PAINTED NAILS: HISTORY AND SOCIOLOGY

by admin on October 21, 2011

1930's pedicure

ancient pedicures

to paint or not to paint (and how and when and what color) seem to be  troubling questions for many of us these days.  esme decided she needed another post to do the topic justice!

esme has been wondering how it has evolved that manicures and pedicures became de rigeur for the well-groomed woman.  she attempted a little on-line research, but didn’t come up with much.  she did discover that women (and men) have painted both fingers and toes since babylonian times.  and one article reported that nail salons have proliferated dramatically since the year 2000.  however, esme was unable to find much info. about the thousands of years in between!

one writer described women painting their toes in the ’30’s to go to the beach, suggesting a common-sense link between the wearing of sandals and the evolution of the pedicure.  esme suspects that the ubiquity of sandals as summer footwear has something to do with the fashion for painted nails.  indeed, just a few years ago, many workplaces had rules against wearing open-toed shoes.  and somehow, i can’t imagine mr. noir’s mother, ethel, in sandals (although apparently she did get her fingernails done).

esme has wondered whether the history of the pedicure parallels the evolution of the bikini-wax.  the more one’s body-parts show, the more intense the grooming becomes!  have you noticed that those swim-suits (from the ’40’s and ’50’s?) with little skirts have come back into vogue?  some of us will heave a sigh of relief and save a lot of money with that one!

and then there is the phenomenon of men having manicures and pedicures.  believe me, mr. noir would not go there!  however, the last time esme was at the nail salon, a married couple were having mani-pedi’s together, and once a big guy in full camo was in the chair.

esme welcomes your thoughts and observations on these and other matters (see comment section below)!

analyzing again,

esme

 

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