Woman furious when nail technician says she has ugly toes and her feet don't match

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I witnessed firsthand; used with permission.

Up until a few years ago, neither my mother nor I had ever gone for a pedicure. The idea of having our feet touched by strangers didn't appeal to us.

My coworkers and friends were so enamored of pedicures, however, that I began feeling like I was missing out. I invited my mother for a pedicure, my treat, and we made our way to a nearby spa.

As it turned out, we really enjoyed the experience... at first.

We were sitting on those big pedicure thrones with our feet soaking in the hot swirling water, drinking orange juice from champagne flutes. My mother and I had never been pampered before, and it felt nice.

Our pedicurists massaged our legs and feet and then began grooming our toenails. When my mother's nail technician reached for my mother's second foot, she recoiled in horror.

"Your feet don't match," she said. "The toes on your left foot are very different from the toes on your right foot. So ugly." She crinkled her nose in disgust.

I can't say she was wrong, but my mother was taken aback. We had thought the spa was a safe space and didn't realize someone might mention my mother's deformed toes.

"She ruined the entire experience for me," my mother told me. "She should have just let it go, but she had to say something. Why couldn't she just let me enjoy the experience? I already knew what my toes looked like. They're my toes. I've been looking at them for over half a century."

When a woman visits a nail technician for a pedicure, she is not looking for judgment or criticism about her toes. She is looking to get them pampered and beautified. Therefore, it's important that nail technicians remember to offer words of encouragement and positivity when they are working with their customers.

Not insults.

Telling someone that they have ugly toes, or commenting on the size, shape, or color of their toes in any derogatory way is unacceptable behavior from a professional. Not only can such comments make the customer feel uncomfortable and embarrassed, but they could also damage their self-esteem and confidence.

Furthermore, it does not serve to benefit the technician either, no matter how well-meaning their comments might be. After all, what good can come from insulting your client's toes? In short, nail technicians should never tell a woman she has ugly toes. Instead, they should focus on providing quality services that enhance the beauty of their customers' feet.

My mother was furious about the comment, but she tipped the woman twenty bucks anyhow. "That's for having to deal with my ugly toes," she said.

She never returned for another pedicure.

I can't say I blame her.

What would you have done? Comments are welcome.

Why would you want to Buy Me a Coffee? I am a full-time writer and a full-time unpaid caregiver to my 82-year-old father, who lives with Parkinson's. 100% of your tip or donation goes toward paying for my dad's groceries. Thank you.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

Massachusetts State

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