Because nothing says "I'm a lady" like anime characters. Totoro is the new black!

Ladies, I need your help again.

This time I’m confused about your nails.

I don’t mean I’m confused about what nails are. Wikipedia tells us that they’re toughened keratin at the end of an animal digit (that’s what she said). I’m confused, rather, as to why so many women continue to spend time, money, and a great amount of discomfort in continuing to paint and grow their nails long.

Listen, I get it. It’s a girl thing, it’s engrained in our culture, girls have been doing it forever, etcetera and so forth.

I mean, it can’t be to attract a significant other. I know that some men might view it as an indication of femininity, but I have to be honest with you ladies: we don’t notice for the most part unless you do something really whacky with them. I don’t think I’ve ever sat around a group of guys and said “oh man, I’d totally go for her…if she’d work on her cuticles! And purple fingernails? YUCK, NO THANKS.”

Not that every decision a woman makes regarding her appearance should be based on pleasing us men. Who do you think I am, Steven Raucci? But I do wonder why women still think it’s necessary.

To me, it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. It’s a trait and practice that’s barely noticed or featured in the 21st Century. And they must be a pain to maintain. How many times have you heard of a broken nail or been serviced by a cashier with long nails who has to bend her fingers at an awkward angle to hit keys then takes your change off the counter with all the care and effectiveness of a cat trying to pick up a string of yarn with one of its paws?

All I’m saying, ladies, is that you can change this. We find ourselves on the precipice of a bold new era, where women don’t bother with their nails and we have flying cars and can move things with our minds. You can make the dream today and bring tomorrow to the present.

Save your money and leave your nails they way they are. They, like you, are beautiful just the way they are.

AWWWWWWWWWWWWW (throw up in mouth)

REACT: Girls, why do you maintain your nails? Guys, am I right?


40 Responses to Ladies’ Nails: Why Bother?

  1. Amanda Talar says:

    I like my nails short, clean and I like them to compliment my clothing.

    The sound of long nails hitting a keyboard sends chills up my spine.

  2. Christine says:

    I will try and shed a little light on the subject for you. If you think of all of the other things women do for beauty such as hair treatments, cut, color, style, then you have make-up the smokey eye, the red lip , etc. all of that is unseen by the woman herself unless she happens to be looking into a mirror. So she spends how much money on hair and make-up to get a glimpse of her efforts maybe 3-4 times a day? But with nails, you see them all day long. You can glance down at a pretty manicure and think “Oh that looks nice” any time you like and it will lift your spirits. So, no it has nothing to do with men, sorry Kevin it isn’t about you. It is completely a girl thing.

  3. Teri Conroy says:

    Hey Kev….I don’t get it either. But, then I’m not in with the ‘in crowd’. Did you catch a glimpse of my fancy hands at lunch?

  4. Will King says:

    I agree 100%!

    I don’t think I have ever noticed a girls nails to be honest.

    Whatever makes them happy I guess!

  5. Sue says:

    I wear my nails short and either painted in a neutral color or with a french manicure. I “get my nails done” with a gel overlay because my natural nails are not strong enough to maintain any sort of pleasing shape.

    And to answer your second question – what any guy thinks of my nails has never even entered my mind when choosing how to wear them.

  6. derryX says:

    In line with what you are saying, I see a minor detail like nails telling as far as learning about someone. There are only so many hours in a day and painted nails only last so long. When I see someone who has nails like you have pictured above, I make a mental note to check the nails next time. If the patterns change, too much thought is going into this detail and is an orange flag (vanity, etc).

    If it looks like a small to moderate amount of time goes into it, I actually appreciate that a lot. It’s a small detail but can do much to accent shoes/outfits/etc. Of course, I dont see it as totally necessary, but a nice little detail to see someone put (a little) thought into.

  7. Tony Barbaro says:

    Women don’t dress or get their nails done for men. They do it for other women. Just like guys don’t wear the Yankee hat for the chicks. That being said, I notice nails because my wife does them. I do like a French Manicure. Not for me….I’m not THAT metro.

  8. #2 (Christine) – Please see my note “not that every decision a woman makes regarding her appearance should be based on pleasing us men.”

    #3 (Teri) – You know, I didn’t, but I was all the way at the other end of the table. I did catch wind though of you whipping out your Blackberry and it having dirt in the keys (which is AWESOME).

    #7 (Tony) – Yeah, you’re right. If a dude’s wearing a baseball cap, he’s clearly not putting any effort into impressing women. And you don’t have to be shy around us, we know you spend every Saturday going downtown to go get your nails did.

