When asked why they get manicures and pedicures, some women say they do it to attract the attention of men. Some admit that it’s less about attracting men, who don’t notice things about fingernail color anyway, and more about competition with other women. Whose nails are the nicest, who is first on the bandwagon with the newest trends, and who gets to the spa most often or has the best manicurist.
But even if no one else noticed their nails, women would continue to go to the spa for mani/pedis because, above all, they make us feel good.
Going to the spa for a treatment is like a mini getaway vacation. On your own to get some space or with your best girlfriends to catch up and shoot the breeze, you can go to a spa around the corner from your house and feel like you’re thousands of miles away from the stresses of home and work.
The room is air-conditioned, there are plenty of magazines to flip through and there is often soothing music playing. Some women prefer their manicurists to let them read in peace or just enjoy closing their eyes and being pampered. Others love a chatty manicurist who is up on the latest neighborhood gossip, interested in what’s going on in your life and relationships, and maybe even plays the part of therapist, giving you advice from a fresh, objective perspective – kind of like a bartender. A great manicurist knows which of her clients prefer to bask in silence and which like to gossip and chat, and is able to cater to the needs of one as well as to the needs of the other.
Aside from the atmosphere in the spa, mani/pedis just plain feel good. Your feet get a nice soak in cool or warm water, depending on your preference, aromatherapy oils can be added to help soothe or energize you, depending on what aroma you choose, and you get a massage with oils, lotions, or even hot stones. The nail polish is really just the icing on the cake. Yes, you walk away from a mani/pedi with beautiful looking hands and feet, but more than that, what you walk away with is a good, fresh, clean, taken-care-of feeling that makes you feel good about yourself. And you don’t even have to feel guilty about being pampered and not pampering the other person back in return – you paid her for a job well done, so you’re even and you can walk out of there with a clear conscience!
And one more thing – if men could get over the stereotype that mani/pedis are “girly,” I’ll bet they’d enjoy them too! Men work hard, and many work in physically exhausting jobs that require them to use their hands and be on their feet for much of the day. Their hands are calloused, their feet are sore. A good soak and a pampering massage would probably sound pretty good to them if they could just get over their own embarrassment. Maybe the problem is the name – people have associated mani/pedis with women for years. If it was known as a “foot soak & rub” or a “buff & wax,” men would be lining up out the door for a turn!