Hello, hello, hello!
I have returned after an inexcusable (well, actually some of my excuses are pretty good) hiatus. It was not like there were not topics for me to rant on and on about. There were, but they never made it to SK.
Well, we’re here now and ready to change the world – or at least share our opinion on a few things. So, let’s get to it.
As you know, we had quite the winter here in the Northeast. The downside was all the shoveling and heaps of impassable snow. The single upside was that no one had to bear witness to my pub’s toenails. Unless she has a tropical trip planned in winter, she never shells out the cash for a pedicure.
Last week, the weather changed drastically from frigid winter temps to the mid 80s, with little time to fish out the flip-flops from the attic. Once they were acquired – which took 2 days, as one was visible and another sneaked off to another part of the attic during the winter – Pub slipped her feet in and looked down to see the most atrocious toe nails.
This made her think. Why must one spend at least $15 each week for toes to be “sandal ready” every spring and summer? Why can’t they be nicely trimmed and kept in their natural state? Who gets most of that money, anyway? The sweet Asian girl who toils away at Pub’s feet, or the man in charge (It is always a man) barking what sound like orders in a foreign language at the women hunched over clients’ hands and feet, filing, painting and massaging.
Also, when was it decided that everyone born into the female persuasion cannot bear her toes unless they are glimmering with fresh polish of the latest color? Toenails are not like hair and teeth.You can’t simply pass a brush over them. Successful pedicures take at least an hour to complete. And they were not mainstream until a few years ago. Pub never had a professional pedicure until she was 26. Now appointments are booked for girls as young as 3. Wow!
Pub decided she is not going to be part of this nonsense and dared just the other day step out on the town in her bare nails. If anyone minded, they have not expressed it.
Then yesterday, the New York Times featured a front page article on the very topic Pub has been pondering. You can look at it here:
It’s a well-written, lengthy piece, and I’ll post a few bullets here. You’ll be amazed at who is paying the price for our cheap pedicures at the Asian-run salons.
- Majority of pedicurists work 66 hours each week at less than minimum wage.
- Many pedicurists report not being paid at all.
- They receive no benefits.
- Most are illegal, so have no recourse.
- Some even have their tips docked.
- Some are penalized for drinking water on the job.
- Many live in deplorable flop houses when not working in a salon
- Many have suffered miscarriages or delivered babies with birth defects, likely caused by their exposure to noxious chemicals.
The list goes on and on.
Now Pub feels even better about boycotting this industry that resembles the 19th century slave drivers. She even feels a bit like my dad, A. Bronson Alcatt, a devout abolitionist who refused to wear or use cotton as long as its production was the root of unnecessary human suffering.
I get a mani/pedi every few months at the local pet salon, necessary for cats who like to scratch. That’s an unfortunate photo of me and manicurist above. My plastic head gear is not flattering. I find it interesting that the pedicurist for blogging cats receives a livable wage and benefits, while the pedicurist for human are treated like abused herded animals.
Let’s boycott or boycatt employers who exploit their manicurists. Some other time, we’ll do something about the word “boy” cott.
xo, LMA and Scrabble