GOOD

A nursing home manicurist’s photo is going viral for showing the beauty of aging.

“Your hands tell the story of your life.”

via Angie Chung / Flickr

Author George Orwell once mused that “at 50, everyone has the face he deserves.” After five decades, a person’s face can either be weary or have a childlike expressiveness depending on how they’ve been treated by life.


The same can probably be said about hands.

As we age, our hands may become thinner, fingers may become crooked, and skin may be peppered with liver spots, but they can still be beautiful and communicate a sense of grace.

As a nail technician, Brandalyn Mae Porter of Texas understands that hands — of any age — can be beautiful. A photo she took of an elderly woman in a nursing home’s freshly-painted nails is going viral for the way she used it to demonstrate this beauty.

Since 2016, this Facebook photo has been shared over 168,000 times.


“Today, I painted a new residents nails at work and as we were going over colors, she mentioned she wanted clear,” Porter’s post begins.

But the resident wanted clear nail polish.

“CLEAR?! That’s no fun,” Porter exclaimed. “I asked her why she wanted clear and she said, ‘My hands are ugly, I don’t want to draw attention to them.’ I then carefully responded with, ‘Your hands tell the story of your life. They tell the story of love, of care and adventure. These hands have touched and held things that most people can only wish to one day.’”

Then the woman decided her nails should be painted an eye-catching shade of pink.

“Sometimes what we are so insecure with, others find beauty in,” Porter concluded her post.

Porter’s post is a beautiful example of how others can find value in the things we attempt to hide. The greatest beauty can be found in uniqueness, and there’s no one else like ourselves in the entire universe. Porter’s post shows how we should all take the time to appreciate things that set us apart.

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