There is something about the “polishfortans” hashtag attached to the Models Own summer neon nail colour collection that just doesn’t sit right with me. I’ve been trying to figure out why and decided to share my thoughts with you. I would also love to see what you think.
First of all, what market is Models Own really trying to capture? It is really only those who tan?
#polishfortans immediately excludes those who don’t tan. This will apply to those with skin tones at the extreme ends of the spectrum- the very pale such as Nicola Roberts or Emma Stone and the very dark such as Lupita Nyong’o or Alek Wek. I find this somewhat bizarre because I’m willing to bet that neon nail polish would look amazing on my four beautiful examples.
Let’s move on to me. I would say I have black skin in the middle of the whole skin colour spectrum, specifically, medium brown. I love bright colours, including neon and fluorescent shades as I think they look particularly good on me. Whilst I think neon pink looks good on me at all times, I prefer neon yellow on me with a tan. Yes, I prefer wearing neon yellow when I have a tan. This is personal preference based on my skin tones and not what anyone else has told me. My skin is not even in tone and has yellow undertones. A tan makes me more golden brown as opposed to yellow brown and it makes my skin tone more even. I like having a tan because I become a uniform colour (except for the tan lines!) Some might accuse me of being crazy for picking up on such things! My point here is that I would wear neons with and without a tan.
My final group is people who have darker skin tones which can tan, from olive to dark brown. These are just skin tones, they are not tans! Some will not want a tan, for example, women from India where paler skin tends to be the preference. This group can wear neons and they’ll probably look good. The issue here is with the label “tan”. As a member of the darker skin tone group, I will say that “#polishfortans” does NOT make me want to buy the nail colours, it discourages me. This is not good considering what I said above; I love neons.
Maybe those who tan don’t want to be considered as having a “darker skin tone” so this could be an attempt to capture a new market. I think this is strange because a tan is simply darker skin. I just don’t know. Please tell me if you do know!
I believe the point Models Own are trying to make has been demonstrated by my personal preference; I like neons on my brown skin however contrary to the Models Own marketing campaign, my view doesn’t exclude anyone. I just think a better description could have been used like “summer” or “holiday” or “neon” to avoid alienating potential customers.
“#polishfortans” might sound great in the boardroom but is it really appropriate in this multi-cultural, multi-tonal society to appear to exclude so many people?