  9. yum yum says:

    I never thought guys noticed whether a girl had her nails done or not. My boyfriend certainly doesnt and could care less whether they are manicured or not. Yesterday I was at the fish counter at Price Chopper trying to decide what kind of fish to get and the seafood man came out from behind and told me “Well you keep your nails and toes nice, so why not get fish and keep your body nice too”.

    I get my nails done for me and me only. Yes it might be extra money that I spend every other week but it makes me feel good to know that my nails and toes look nice. Especially as the weather gets warmer I have noticed more and more people looking at my shoes, I certainly dont want them to look at my feet if my toes are looking funky!

    • “Well you keep your nails and toes nice, so why not get fish and keep your body nice too”.

      Whoa! That’s…whoa! What was your reaction to that? Because that’s a little weird, isn’t it?

  10. yum yum says:

    At first I wasn’t sure that I heard him correctly, then I thought it was a bizzare pick up line.

  11. Laurel says:

    Christine makes a great point-— it is one of the only pretty things a girl does for herself that she can see regularly throughout the day. When I have my nails done, I love looking at them for no good reason other than to admire how nice they look.

    I think of fancy nails in two ways. One, they’re kind of a status symbol. I don’t know how prevalent it is now, but some cultures have seen long nails as a sign that you don’t do hard labor or work as much. I do feel like a nice set of nails can give you a little sense of “class”—- like you have the time and money to spend on gussying up your nails, and that having whatever length won’t get in the way of your daily life (which obviously isn’t true, but you know what I’m saying). I even feel like the color you paint your nails can play a role. I know some girls that will only go neutral-colored or French manicured because they don’t feel that fun colors would be appropriate for their work or lifestyles—- they feel they may be seen as “irresponsible”. I know others who feel comfortable enough to have bright colors or designs because they don’t feel that it will reflect “negatively” upon them.

    Bumping up to this, I feel like having nice nails can also show that you have your act together and have the time/energy to take care of yourself. I’m a huge nail-biter, and I get told regularly to calm down, take things one step at a time, etcetera when they see my hands or catch me biting my nails. I’ve had fake nails plenty of times, and I don’t think I’ve ever gotten that kind of response while wearing them. My stress level doesn’t change depending on my nail length, but I feel like the attitude towards my competency and ability to manage is perceived differently.

    In truth, all of this could totally be in my head—- because I feel prettier/more put together, people in turn treat me in that manner. But I can say with all honesty, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with attracting guys.

  12. Cecelia says:

    The one girl grooming thing I never got into was nails. In high school there was a girl who painted her nails a different color EVERY DAY. Who has time for that? Whenever I do try and paint my nails they are pretty much ruined within the first 5 minutes. I also have always had to keep them short for one reason or another (waitressing, playing instruments, typing) and I think that chipped nails look worse than just having them bare. The few times I have gotten them done for special occasions like a wedding or prom, they are pretty. I just feel like they look so formal for every day.

  13. Tony Barbaro says:

    Kevin: what happens on Lark,stays on Lark….at least I thought that was was our understanding.

  14. Christy says:

    I am with Sue (#5). My nails were never very good on their own. Chipping, peeling, just overall weak. I started going to get a gel overlay for protective growth assistance, for lack of a better term. It was a hassle though to have to go every two weeks to maintain them. I did enjoy pedicures in the spring/summer months though. Very relaxing and the end result was beautifully manicured feet with soft (not cracked) heels. Nothing to do with appeasing men. More so for myself.

  15. kriskaten says:

    gotta agree with the crowd here… i look at my hands all day typing, driving, doing dishes, etc. i don’t want to be looking at “man hands,” i like the way they look with a flashy shade of red, purple or blue on them. right now, sea foam green. it’s totally for me. you really shouldn’t read too much into a girl that does her nails other then she cares about how she looks.

  16. LV says:

    Watch ‘Good Hair’, THEN talk to me about nails. I was a little confused by your statement about discomfort though. I can’t speak for all women, and certainly long nails can be inconvenient, but I’ve never known anyone to experience discomfort in nail maintenence.

    I guess a broken nail can hurt, but guys break their nails too! Albeit, less often because they’re less likely to grow them long. Is that what you meant?

    Long nails women are a convention of our culture, for whatever reason. It’s partly a hygene – ‘how well does she take care of herself’, ‘how much does she care about her appearance’ indicator but I learned a long time ago that acrylic nails are NOT my cup of tea. I like to be able to work with my hands, and it’s not worth it to me to learn how to function with inch-long pieces of plastic at the ends of them.

