(70 Posts)

I remember when false nails and nail art first came in, pretty much. At the end of the 90s I used to have acrylic nails with airbrush art on. I liked them, they were decorative and lots of fun to look at. I had a magnificent 'Vegas' set once with artwork of dice, playing cards, cocktail glasses etc on them.

But they were a bit, well, disabling. You can't pick your nose very easily, and it's harder to wipe when you've been to the loo. Picking up small things like coins or pins or earring backs is difficult, so is typing and texting. And once you've got the things, you have to commit to regular upkeep or they get uncomfortable. It's not like they are a blatantly sexual thing (and yes, they can make some sexual acts a bit more complicated as well) but does anyone else feel just a tiny bit uncomfortable about the vast number of nail bars around now, given that artificial nails do actually make your life a bit more difficult?

flowery Tue 25-Jun-13 10:39:15

"doing something more interesting than sitting in a salon spending money on finger nails"

Surely the point is that people who feel it is a waste of time and would rather be doing those things will do so?

I enjoy my time in the nail salon. It's the one time every couple of weeks where I stop and am not thinking about work, not rushing round after the kids, just having a nice chat with my lovely nail lady and relaxing.

Namechangeguy, Where have people stated that men as a group are behind it?
Most people are simply lamenting the changes and wondering what is going on.

namechangeguy Tue 25-Jun-13 10:47:24

Flowery, do you blame the patriarchy for pressurising you into having your nails done?

kim147 Tue 25-Jun-13 10:51:39

There are loads of nail salons and eyebrow salons springing up. Is it the TOWIE effect?

I looked back at some old university photos last night and I was just amazed to see the difference between what things looked like back then and nowadays.

flowery Tue 25-Jun-13 10:52:41


No. I don't have them done to please men, in fact I have no idea whether my DH prefers them done or not.

And I'm not the kind to have anything like that because I feel any kind of pressure. I'm 37 and way beyond peer pressure!

TheSmallClanger Tue 25-Jun-13 11:06:20

As a slight aside, the sound of false nails on a computer keyboard makes me feel slightly sick.

I can understand putting on massive, decorative Flo Jo style nails for going out, as a sort of style statement or an extension of your outfit. It's when it starts becoming an everyday thing, fake nails painted neutral colours for work, that I don't understand. At one point, I had really long natural nails, and they do get in the way. They get stuff stuck underneath them as well, and it's hard to get out without bending them.

msrisotto Tue 25-Jun-13 12:27:15

Kritiq mentioning lotus flower feet made me google the term and some really interesting things came up. Including this : 6 Trends that killed people.

I love pretty things but when it comes to shoes, the highly decorated beautiful shoes are all high heels sad I always look for the equivalent in flats (I'm 5'10 as it is!) but they are never as nice.
I don't have fake nails but very occasionally I'll get my nails painted with Shellac as that doesn't chip and I can go about my life as normal, but with pretty nails.

rosabud Tue 25-Jun-13 13:30:35

So, according to namechangeguy the answer to the interesting question being discussed on here, ie why has personal grooming possibly become more extreme/expensive/important/restrictive etc, particularly at a time when women's opportunities in other areas of life are increasing, is because some women don't have enough sense. Really broadening the debate there.

garlicnutty Tue 25-Jun-13 13:37:21

I've no idea whether it's any comfort to WhentheRed, but I was still massively into dressing up at 11yo (have been fascinated by fashion since toddlerdom.) I totally did go to parties in crazy dresses, over-styled hair, nails and makeup. This was very much against my parents' principles - for all their faults, they were right-on wrt gender politics - so my outfits were amateurishly self-made, using my great-aunt's amazing silk ballgowns and shoes. I do, however, suspect the feeling is the same for today's in-betweeners. I wonder if you and DD would both have a better time if you let her imagination run wild, then facilitated her realisation with professional hair and nails?

