Enjoy Your Mani-Pedi, Ladies . . .

While we were living our middle class, entitled lives - a few weeks ago - a report came out, thanks to some terrific reporting on the part of The New York Times.

It seems at a shock to noone who really thinks these things through, that the mani-pedi industry in New York City (and let's presume all fifty of these nifty United States) is nothing to be proud of.

Some highlights from the report to consider as you book your next appointment at the local salon:

  1. Many women working in the industry fit the internationally accepted definition of SLAVERY.
  2. The money you pay to "get your nails did" turns from several dollars to a few pennies for the women grinding down your dead skin and breathing the toxic chemicals that put that shine on you.
  3. There is actual racism at play inside many salons where only certain foods can be consumed and only certain languages can be uttered while age and beauty are openly coveted. Good luck getting away with that in almost any other workplace in America (no offense, Hooters and Twin Peaks).

I can't figure out, for the life of me, how the mani-pedi industry has become the force that it is (worth billions a year if you clump in those ridiculous Jamberry stickers women buy at house parties and stick on their dead hair cells in the privacy of their own home). And yet . . . there it is. In all its high-shine, well-lacquered glory.

I would never, ever get a professional pedicure.

  1. My feet are actually disgusting. I mean GROSS.
  2. I don't like being touched by strangers - or people I know and love.
  3. I don't want strangers touching my gross feet.
The most "troubling" pat of this report, for me, was not how much it made me cringe to consider having someone touch my gross feet while living the life of an actual slave but, more horribly, it was the reaction of women (calm down, Sheryl Sandberg - the fact is over 96% of the entire "nail industry" in the US is spent by and on women) asked to, well, react to the report.

It turns out they had the same defense we all hate the most . . . "That would not happen at my salon. All the women are happy to work there, make great money, and see a positive career path ahead of them that will leave them wealthy and comfortable later in life." (Okay, okay . . . paraphrasing). 

Stick to the Jamberry stickers, ladies. At least in that scenario less people suffer.