    I do like the indulgence of the occasional mani/pedi, partially as an indulgence and partly because it’s a health thing. You may joke about purple nails, but just wait until you see one that *isn’t* caused by nail polish. I bet you’d notice that and talk it over with the guys.

    “If that’s what’s growing under her fingernails, I’m afraid to even ask what’s going on anywhere else…”

  17. tonyb says:

    Kev: it’s a unicorn tatoo or nothing…..unicorns are forever.

  18. James Frederick says:

    I can’t believe the guys want to do away with the finger nails!

    I love ‘em! I don’t really care to look at ‘em, but I sure do looooooovvvveeeee the way they feel on my skin! ;)

  19. Rob Madeo says:

    Yes, but it makes women so happy to do all that fancy nail stuff. I wouldn’t dare suggest they deny themselves this simple pleasure.

    That said, absurdly long nails don’t make any sense…

  20. I confess, I’m a picker. I have used getting a manicure as incentive to clean up my nails after not picking for a certain period, or until they’re healed, etc. I started “doing” my own nails recently (painting, filing – just simple stuff) to help them “look” nicer so I don’t pick at them. Since doing that (last week) they look physically better. So, today I’m with the clear polish.

    Short answer: It makes us feel pretty. :)

  21. Chuck Miller says:

    Unless you’re trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. Which, by the way, the record for the longest female fingernails was broken last year – in a car crash. In February 2009, Lee Redmond had let her fingernails grow for 30 years – without trimming or manicuring – to the point where the longest nail was 35 inches long, and the combined length of all nails was 28 feet. But thanks to a four-car pile up on the highway, most of her fingernails were damaged.

    Full story here:

  22. HopeFul says:

    I think fancy (?) nails say “tramp stamp” all over. There is nothing attractive to them. If you’re getting super dressed up (black tie), have them professionally done in a attractive, conservative manner. Just think of the germs piling up under those long nails. yuck.

  23. kvp says:

    I’ve never had a professional manicure in my life… I seems like a waste of money to me when most of the spring there will be dirt under my nails from gardening.

  24. Like a couple of previous commenters, I do my nails mostly because I am a nail biter/cuticle picker and if I look down and see a nice manicure, I’m less likely to attack my hands. Overall, hands and feet do look nicer and more “finished” if the nails are trimmed and painted. I hate long nails given that I type all day at my job and then cook and clean at home.

    I have never once paid anyone for a mani/pedi. Maybe someday, for a treat, after I buy myself a few other things that I want a lot more (such as a decent still camera, a recliner sofa, some new clothes…)

  25. Rat Woman says:

    I love doing my nails. It’s relaxing, like a litle art project once a week. I don’t get the same feeling having someone else do my nails for me. Plus, it’s an affordable (well, depending on the brand of nail polish you like) appearance change that you can control and is quick. You can’t lose ten pounds or grow your hair longer in half an hour, but you can make your nails look pretty!

  26. You should have asked me about this one :)
    I don’t get my nails done so people notice them. (Seriously, have you noticed my nails Kevin??) I get them done so they DON’T notice them. Like Kari, I’m a picker. BAD! So rather than have the tips of my fingers looking like they were nibbled by a teething puppy, I keep them maintained. Though I’ve got to say, I keep it simple with a french manicure (just white tips)and very rarely put on colored polish.

  27. Maria says:

    I like to do my nails because I have nice hands. I love to get them done because it’s great to have somebody pamper you and spend time with “the girls”. They are usually medium in length. I usually like red polish but I also like to put on funky cool colors during the summer when I get my pedicures to match. The up-keep can get expensive sometimes but I have a great guy that I go to almost every time and he takes good care of me.

  28. Tim says:

    I have to concur with Kevin, the only time guys will pay attention to your fancy nails is if they’re a germ freak wondering what kind of pestilence is hiding under all of that lacquer. Decorated nails are on the “negative-attractiveness” scale somewhere between tattoos and big hair.

  29. Ellie says:

    I think it’s more about status. A woman with her nails done is stating that she doesn’t do manual labor and has money to spare. It’s a status thing.

    I do have a job that destroys my nails, so I don’t get them done. I do get pedicures though, because they are so relaxing!

  30. JQP says:

    One person I talked to said that women get their nails all gussied up so that no matter how awful her day was, she can look down and say “well, at least my nails are fabulous!”.

