to say in the comments?” which I know I should avoid at all costs but I was curious and have a pretty thick skin when it comes to people trying to be mean to me on the internet. I was expecting couple of douchebags clogging up the comments section with useless drivel but I was almost impressed by how random some of it was!
Here are a few examples:
Like, what do you even say to some of these people? Oh I’m terribly sorry that every single article that the ABC posts on their Facebook page isn’t tailored to your interests? Just because you’re not interested in something, doesn’t mean it’s not newsworthy to others, dickhead! Also, how do you look at my ail art and say it’s crap? I’m not implying I’m the best out there (far from it) but I do some really good work! Don’t even get my on the Jamberry spam consultant either…
Brett Freeman made me laugh with his fury at fuel prices. I’m going to guess that he goes onto just about every news article he sees that isn’t about fuel prices and complain that they’re not focusing on the REAL issues, like how much it costs to fill a car with petrol! A few people replied to him, telling him that we’re all capable of thinking about more than one thing at a time (and that many of us DO car about how expensive petrol in Australia is) but he wouldn’t have a bar of it because clearly nails are just a DISTRACTION from the great fuel conspiracy! Haha ok mate!
But the real reason why I’m posting about these dingbats is because of this thread. While it wasn’t unexpected, seeing complete strangers discuss my looks was a real bummer. This article was about my nail art, and yet a bunch of men and even some women ignored all of that to talk about my boobs and whether or not my tattoos ruin my looks. Ol’ mate Christopher Marx even had something to say in another thread:
Whenever some dropkick says “we don’t need feminism” any more, I want to smear their face in comments like these. Why the fuck can’t women just exist without men feeling entitled to critique their looks and their fuckability? It was a piece about NAIL ART for crying out loud? What if I wasn’t conventionally attractive, would they have discussed how ugly I am, how undeserving of a new article I was? What if I was more conventionally beautiful, as in I had a natural hair colour and no tattoos, how gross could the comments have gotten then? Some friends jumped on with their feelings about these arseholes and eventually I decided to have a bit of a say:
There is no justification for anyone to discuss another persons looks, especially when their personal appearance is not relevant. My looks aren’t important when talking about nail art. I get that my “look” is interesting, so seeing people compliment my style was actually really nice because I do try to maintain a certain image that compliments my style of nail art. But there is no justification in pointing out how “buxom” I am or whether or not my tattoos look good because that’s not the point! In fact, even if this article was about tattoos, discussing whether or not you think mine are good is not the point! It’s personal preference, and I couldn’t give a shit if you think my zombie sleeve looks like a mass of blue or whatever, they’re on me and I love my tattoos so piss off with your nasty opinions!
When men (and women) do this sort of thing, they are perpetuating a culture of sexism where women are only valued for their looks, not what they do or their smarts or anything else. It turns women into objects which can be discussed as though they aren’t actual human beings with feelings or any other uses but to be looked at and maybe fucked, if they’re lucky. Sure, maybe they didn’t mean to offend, except you were offensive and rude so your intentions mean precisely nothing (though I’d argue that calling someone’s tattoos ugly actually did mean to be offensive, Ruby Moon). It may seem like a stretch to some, but this is why we live in a world where women are continually attacked and harmed by men because our worth is reduced down to our looks and not much else. The culture of toxic masculinity feels justified in treating women as mere objects, so that when we say no to them or try to leave them, we get beaten and/or killed because we’re just things to be possessed to these types of men.
Now I’m thinking about it, the comments dismissing the post as being pointless and not newsworthy are actually pretty darn sexist too. It’s funny how the things that women like to do are deemed trivial, boring, useless etc. Yet I can think of a lot of hobbies that are traditionally enjoyed by men which I bet wouldn’t get as many (or any) dismissive comments if the ABC did a piece on them. I mean, a lot of the article was about how keen I was to get men on board with nail art because it’s not an inherently feminine thing to do and should be a way for anyone of any gender to express themselves! But nah mate, this is boring female shit, where’s the REAL news about 4x4ing, fishing, blowing stuff up and footy???
All in all I was delighted to have Kawaii Klaws featured on the ABC. I think I fared OK with the comments as the ABC facebook can be a seething cesspool of awful opinions and shouted nonsense. But then again I have a very thick skin because I love engaging with douchebags on the internet, so little of what they can say really hurts my feelings (oh I’m fat and ugly, yeah ok m8, whatever you reckon). Imagine if I never fought trolls online so I wasn’t used to mean comments from jerks with nothing better to do with their time except to harass women? That would be sad, scary and possibly make me want to avoid any future media coverage, which is totally unfair.
Next time you contemplate writing a comment on a facebook status or news article or blog post that discusses how a woman looks, STOP. Have a think about why you’re doing it and whether it has any relevance to the post at all. Are you missing the point of the post to compliment/insult her looks, her body type or her sense of style? How would you feel if someone ignored what you had to say to make commentary on your looks? As a general rule, it’s always safer to just keep those opinions to yourself. No one cares what you find attractive, if you like tattoos, if you think women look better with “meat on them” or not. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman also, because you’re still perpetuating the same harm, which other men see and think “well a woman said it about her, so it must be true/ok!”.