Have I had my last pedicure?

Getting a pedicure is one of my favourite ways to treat myself. It's an indulgence. No one really need a pedicure. I love the look of painted toes. So, what's behind my growing relucatance to have a pedicure? 

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It's a growing uneasiness I have with the cleanliness, products and working conditions in nail salons. It's a big issue and there has been research that points to many problems in nail salons.  

Here are a few considerations:

1. Cleanliness

Sure they clean out the foot tub after each customer but is that enough? These articles make me a little queasy:

Nail salons not checked for years under Alberta's inspection system

Dirty little secrets of the nail salon

13 Things Your Nail Salon Doesn't Want You to Know

2. Products

I've been very intentional about not using chemicals on my skin. I use all natural products and check labels frequently to find out what is in them. In the back of my mind though there is this niggling (and you know how I feel about niggling) that maybe I don't want to expose my body to this any more.

Luxurious Lacquers: 7 Ingredients to Avoid

What You Should Know About Nail Salons And Reproductive Health

3. Workers

I've read many articles like this one that mention forced labour and nail salons in the same sentence. I'm uncomfortable with the idea that I may be exploiting the women who work in these places. I really like the woman I have go to but I know that she works six days a week and could only afford to take 5 weeks maternity leave. As I've talked to her about her life I have become increasingly uncomfortable. She is a lovely person. Watching her two weeks before her due date working on my feet made me wonder about this system I am supporting. (I know there are 'higher end' salons out there but I'm not sure if those workers are paid well or work fewer hours.)

Today I took the nail polish of my toes. It's winter here and I usually don't bother with pedicures when my toes are going to be out of sight for the next 4 months. It is good timing to look into alternatives that will really make pampering myself feel good in every way. I'll use cleanliness, products and working conditions to guide me. 

I believe that this it the time for women to reclaim the power we have to influence and create change. We need to be willing to look at our behaviours and lead the way. We need to take self-responsibility. It is the only way that we will be able to heal ourselves and our world. 

Living truthfully for me is about making decisions that are aligned with the things I believe to be true for myself and for others. It's why I want to blog more about the environment and challenge us to take responsibility for the choices we make. If you have something to say on this topic - leave a comment on Facebook or Instagram.