This weekend I did a sort through of my awesome shoe closet. It was time to swap out the boots for the sandals. I have faith the warmer weather is really on its way although I did wear boots to work yesterday and today!!
I do have some lovely sandals and open toe shoes, however, what I don’t have right now are lovely toes. Ugh, when did I last have a pedicure? My feet have been shielded for human view for the last 5-6 months so one can only guess the last time there was care and attention brought to them in the form of a pedicure. I decided on a seriously deluxe pedicure from Miniluxe as I had a gift card from a friend.
As I was sat in the salon being treated like a queen, I started to think about the origins of this strange thing we do to make our feet look pretty. From what I researched (and who knows how correct this is) pedicures have been around for more than 4000 years! Besides the pretty benefits they are known for healthy benefits as they can prevent nail disorders and disease. Of course, having an indulgent massaging pedicure also helps you relax, a very nice side effect. I do love my feet being massaged.
Fingernail polish can be traced back as far as 3000 BC in parts of China. A Ming Dynasty manuscript states that royal fingernails were painted in black and red indicating a person of the highest social status. The Egyptians were known for paying special attention to their feet and legs and carvings have been found throughout history on Pharaoh’s tombs depicting a servant giving a pedicure to a noble person. Cleopatra’s nails were always painted deep red color and in ancient Egypt and Rome men who went into battle painted their nails to match their lips. I wonder if it was frosted pink :).
In the United States, the first nail color manicure was invented in 1932 by Charles Revlon and today the manicure/ pedicure industry has grown to a 6 billion dollar industry, especially in the last 15+ years.
Here are a few more fun facts I found out about mani/pedis…
- Long nails were a symbol of wisdom in ancient Egypt. They were thought to be used for communication with deities. Members of royalty and nobility wore their nails long and brightly colored, whereas slaves and members of lower classes had to keep their nails short and could only paint them with pastels or light colors.
- In ancient China, women preferred metallic gold and silver colors for their nails. Chinese nail polish was made from beeswax. Long nails were a sign of nobility in China too, to show that these men and women did not have to do manual labor. These people grew their nails up to 13cm long!
- The ancient Chinese people invented long metal cones that could be placed over the fingernails to protect them as they grew.
- In ancient Babylonia, noblemen used tools made from solid gold to give themselves manicures and pedicures.
- The word “pedicure” comes from the Latin words – “pedis” meaning feet, and “cura” meaning care.
- The film industry made manicures popular in the United States. Actresses needed to keep their fingernails perfect because they were visible during close-ups. The first fake nails were invented for actresses who had short nails. Fake tips would be glued on to make the nails look longer.
- This one I am not sure I could EVER do. It takes about 150 garra rufa fish or “doctor fish” to nibble away at the dead skin from your feet. Erm nope! Could you do it?
All that said, I love looking down at my feet and seeing a pretty color peeping out of my open toe shoes, which I am hoping will be some time very very soon :).
Sources: Wikipedia, USPedicureSpa.com, Sooper Articles, Spatahena.com