The Sue Atkins Sunday Saying – “I Shall Paint My Nails Red.”

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My daughter Molly is studying for her mock GCSE’s at the moment  in my office and we were reading her empowering poems about confident women.

Now anyone who knows me  also knows that I LOVE my painted red nails with individually hand painted patterns on them from the lovely ladies in East Grinstead !

So this poem that we were analysing really struck a cord with me and we both smiled.

I  Shall Paint My Nails Red

because a bit of a colour is a public service.
because I am proud of my hands.
because it will remind me I’m a woman.
because I will look like a survivor.
because I can admire them in traffic jams
because my daughter will say ugh.
because my lover will be surprised.
because it is quicker than dyeing my hair.
because it is a ten-minute moratorium.
because it is reversible.


It brought back memories of studying for my B.Ed (Hons) Degree in English and the joy of analysing poetry  and made me ponder what it means to be a confident role model to my beautiful 16 year old daughter. 

The ‘red’ nails are supposed to represent all the different ideas in the poem: femininity, excitement, surprise, sex, embarrassment to her children.  These different ideas address what it means to be a modern woman: professional, strong, attractive, proud, a mother, a lover.  
It may be a great day to ponder what it means to be a positive role model to your daughter and son….. whether you wear red painted nails or wear a purple hat !!
  • How do your kids see you?
  • How do you want your kids to describe you?
  • What small change  could you make this week?
  • What attitude could you celebrate  this week?
  • What part of your greatness could you  embrace  this week ?

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About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

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Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
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