she works at a nail salon

The Truth Behind Stereotypes

While preparing for my next patient I read in her previous note that she “ a Vietnamese immigrant who works at a nail salon.”  I stifled a laugh as I recalled Dat Phan’s comedy bit on the Vietnamese taking over the U.S. one foot at a time.  I mentally scolded myself as I tried to dismiss my racist stereotype.  Yet, you cannot deny that this is one stereotype that frequently plays true. 

She smiled as I entered the room, remaining patient as I fumbled with the pronunciation of her name.  After exchanging pleasantries we discussed her reasons for coming in: a lingering cold and a skin lesion.  I noted that she had missed multiple appointments prior to this, failing to get follow up labs from over a year ago.  She blamed this on her busy schedule, caring for two children and working full-time.  For providers the chronically busy patient can seem as frustrating as the chronically sick patient.

Next we proceeded into her exam.  The stigmata for bacterial infection were conspicuously absent.  I described my findings to her, watching her mood deflate slightly when I explained that antibiotics would not help.  I continued to work my way down her body in a systematic exam, explaining as I went.  As I came to her hands I winced.  The skin was thickened, dried, and cracked.  My hands began to hurt in sympathy.

“Tell me about your hands,” I said.

She responded in deeply accented English that her hands became like this after working with the nail chemicals all day. 

“And do you like this job?” I asked.

“I hate it,” she responded.  I continued to inquire why, if she hated her job and it hurt her skin in such a terrible way, she did not seek other employment. 

“In my country I was a nurse.  But here I would have to start schooling over.  It would take twice as long because I would first have to take English classes.” She continued to explain that when coming over, many Vietnamese people worked in nail salons because that is where other Vietnamese people worked.  In other words, it was one of the few places they could get a foot in the door as untrained workers who barely spoke discernible English.  Suddenly the Dat Phan comedy bit seemed a lot less funny.

“Why come to the U.S.?”  I asked.  “If you were a nurse in Vietnam, why immigrate to a place with few job opportunities.”

Her answer?  She makes more here as a nail technician than a nurse in Vietnam, meaning she can send money to her family at home.  And being here gives her two teenage children a better opportunity for employment as they grow up.  In short, this woman gave up a job she enjoyed, to work in conditions she hates, in order for her family to have opportunities she never could.

Long after I wrote her note and sent her on her way, my Vietnamese patient lingered in my mind.  Interestingly, the more I thought the more I realized she did fit into a stereotype, although I had placed her in the wrong one.  Perhaps it is partially true to think that many Vietnamese immigrants are nail technicians.  But I think the better way to look at immigrants, in all flavors, is with the lens of selfless hope they often bring with them, rather than the employment circumstances they often find themselves in.  She, like the most tremendous among us, gave up her life goals in order to propel her family into a new socioeconomic class.  That to me doesn’t fit the image the media promotes for immigrants, but rather the image I think of when I see working class mothers struggling for their family’s sake.  And I think that stereotype, an example of the best that people have to offer, is a stereotype I can live with. 

The Women Working in NYC's Nail Salons Are Treated More Terribly Than You Can Imagine

About four years ago, I was at a 24-hour spa in Koreatown. It’s one of the Vogue top-secret best-bet salons—a really unusual place. It was my birthday, and I treated myself to a pedicure at 10 AM. And I said to the woman, “It’s so crazy that this is a 24-hour salon. Who works the night shift?” And she says, “I work the night shift.” And I said, “Well, it’s daytime. Who works the day shift? What do you mean?”

And she said, “I work six days a week, 24 hours a day, I live in a barracks above the salon, and on the seventh day, I go home to sleep in my bedroom in Flushing, and then I come right back to work.”

And I was like, This woman’s in prison. People had to shake her to keep her awake. And then she would do a treatment. I just thought it was crazy.

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This pic has NOTHING to do with what Im writing lol.Its just how I look. Someone might repost this and Im thinking they should no what I look like!

