Yesterday, I glued fake nails onto my fingertips.
You wouldn’t think that was a big thing. People do that all of the time these days. I mean. People have been putting fake nails onto their fingertips for a long time. What’s the big? Right? The big deal is, I can say out loud, with no fear of judgement, “Yesterday, I glued fake nails onto my fingertips.” I mean people might judge that I used cheap glue on nails, but I doubt that few people would care that I have fake nails. Anyone that does is something of a dinosaur with outdated ideals.
There was a time, dear reader, when only “loose women” painted their nails, or admitted to painting their nails. Or dyeing their hair. Proper women would keep their nails trim and neat, but they would never paint them, let alone wear fake nails! Or admit to either. I remember reading a story as a kid where a teenager treated herself to a day at the beauty salon and got her hair washed, cut, and set (it was written in the 1950’s). While she was under the dryer, she decided to get her nails done, and the manicurist asked her a question, but the girl couldn’t hear the lady because she was under the dryer and just nodded and then kind of dozed off. She woke up to bright red nails! The horror! The girl, I can’t remember her name, it was 30 years ago, shamefully hid her hands all the way home until her trusty housekeeper (I mean, everyone had a housekeeper back then, right?) helped her removed the offending polish before her parents found out. I read this in the eighties when we were painting our nails and lips black — goth was real, yo — so I was all, “Really?” But my mom informed me that was true. She never liked us to paint our nails. We weren’t allowed to wear makeup until we were 16, and even then it was only nail polish and lip gloss. And my mom really hated girls with fake nails.
When I was a teenager, if someone had fake nails, they did their best to make them look real. Same with hair color. Well, it either had to look real or the exact opposite. Like either no one could know someone was coloring their hair or there was no question about it. Because no one is born with purple hair — that I know of. Now, it’s no big thing if the world can see your roots. But less than fifty years ago, someone’s true hair color was a secret that salon workers knew. There was a scene in this movie that kind of stood out to me, it was a very emotional movie and everyone was on edge, one of the characters worked in the beauty salon and she was drunk, she’d just lost her son, and she said of another character as a character assassination, “Mrs. Fern dyes her hair.” That line would mean less than nothing today, but back then, it was enough to make Mrs. Fern leave the room in a rage. I’m just saying that it’s interesting how different things are now. I make no judgments about better or worse, only that they are different.
Anyway, that’s my musing for the day. Just something that came to mind when I was gluing fake nails to my fingertips yesterday.