‘Black Nail Theory’: How a nail polish colour can boost self-confidence
Rather than a complex psychological doctrine, the 'Black Nail Theory' is about how a simple nail polish colour can help everyone gain in self-confidence.
Picture: Julia Klintsova / Getty Images
Are TikTok users obsessed with colour? After shining the spotlight on colour analysis, which helps to determine which shades are best suited to which skin tone, among other things, then elevating orange and red to the top of makeup trends with pumpkin spice makeup and red wine makeup, they’re turning their attention to nails.
But this isn’t just any manicure. This is a nail look that supposedly boosts self-confidence through the power of the colour black. The trend can be found on the Chinese social network under the name ‘Black Nail Theory,’ and already counts no less than 2.5 million views.
This concept is reminiscent of “Red Nail Theory,” which went viral last year (280 million views to date). Back then, it was said that bold red nails were not only a way to score a lot of compliments, but also to get more dates – or at least attract the attention of potential partners.
It’s a theory that might be open to debate, but it had the merit of propelling red (as if it needed any help) to the top of manicure trends. A year later, it’s no longer the colour of passion that’s all the rage in this field, but black. And with “Black Nail Theory,” it’s all about using this colour choice to gain in self-confidence, and feel stronger and more powerful.
The idea behind ‘Black Nail Theory’ explained
While the dopamine dressing trend is busy adding colour to our lives to keep us from sinking into gloom, TikTokers are now turning to the darkest possible colour. A crazy idea, you might think, considering that black has always been associated with sadness, pain, fear and even mourning. But social media users don’t see things the same way, taking inspiration from much more positive associations, which have been used for decades in the fashion industry.
@toritillachipss I have never loved a nail color more on me🖤✨#blacknails #blacknailtech #rednailtheory #nailtiktok #blacknailscheck ♬ dźwięk oryginalny – Nathomy
“All this hype about Red Nail Theory, but what about Black Nail Theory? Black nails promote confidence, boldness, while also being elegant and chic. They’re daring and also provide a hint of mystery,” explains TikTok user @toritillachipss in a post on the social network.
Power, elegance, strength, mystery, self-assurance, daring and confidence are among the terms most used on the Chinese social platform to explain what black nails evoke. Another user, @biryanibby_, says they’ve never tried black nails before, but now feel powerful, not to mention the fact that this colour can famously be matched with absolutely anything.
Simply calling this trend a “theory” is probably a bit far-fetched, but there’s no denying that the users in question aren’t entirely wrong.
In a report outlining “character colour palette messages and meanings”, the global authority on colour, Pantone, suggests that black can evoke a certain “impenetrability,” symbolising mystery and strength. And it’s often said that the darkest colour is synonymous with elegance. However, when it comes to boldness, red is undoubtedly more appropriate, although this ultimately depends – as is often the case – on personal tastes and preferences.