So I wrote this out already and accidently deleted it and it didnt save when I tryd to copy paste it :/

So this is like my first date fantasy. 

This is sorta specific but sorta not. Im not saying little details have to be this way its just how I thought about it you no?

Also this is fantasy. Just because Im saying this doesnt mean Im going to do this with you.


So we finally are gonna have are first date. You tell me to be at a specific salon at 3PM and ask for Kelsey. You say I should were casual clothes that I dont care about like if the got runed. 

I show up and Kelsey says you already talked to her she nos what to do I just need to relax. She goes to work and dolls me up how you told her to.

A few hours later after doing my hair and nails and makeup shes done. My normally dark blonde/light brunette usually straight hair is now my normal hair color to platinum blonde ombre. Very different looking from how it was. Its slightly curled with big bouncy curls and super full from hair extensions she put in. My nails are much longer now with square tip acrylics with pink to baby blue ombre colour. My makeup is very glam. Dark eyes super glossy pink lips and really long fake lashes. 

Kelsey gives me a package and tells me to go in the back and open it. I do and theres a not on top. It says how you wanted to make sure that I look hot but also that when I go back to work ppl notice how different I look. You want everyone to no that I went on a date, that your taking me off the market, The note tells me to change into whats in the box and put what Im wereing in the box. 

Inside theres a little black dress, a bra, thong, heels, and a small clutch. I undress carefull not to mess my hair or makeup. 

I put the undies on first, then the bra. It takes a few trys to get it to clasp with my nails. I can tell there gonna be a pain in the butt. The bra is a push up bra. I put i Like a serious push up bra. I have as much cleavage as I can have in this bra. I step into the dress and its definitly a LBD. As in its black and OMG its little. Like cleavage on display and not that far past my ass. I cant zip it up so I dont even try. The heels are high. Like super high. I put them on but cant do the little buckels on the straps because my nails. My feet are small anyways but when I look at them now there seriously tiny looking. After just a couple seconds I can tell these heels are going to hurt like hell later. I ask Kelsey for help and she zips me up and buckels my heels. She says to get use to it because those sorts of things Ill never be good at again with fake nails. Kelsey takes the clutch and puts makeup in it that she used on me. The clutch is to small tho to put all the stuff from my purse in it so I were my purse and hold the clutch. Kelsey tells me to put the clothes I wore into the box and shell hold it for me and that your outside waiting for me.

I walk outside. Im pretty good in heels I were them lots but these shoes are way higher than most ppl were and the heels are super thin. There crazy sexy but I have to concentrate hard on walking. I feel like if I even stepped on a pebble I could fall.

Your eyes light up when you see me. I have butterflys in my stomach, Im hoping I look good enough to you. Its cold outside. Not like winter but like a cool spring day. I wish I kept my hoodie because you didnt put a coat in the box and this dress is doing almost nothing to keep me warm. I feel very vulnerable. We hug and say hi and you are staring at me with a big smile. Normally a guy would say you look really nice Sara but you say wow Sara your ass looks amazing in that dress. It takes me a little by suprise. But I still like it.

You ask me why Im wereing my purse and I say I couldnt fit everything in the clutch. You tell me to give both to you. I do and you start going through my purse. You pull my wallet out and take my ID and put it in your pocket, drop everything else in your trunk and walk back over and open my door. I have NO idea whats going on but I get in. 

We drive to a really nice restraunt and you valet park your car. You get out and open my door for me, help me out. You open the door to the restraunt for me, and when we are seated you pull out my chair. Your being like the perfect gentleman but then every so often you make a comment thats so not gentlemanly like how sexy I look, how my ass looks, stuff like that.

The menu doesnt have any prices on it. I ask how is someone supposed to no what things cost if theres no price? And you explain that your menu has prices, because your a man. I order a yummy looking pasta dish and water. You order a steak and a greens salad with no dressing and drinks for us. You say Sara in the future remember I will order for you doll. Ill let it slide this time. Im like what do you mean youll let it slide but you just ignore my question and ask me something else. We talk and get to no each other.