  31. Cute~Ella says:

    I think that there are as many reasons for doing them as there are women who do them.

    Personally, I keep mine short because my hands are long as it is and don’t need the extra length (also the pool wrecks them fast!) Sometimes I’ll paint them myself or get a manicure if I feel like a treat or I’ll add a flash of bright color to accessorize an otherwise bland outfit…

    One thing to note though, much like a great shade of lipstick or a fabulous pair of new shoes, if my fingernails are done to perfection, you can tell that I either just had a really bad day or was at a fancy event.

    My toes however? Almost always done…because I have adorable feet and love open toed shoes so they have to be done!

  32. Jennifer says:

    I do work that has my hands in food all day so I don’t get my nails done. I also bite my nails and yes I know it’s disgusting, my partner reminds me all the time but I have done it my whole life. I don’t do it in front of people though, besides my poor partner and kids…

    Even if I didn’t work with my hands and I didn’t bite my nails I doubt I would get them done. I went through a tips phase when I was younger but my priorities are so different now I can’t imagine paying to have my nails done.

    Though I feel differently about pedicures for some reason. That just feels like a nice treat from time to time.

  33. Em says:

    I always assumed manicured nails were a sign of good health and cleanliness…I know that people used to give me weird looks when I bit my nails in my younger years…they were chewed up and the cuticles would crack and bleed. It was effing gross.
    Now, I take care of them but rarely do I ever paint them. Mostly because I’m too indecisive about color and lack the fashion coordination skills most women my age apparently have.
    And honestly…I do check out guy’s finger nails when I date them and I do take that into consideration when ‘analyzing their potential’…so it’s not just a girl thing. :/

  34. ellemck1 says:

    I usually do both fingers and toes every Friday night, it’s my way of unwinding and relaxing before the start of the weekend and the week to come. Don’t usually get a professional job, can’t afford it, but the last time I did, I think the foot rub and hand rub were the best parts! I felt all calm. It’s something I like to do, even though I do dishes and laundry and scrub bathrooms and stuff. But I cannot keep them long! Too annoying for me.

  35. Jessica says:


    I love my nails. I lovelovelove the sound of nails against a keyboard, I love tapping them against a table. My nails grow out quite nicely, and rarely break on a whim.
    I used to bite my nails when I was little, so my parents tried nail polish. I wanted to keep the “pretty color” on, so I stopped biting my nails.
    Now, I either swipe on a quick color to make myself feel better, to match my outfit, or just because I feel like it. I tend to go crazy with my nails, and being an artsy person I decorate them. The other day, they were poke-balls. x] Its fun, and it makes us smile!

    Women like to feel pretty, and even if its pouring, our hair is frizzy and our clothes are raggedy; we have our nails. Its for us, not you.
    Maybe you’re just jealous because you can’t paint your nails without society frowning on you. ;)
    Just kidding, hon.
    Anyway, the reasoning wasn’t meant to be a mystery- its pretty straightforward. We like it.

    And in my opinion, it is a waste to go to a nail salon. DIY is the best way to go!

    p.s. My boyfriend (before that is what he was) noticed my whimsy nails, and got to know me more by the way I decorated them. It was something that showed how different I was. :)

    Have a great day~

  36. LM says:

    I’m not sure if any of my friends or associates even bother futzing with nails anymore. I think you get to the point where you realize it’s a big waste of time. I keep an emery board handy; otherwise, more important things to think about.

  37. sophie says:

    I never did my nails intill I met my boyfriend. Who loves my nails done. He loves the effort and details. He said it’s a show of self pride to the world,you value yourself and take care of yourself. The colors and designs are super fun for me! Honestly the pedicure can last me a month or longer and my boyfriend pays for that it’s not a hassle to get massage and painted by someone it’s niiicee. My hands I’m learning to do well myself cause that is a hassle to go all the time for. Plus I like changing my colors often…

  38. aisha says:

    I like painting my nails not to impress anybody, it’s more like a hobby, doing your nails is pretty much an art for a lot of women it’s like a painting on your body. especially if you can be original, like those totoro nails i love them!! and love the movie too. I usually don’t do my nails and keep them clean but when i do i take about 3 hours on them making little designs on them and stuff, it’s fun for me i would say, but also i dont take the necessary precautions to make them last.. when they start chipping off i just clean them off till i get another idea for a cool design. It also bothers me to have my nails too short or too long, when they get too long i cut the off, but not too short lol.. yea.

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