NCG and others - this might be a good time to mention my 'feminist economics' exercise, in which I mapped the board members of the companies that make & sell my toiletries. As my research travelled up the pyramids, the boards became more & more male-dominated - the large-scale beneficiaries of my wish for a more appealing or interesting appearance are, overwhelmingly, men.

Since my career was entirely founded on an understanding of how to profitably create "need" for unnecessary merchandise, the exercise made a powerful feminist point for me.

Lottapianos Tue 25-Jun-13 13:40:49

I go for regular manicures and love it but I only have my natural nails painted, have never had acrylics or extensions. It's fun and makes me feel good. I'm aware that the money I spend on manicures is not available for other things but that's one of the wonderful things about having your own money - choice! It's certainly not for my partner's benefit because he things I'm bonkers and looks at me like this hmm whenever I have them done grin

I have no idea how women manage to do every-day things with massively extended long nails.

garlicnutty Tue 25-Jun-13 13:43:48

Re men & women 'wasting' time on nail care, by the way ... I realise this isn't the actual point of the thread, but it might be as well to remember that most other countries favour obsessively filed, trimmed, buffed and polished nails for men as well as women. Have a look at the nails on your immigrant male locals, maybe when coming out of church instead of off the farm or building site ...

kim147 Tue 25-Jun-13 13:47:10

The media must play a large part - advertising, magazines and all those celebrity programmes. I look at teenage girls today and see such a difference to 20 years ago.

Where is all this pressure coming from? I can imagine it must be so hard to resist the pressure such as at 11 when all your friends are getting dressed up for a primary school prom - and that's just at 11.

WhentheRed Tue 25-Jun-13 14:27:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

frissonpink Tue 25-Jun-13 14:32:10

The fashion is for short gel nails now.

If you're getting long acrylic ones, you're out of touch grin

garlicnutty Tue 25-Jun-13 14:40:17

Yes, I do see what you mean, When.

From a business point of view, it's good practice to keep creating new markets. Children, men and the elderly are all fair game for enhanced toiletry 'needs'. I'm sure everybody on these threads teaches their children to be critical (cynical) thinkers, but of course there is still the matter of herd/tribe identification. It's horrid to feel you don't fit in; when marketers successfully hijack this instinct, they're onto a winner.

I hope you and DD come up with a satisfactory approach to all this smile Wishing her a good time at the party!

garlicnutty Tue 25-Jun-13 14:42:09

grin frisson. Truth: wait long enough and you'll come into fashion wink

<smugly admires own short, natural but buffed, nails>

frissonpink Tue 25-Jun-13 14:45:38


Thank god though really. I mean, who can empty the tumble dryer with long nails?! grin

Startail Tue 25-Jun-13 23:17:48

Nothing wrong with nail art for fun as the olympic athletes were.

No harm in my 12y DD bridesmaiding in daft heels as she and the bride had flip flops for dancing.

It's the woman on woman pressure to make other women comform to a fashion code that not only takes time and money, but is impractical, uncomfortable uncomfortable and makes us look 'sexy', vain and vacuous in front of male colleagues.

Apart from the fact that much of it discriminates against women with DCs who haven't the time, money or life style for daft nails.

Most older women really don't want to wear heels either (I simply can't, I never have)

WhentheRed Wed 26-Jun-13 01:19:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fuckwittery Wed 26-Jun-13 02:22:06

I have my nails done quite often,and the nail bars are mainly about gels (no extensions, just long lasting, nail grows naturally underneath) or manicures on natural nails. Acrylic extensions are not v popular nowadays as they ruin your nails. There are also all sorts of fun pattern wrap things, don't know what they are called.
Anyway, my not very scientific social conclusion is that generally I think women's nails are more polished/decorated with the rise of nail bars, but not generally longer, i.e. not disabling. Gel nails are bloody brilliant, you can do anything with them on, last for ages.
However, it is time consuming to get them off, and generally time consuming to paint your nails and wait for them to dry etc, plus the expectation that nails must always be polished with the rise of gels.

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