The food comes and rite away you take the pasta I ordered and send it back, you put the salad in front of me and say the lady will just have this. You ordered me wine also. Im pissed because Im hungry and that looked good. Your just like Sara no girl of mine is getting fat. Enjoy your salad. 

Im like WTF? but you just switch topics again rite away like it never even happened. 

The bill comes, I say lets split it, and you smile and your like Sara, dont be silly, you cant afford this, even if you could how would you pay? and I remember you took my purse…

Even though Im thinking this isnt going all that great I get up to go to the ladies. Guys dont get this but as a girl when your all dolled up to the nines your way MORE self consious then if your just like in a hoodie and yoga pants. Its like you look nice but your always thinking do I still look as good as when I just finished getting ready and was like you look good Sara! So its like always on your mind. How do I look rite now… So I go primp my hair and fix my lips. 

We go outside and wait for your car. Its cold. Im freezing. RIte then I am sooo glad you didnt let me eat what I wanted. If I ate that I would have a food baby bump because this dress is so tight. I can see all the couples on dates staring at me. The guys checking me out, then looking at you and being super jealous and there dates just totally hating me. 

Again I feel super vulnerable. LIke Im on display. Your loving it though. Girls on dates are smiling at you because they want to show there boyfriends that the guy whos got me wants them. Im just a status symbol for you at that moment. When I relize this I get butterflys in my stomach again. You open my door and we head off to a club.

I figure out why you put my ID in your pocket when you show the door man but that doesnt explain why YOU have it not me. We go inside and youopen up a tab.

We dance for a while your hand exploring my body but mostly just resting on my ass keeping me close to you.

Eventually your all Sara I have a tab open, go get us another round, and you slap me on my ass sending me off to do what you tell me. 

After a while Im like I wish I still had my flip flops because my heels are killing me. These arent shoes someone designed for dancing. Sexy af but not real practical. I complain that my feet hurt and say why dont we sit down. You tell me that your tired of dancing and walk over to are booth. You sit but tell me to dance FOR you. I say no my feet hurt and you just shut me down. Your like Doll I dont care if your feet hurt. Your gonna dance for me. Then we will leave and go back to my place. Then you are going to suck my dick and if your a good girl Im going to fuck you. But get used to your feet hurting because even when your naked later the heels stay on. 

IM like wait what? Uh no. Even if I did want to sleep with you its not happeneing tonight. And you laugh and are like babe, if you want to leave theres the door. I dont no how you think your getting home though. Tell you what if you leave, Ill be sure to drop your purse in the nearest trash for you. But if you stay, you better be a good girl and do what I say or Im going to spank you until you cry later. Now be a doll and go fix yourself up. I want you to look perfect from now on. This doesnt work for me you look like you have been out all night. Im going to drink this drink then leave with or without you. 

And you slap my ass again and without even waiting for me to say anything you just turn away from me. 

I cant believe you would talk to me like that. I no that I dont have any money on me so I cant get a cab. I cant walk all the way to brooklyn in heels even a stripper thinks are to high. Even if I could its way to cold for me to just be in this dress. I dont have my phone so Im not calling a friend to help me and who the fuck remembers any ones number but there own? EVEN if I did get home I cant get in to my building or my apt because my keys are in your trunk with everything else. I also no that Im super turned on. Like Im wet. Like rite now Im thinking your the man thats finally being how men should be. Your telling me not asking me. Ya your giving me a choice. Your letting me no what YOU want and letting me choose it. I could leave and ya it would be hard. I wont die. It would be embarsing. Id have to go to the police and have them drive me to a friends. Your not taking me by force. Your showing me my options

This is whats going through my mind as Im in front of the mirror in the ladies at the club, fixing my lips and making myself perfect for you as fast as I can so you dont leave without me.

