Here’s a picture of my husband and I where my nails are visible: Laughing, With Fingernails
I don’t associate them with any particular “class”
I love the look of acrylics, and I’ve had them myself a few times, but they are just so hard to maintain. (for me at least. 2 hour appointments every three weeks is just not doable)
I’m very picky about my nails all being the same length, so mine are usually really short. (if one breaks I have to clip/chew the rest down, too)
And I’d love to polish them, but chips drive me crazy too, and I just don’t have time to do a manicure every couple of days. Someday…someday…
Is it that place at the Wilson El stop? I’ve seen the “nails” sign, but the place looks sketch-tastic - I’ve always been afraid to go in lest I run into the guy my roommate bought pot from, or something.
I used to have long, natural nails - and I worked a heavy labour, 10-12 hour/day graveyard shift job (lifting, moving, hoisting, throwing, heaving - heavy boxes and/or stacks of steel cans, dealing with lid openers, etc). They were just very strong. I just found a picture of me with them yesterday along with some other old junk, and showed it to my husband in amazement; I can’t believe they were ever as long as this (ignore the froofy foofy gothy-looking getup, it was a phase). These days, eh, I’m back to biting them, so they’re all nasty and jagged. I break them a whole lot more with my new job, even though it’s not as labour intensive as the old factory job, and I work more reasonable hours. Dealing with customers turns me back into a nail-biter right quick.
So, some acrylic nails, tastefully done, don’t seem trashy to me at all. My one female co-worker gets some that look much like the french manicure ones linked to in the OP, and they look quite nice. I think the nails I had, the long ones I linked to, look kind of trashy to me, now. And a little scary.
My acrylics at another salon used to take forever - easily an hour appointment, but not 2. These gels at the “sketchtastic” salon (great word!) are super fast - under 40 minutes easy. I don’t know if it’s a difference in the material (gel vs. acrylic) or the speed of the nail technician, but I always leave an hour for myself and end up with a huge chunk of time leftover.
Hazel, there are a brazzilion nail salons within a two block radius over there, aren’t there? The one I go to is in the strip mall with the Payless on the east side of Broadway, just 100 feet past the Wilson intersection. Sketchtastic, indeed, and I don’t go in there after dark! Sometimes I do feel awfully self-consciously white, but everyone’s been super nice, so I try not to sweat it.
I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I can say unequivocally that I can’t stand having to do anything with my fingernails. I’ve always hated having to keep up any sort of manicure, and now, being of a certain age, I have said to hell with it. I always keep my natural nails clipped close and I never polish them any more. (FWIW, I have the thinnest nails ever, to call them paper thin would be giving them too much credit. And they are worse now since taking Topamax daily for migraine prevention, which dries them out.)
I personally cannot bear the thought of acrylic nails. I had them done once years ago and hated every single aspect of the experience. I eventually soaked them off in acetone after less than a week.
Also, I can barely stand sitting still in a salon for a hair trim every six weeks, there is no way in hell I would be able to stand having to schedule “fills” as often as needed. I do understand that for a lot of women that is some of their precious little alone time, though. (Edit to add - I had the same experience during my brief foray into tanning… I was driving myself crazy by “wasting” that time lying their in the salon when I could have been doing something at home.)
I think people should do whatever makes them happy, but it’s very working class to me. That is, it’s not something I see on managers and professionals around here, but it is something seen on secretarial staff, retail workers, etc.
I think the first link in the OP are nice, and the second is just about at the middle-aged-woman-who’s-trying-too-hard line (which really has more to do with length than anything, IMO). I like long nails, but there’s a point where it’s just too much.
I’ve been toying with the idea of fake nails for a while now–my own aren’t particularly strong, and even when I can resist chewing on them they start breaking on their own right about the time that they hit a length I like :(.
It always starts out that way…and then I need three soaked off every appointment which of course is more expensive…
I tried gels once, and they had all cracked off in about 5 days. Don’t know if it was my fingers or the application that was the problems. My mom gets them now and says she doesn’t have any problems with it. I can barely get myself in once every 6 months for a hair appointment, so I can’t see starting with the nails again.
However, once the new pedicure place opens up near my house I will be visiting - even if it’s just the once.
