The Manicure - A Psycho-social Experience Essay

The Manicure - A Psycho-social Experience Essay

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The Manicure - A Psycho-social Experience


There’s nothing like Strawberry Champagne or Park Avenue Orchids to let the world know that you want to have fun. Peppermint and Funshine Pink exude youthful innocence while Chinese Red is downright sexy. Black Cherry adds a bit of serious sophistication to an already irresistible demeanor. And for those more mellow moods, Grand Canyon Sunset and Beach Blanket Mauve are sure to have a soothing impact.

It’s true. Nail color can mirror the inner feelings and emotions of the person wearing it. In fact, there is an entire psychological dimension to nails—mental health being a primary reason why people get manicures. Few people will admit to getting their nails done solely for hygienic purposes.

My purpose for getting my nails done is two-fold. Getting a manicure once a month keeps my nails healthy and gives my hands a softer and cleaner look, even when my nails are not polished. Besides that, though, it’s a relaxing and fun gift I give to myself. I figure that if I don’t spend $15.00 a month on myself, who will? People are constantly telling me that getting a manicure is a waste of time and money and that I could do my nails myself and donate to charity the money I “waste” each month. I’ll give twice as much money to charity, but I refuse to give up this precious monthly ritual.

I am not the only one guilty of indulging in this ritual. Along with my fellow “manicurees,” I have made a personal investment in a billion-dollar business that has swept the U.S. in recent years. Each day, this growing sector of the personal service industry is responsible for making dozens of hands and people look and feel simply divine.

The practice of nail co...


... middle of paper ...


...o me. My nails looked fine; in fact, they looked great. But that wasn’t the point. The point was I didn’t feel relaxed, pampered, special, and great—like I usually did after a manicure.

Manicures are all about looking great and feeling great. Base coat is not essential, and having your arms massaged is truly a luxury one can do without. Manicurists are paid to give their client a manicure, but in addition to the manicure the client receives an experience which provides an opportunity to relax, gossip, tell someone her problems, or do whatever she feels like doing. Red tips at the Indus Valley, polishing powder in Paris, liquid nail polish in New York, Fire and Ice across America, and nail salons in suburban towns all have one thing in common. They are all about doing something extra for yourself. Great looking nails aren’t a necessity; they’re a luxury.

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