My mother’s hands are dry, as they always are.
They crack and flake and peel,
dried out
from working with chemicals at the nail salon,
from working with people who looked down at her language and her labor,
from working with hands that refused to rescue her
from a homeland that bathed in fire,
a sea that swallowed her family whole,
a dream that eluded her grasp.
—  Hold my hands, she said.  KL

Amber Rose’s famous curves threaten to spill out from her rather cheeky Care Bear tank as she treats herself to a mani pedi

This star’s fingers have been very busy recently on social media, so it was no wonder she decided to give her secret tweeting weapons a little TLC.
Amber Rose has had a very eventful couple of weeks so now that hers and estranged husband Wiz Khalifa’s feud with Kanye West is over, she finally had some time just to relax.
The 32-year-old was spotted having some me time at a nail salon in Los Angeles, California, on Friday.

Making sure her talons were ready if mamma bear needed to attack again, the star kicked back in the massage chair and let the nail technician work her magic.

But, of course, Amber ensured her famous curves got all the attention they deserved in a pair of tight shape highlighting capri-length pink and black patterned leggings.
The star obviously planned to get a workout in so also wore a sports bra and tank, both of which appeared to be struggling to keep her chest under control.

The model’s tank was a rather cheeky even thought at first glance it appeared to feature an innocent Care Bear - from the Eighties cult cartoon.
But on closer inspection, the bear gave men a warning as it had a sign which read ’d**k pics’ with a line through it to warn against sending such shots.
The star - who rocked her usual peroxided buzz cut - finished off her look with some florescent orange sneakers and a pair of catseye sunglasses.
While it is all over now, Amber found herself swept up in a fight between her estranged husband Wiz and Kanye after Kanye went on an epic Twitter rant and took aim at Amber’s child Sebastian, who is three this month.

Amber initially lashed out against Kanye suggesting her ex-boyfriend like a very specific act in the bedroom.
While that appeared to quiet Kanye down, Amber and Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian really put a stop to it after they met up with each other at Kris Jenner’s home to hash out their differences.
Following their wives’ lead, the two rappers later called each other and squashed the beef.
Meanwhile, Amber recently said she approves of her best friend Blac Chyna’s relationship with Rob Kardashian, telling paparazzi: ‘Love them together. I love Rob.’

“You know,” Phoebe started, keeping her eyes focused on her nails, scratching the polish in her frustration. “I’ve seen Tangled a billion times. A billion!” She wasn’t even sure who she was talking to, at this point. She’d went to work distracted, and so she was moving around more out of habit than actually being all the way there, today. She hesitated before actually searching for the hairbrush. “I’ve never liked Flynn that much. It was a little… I mean, I’ve been attracted to cartoon characters before, but dear goodness, I’m a little… admittedly, I’m kind of worried. Is it normal to want to date an animated Disney prince?”

What's the price of our "nice nails"?

Read it here.

For Jing Ren, a 20-year-old immigrant from China, it meant paying her boss $100 to work unpaid for 3 months. Then she got $30/day.

ASK QUESTIONS at your local nail salon to ensure that the manicurists are being paid and treated fairly.

this white girl in class was talking about how the ppl who work at the nail salon she goes to have to use american names instead of the ones given to them and she’s like “thats so messed no one should have to change for white ppl. there should be shirts that say ‘dont change for white ppl’” like Fuck Yeahh someone actually make that a shirt i need it pronto

Crime Scene

Part of the Snow Swift series

This is what happens when I start writing something one day and finish the next…. a little bit-y but hope you still like it! 


“You know it’s so nice to get out of the house and do something relaxing and fun…” I told Lily and Karlie as we sat getting our nails done at a little salon about 20 minutes away from my house.

“I know what you mean… Just a break from everything!” Lily agreed.

The plan was to get manicures and pedicures, grab some late lunch and then go shopping this afternoon.

“So… how’s life without touring and promoting stuff?” Karlie asked from where she sat getting her pedicure done and reading the ‘New York Times’.

“Weirdly busy…. I have a few things in the works in terms of writing and acting, as well as the Met Gala preparation, and dealing with the constant presence of hyperactive men around the house…” I told them.

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