With a French manicure, you don’t have to clean under your nails. (No, I don’t have one.) I mostly just try to keep my nails clean, the same length & with neat cuticles. Regular (self-administered) pedicures keep the feet smoother & guard against ingrown toenails. And I’ve got a weakness for weird toenail polish in sandal season.
Don’t care for obvious fake nails, myself. But what’s with all this “lower class” bullshit? Might as well add that Certain Ethnic Groups like them.
I’m female and I don’t like the look of fake nails at all.
The pictures posted above are of two types- brand new and “in use”. They all look thick (which I associate with fungus or nail disease), fake, and unclean to me- even the ‘plain’ ones.
I don’t care for all the teeth bleaching that’s going on these days, either. One of the ladies I work with makes me feel like I need to be wearing on suglasses whenever she talks. What dentist would bleach teeth until they glow in the dark?
Huh, those things are more durable than I thought. Thank you for enlightening me.
I don’t have much of an opinion about the look one way or the other, personally. Of the women who work at my office, probably half of them have acrylic nails - and all of them are white-collar professionals. Mostly they don’t go for the really flashy looks, but there are a few who do.
I couldn’t stand it for myself, but then I’m an inveterate nail polish picker. Some people bite their nails, I pick off polish. I don’t even know I’m doing it - I’ll just look down and my nails will be all scabby. Not a good look.
However, my nails are healthy, reasonably break-proof and grow to unreasonable lengths if left alone. I keep them unpolished and about 1/4 - 1/2 inch past the quick. Any longer and I find they get in the way of typing.
OK, here’s pic of my nails. I got them done about a week and a half ago. They’re a bit longer and squarer than they normally are: Like WhyNot, usually I just have acrylic over my real nails but last time I went in, I got new artificial tips becasue I had waited too long between fills and my nails were trashed. Yeah, the hot pink isn’t exactly subdued but it’s my trademark; I’ve used the same color for the past three years.
BTW, here is the other side of my hand which is a testament to how active I am.
Why is it bullshit to point out that, in my experience, working-class women are more likely to have acrylics than middle and upper-class women? And, frankly, you’re right–again, in my experience, Asian and African-American women are more likely to have them than white women. So what? If you like the way they look, wear 'em. More power to you.
Several of the upper-level management women where I work have the french manicure-looking acrylics. Nothing too long or flashy, but very low maintenance (they get them done once every couple of weeks on their lunch hours.) I like the look, but am not willing to spend the money.
No, it’s bullshit if you assume everyone from the lower class or Certain Ethnic Groups has acrylic nails, or that no one outside the lower class or Certain Ethnic Groups have acrylic nails. Since all the fingers underneath the nails linked in these photos are white, I guess we can dispel the second notion, at least. And since some of them come from white collar desk positions, we can dismiss the first, as well.
Merely noticing a trend is statistics, not racism or classism. Asking if they’re trashy is looking for opinion, not policy.
Ehh… I prefer short, uncoloured nails. The sexiest-looking hands I know of are petite, square, brown, with short rounded nails: on an Italian lady of my acquaintance. The longer nails in the first picture, or in WhyNpt’s picture I wouldn’t particularly notice, but the long red ones bring back bad memories of the eighties.
Thanks for all the responses. This is my experience with acrylics, and the reason I ask.
My half-sister, with whom I am very close, grew up in a different part of the city than I did, in a neighborhood occupied by significantly lower-income families. When she and her friends get their nails done, it’s more like 2-inch blue-tipped nails with black and white ivy designs. Now, I love her dearly, but I think her nails are tacky.
I like a nice pink and white, squared off, short acrylic nail. They’re much sturdier and stronger than anything I could ever grow, not to mention better-looking. I have to file them on my own a couple of times between appointments, though—God forbid I lose the ability to type.
My nails aren’t quite that long, but I wear mine long and natural, and I tend to do the French manicure most of the time. I type all day, but in my old age, my nails are pretty tough.
I don’t think long nails are trashy looking unless someone goes out of their way to make them that way.
My personal preference is slightly shorter nails than the first example. I like them buffed out or maybe a clear coat. I find really long nails kinda creepy.
But to answer the question, the more suffisticated the setting the shorter the nails. Nails with designs would be absent altogether.