Real Talk: Self-Love Doesn't Mean Loving Everything About Yourself

by Kate Lindstedt

For most women I know, stepping into a salon to get their toes done isn’t a confidence-shattering experience. Pedicures are supposed to feel good and bring comfort—some soothing “me” time that consists of dipping your feet in hot water, sinking into the comfort of a massage chair, and flipping through trashy magazines.

In my case, the reality is a little different. I fantasize about being the hot girl casually enjoying a spa day, or the fancy career woman getting gel nails and tapping away on her iPhone. Instead, I’m filled with anxiety from the minute I enter the room. I’m the awkward girl avoiding eye contact with my pedicurist, silently pleading Please don’t look too closely at my toes.

During a recent visit to a nail salon in Mexico, the nail technician removed my old polish then proceeded to stare at my bare feet with thinly veiled disgust. She ran to grab her phone and passed it to me. On the screen, there was a Google-translated message: “Sorry, you need to pick a different color because you have a bad fungus.”

I nodded my head, too embarrassed to ask why certain polish colors—ahem, fuchsia—weren’t okay for my toes while others were. I left the salon before my nails had fully dried, with smeared maroon polish in my sandals and a better understanding of why my mom avoids professional pedicures altogether.

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