Monday, November 26, 2012

Are Manicures Worth It?

Last year, two of my female cousins were in town, staying with me for a wedding we were all attending. When they arrived, they told me they had to find a place nearby to get manicures and pedicures. Since they'd only just arrived, but the salons would be closing soon, they invited me to come with them so we could catch up. "You can get your nails done with us" they suggested.

I'm mildly homophobic, so I balked a little; but I'd heard of straight guys getting them before, and I was also curious to see what these "manicure" things were all about. Eventually I decided that there had to be some boundaries, so I accepted their invitation but insisted on leaving my feet untouched - no pedicure, because that would be gay (ha!).

Now, I understand that some women get their nails painted with fairly ornate patterns at nail salons, others have fake nails applied very carefully, and I am sure there are some other practical reasons for a trip to the salon. And don't get me wrong - the hand massage was awesome and I got to catch up with my cousins while we were sitting there. But as I looked at my nails after the manicure was finished, I struggled to see any significant difference from how they would have looked if I'd spent ten minutes on them myself. And in that moment, I realized something: women do not go to nail salons to have their nails cleaned; you go to nail salons to be pampered. Lesson learned.

So are manicures worth it? Should you go to the salon before going out every weekend? Well, I can tell you with certainty that a manicure won't help you attract men any more than spending a few minutes clipping your nails an cuticles by yourself, and maybe painting your nails (which adds a nice effect when it is done tastefully, by the way). But if you think it is worth it to get your hands oiled and massaged, and to sit back and relax while small Vietnamese women attend to your every need, I say go for it. I get it. I'm not judging.


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18 comments:

  1. The (ha!) you put at the end of the second paragraph seems kind of insecure or manipulative. Like you were trying to make light if a pretty serious feeling that you have about manicures being "gay" . Wasn't your last post about insecure laughters at the end of texts? Seems like the same thing. Just saying.

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    Replies
    1. I just thought it was kind of funny how we (I, in this case) draw arbitrary lines in the sand about what is and is not "gay."

      Manicures ARE pretty gay.

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    2. Homophobic? Maybe an insecurity...

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    3. Andrew take this blog post as your breakthrough. You jus wrote about how women enjoy being pampered! My life has been saved! Thank you!

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  2. sounds pretty gay

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  3. Okay, full disclosure here: my boyfriend and I ran trained for and ran a marathon together 4 or 5 years ago. The day of our 23 mile training run, I said, "I'm getting a pedicure today, my feet will need it after this" and through that entire run, I successfully convinced him to come with me and get one too. He didn't get any polish, of course, but he enjoyed it. Pedicures don't have to be gay

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  4. Nice to see you're getting out in the field and reporting back :-) Ive had manicures and tend to get positive comments from females.They'll ask where I had it done, comment on the colour, ask if my nails are real etc..
    Men may notice and approve but they never seem to comment.It seems to be a positive thing to do but again as part of overall grooming so not essential.

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  5. I've also never seen the point of mani/pedis.

    As part of my femininity-project I started wearing my nails longer, and regularly paint them (light pink fingers, red toes.) Long, shiny nails are and indicator of good health.

    I also take couples dance classes, and I can report that many men have noticed, and complimented, my fingernails. More than once I've caught men raising their eyebrows as they notice my red toenails when I change from my work pumps to my dance shoes.

    So mani/pedis, eh, but well-groomed nails can be eye-catching.

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  6. I often joke to my boyfriend about the fat women with perfect nails you see everywhere. If they spent the money every week they do on nails on exercise programs/gym memberships-- as well as the time spent getting their nails done-- they'd all be pretty fit.

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  7. Guys..manicurs have a huge point,not to be gross but arnt unruly skin covered nails sending a wrong messege?!They say that you dont care and from a mans view that could reflect on the rest...

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    Replies
    1. You can do a manicure yourself at home..a file, a cuticle remover and nail polish (I prefer red and pale shades). I think manicures are only worth it for the pampering, relaxation aspect but I have been to California and the environment in their nail salons is far from relaxing.

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  8. My poor feet carry me everywhere, they deserve the pedicure (and it's really nice to be pampered as well). I am shoeless a lot, in my home country it's rude to have shoes on inside, so I also see my feet a lot, but the main reason is that the feet really need it.
    Manicure on the other hand I can't really be bothered with. The hands are also easier to take care of yourself.
    And I find it really nice with men who care about their feet. Would really appreciate if more men had pedicures. Stinky feet with lots of dry skin and horrible nails are such a turn off. But socks on in bed are worse.

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  9. Male visual attraction is based far less on the (reproductively-speaking) extraneous details at the edges of the body & far more on any of the areas where there are sex differences - i.e., face, breasts, badonkadonk. Most men who don't have a foot fetish will pay almost no attention to nails, & in fact girls with long, painted nails can look freaky & cheap. The time & money largely unattractive women spend in nail salons is utterly bewildering to me. But, as you say, as long as the girls realize they're doing it only for themselves, I guess leave them to it.

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    Replies
    1. If you think that we do things for you - well, I shouldn't, but I will let you in on a little secret: We do it for ourselves and for what other WOMEN may think, it's group pressure, not pressure from the men... But hey, you still benefit from it so no worries

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  10. Manicures (in a salon) are a waste of money. The only other thing that is more of a waste (that I can think of now), is getting a personalised number plate for your car.

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  11. I actually want to shake most women I see with horrible nasty nails that they actually pay to have someone paint. It's like give it up, it is a lost cause! And ladies before you think "well that's not MY feet" I wouldn't be so sure since most women have pretty nasty feet. A lot of my girlfriends are very successful runway models here in NYC and some of them have the WORST gangly long feet of all! You're better up just saving the money and covering up your feet. Also, it doesn't matter how "pretty" your toenails are when you are carrying an extra 10 pounds!

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  12. So you're homophobic, which means you're either very insecure about your identity, or you're just full of hatred. Two reasons I'm done reading your blog.

    How is getting a manicure "gay"?

    Does having nails depend on your biological sex or sexual preference? Or wanting to keep them tidy? Obviously no, so how does that make you gay? Your rules for women looking good would make a full time job for most of them; what's good for the goose and all that - shouldn't guys keep their hands and nails tidy too? (And feet for that matter?)

    Try reading itspronouncedmetrosexual by the amazing Sam Killerman; a "straight ally" who blogs on gender issues.

    Sad that you're a homophobe. There's really no reason for that, this is the 21st century. Maybe you should get some therapy.

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  13. Andrew, do men have a preference as to nail polish color? I would guess the answer is that most men probably don't care, unless they look super bizarre or tacky somehow, but wanted to see if you agree.

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