It all started with an unexpected invitation . My mom, Susan Bysiewicz, finagled me a +1 ticket to a Hillary 2016 rally she was co-hosting in Greenwich, Connecticut on Friday, September 27th. In celebration of the occasion, I decided to get a manicure to match. My concept combined two powerhouses: Hillary in her signature pantsuit and Beyonce’s unforgettable lyrics “Who Run the World” from her 2011 hit Girls. Thanks toMei Kawajiri, my vision became a reality. Thrilled with the end result, I proudly debuted the photo on my Instagram Wednesday morning. I never could have predicted what happened next. Two hours after the photo went live, I absent mindedly looked down at my phone to see it light up and annouce that @hillaryclinton had taken a picture of me. I blinked. This must be a fan account, I thought, fumbling to unlock my screen and investigate. I was wrong.Hillary had indeed regrammed the photo--with the caption “
<100 Emoji> via @avaros3 | nails by @ciaomanhattan2012”. I couldn’t type fast enough to call my mom--no answer. Sigh, hang up, call my dad. No answer. Isn’t it amazing when parents aren’t available when you actually have something to tell them?
Yahoo Beauty and Mimi Chatter were available however, and eager to hear how the whole affair had unfolded. I could still hardly believe that Hillary had seen the nails--and that some of the publications that I read every day wanted to write a story on it. At the end of the afternoon, those two, Allure and Bustle had picked up the story as well.
Flash forward to 7:47 PM on Friday, I’m standing in line to take a picture with Hillary. I’m sweating through my turtleneck and my mind can’t focus on planning my opening line or regretting wearing a leather skirt. The people in front of me step forward to take their photo. What seems like 8 minutes later, my mom, my sister and I are being ushered into a study where Hillary stands in a coral tunic and matching necklace. She initially greets my mom as the co-host, shakes my sister’s hand and then turns to me. I don’t know what to say so I throw up my nails to introduce myself. Her eyes widen and she grabs my fingers --“So it’s you! You’re the one!” she exclaims, examining the detail on each digit--“This is so cool!” (as the photographer snaps away close ups).
It’s over in a matter of a minute, and we are nicely told to exit.
Three days later I am still in disbelief. Yes, it was crazy to get attention from the media (mostly in shock to be featured as one of the Instagrams of the week by Vogue) and yes, it was nice to get a few followers from this whole affair. The most amazing part of the entire event was that it really proved the power of social media. We are truly in a new age of accessibility--to get in touch with people we admire and to be heard by them. It is amazing and unique--and largely unchartered. It seems as the though the opportunities are endless and the only way to explore them is with creative experimentation. There’s no telling what we can do with Instagram, Snapchat, or any of the future social networks that have yet to be invented.
In the meantime, I’ll be figuring out what to get next on my nails, because man--the pressure is on.
Text: Ava Donaldson