Brazilian manicure


Brazil is known for being a country obsessed with looks. Women of all ages try to look trendy and hot all the time, day and night. They dress sexy to buy groceries, they dress sexy to church, they dress sexy at work. No one cares, since it is part of the scenery. When a woman dressed with skimpy clothes walks by, few people notice, since there are so many of them. The population is also very youmg, so there are pretty women everywhere.

The obsession wtih looks has propelled the beauty industry to have the latest and the greatest in plastic surgery, hair salons, dermatology treatments and everything you can imagine that has to do with making people look younger and better.

The undercurrent of this obsession is based on the cruel class system that has ruled Brazil since colonial times, aggravated by gender bias, machismo and fewer opportunties for women. Brazilian women grew up valueing looks as the only weapon against poverty. If they look pretty, they will snag a husband who will provide for them. Older women are also obsessed with looking pretty and young to preserve their men, faced with a very strong competition from younger women.  Fortunately, this is becoming less prevalent, with the younger generations in the job market and becoming more and more independant.

Brazil’s lack of interest in community work and the still cruel class difference also puts an emphasis in one’s appearance as the means to get ahead in life.

On the other hand, even though many Brazilian women suffer on 4 inch heels at airports and other places where comfort should come first, and even though many cross the line from dressing trendy to looking vulgar, from sexy to slutty, Brazilian women usually look nice. They look feminine, they dress like women.

The bright side of the looks obsession is that there are no beauty parlors like the Brazilian ones. Even the most modest beauty salon will have a good and talented hairdresser and nail technician. Labor is cheap and plentiful in Brazil.  You walk inside a store and there are 5 people behind the counter to serve you.

The Brazilian manicure is wonderful: it lasts many days and your nails look perfect. If you accidentally ruin the polish after the manicure, the technician will fit it for you for free. There is less greed in the Brazilian society. Money does not govern everything.

Haircuts and blow outs look great.  They know what they are doing. In the US, it seems that anyone can work in a beauty salon, as long as they have a license. But the license and the training does not guarantee talent, since working with hair is almost an artistic ability.

Nail salons in the Washington DC area are dominated by the Vietnamese, and the women working in these salons are always in a hurry to get the next customer and get big fat tips. They are many times rude, but the immigrants have lowered the price of these services to be accessible to the middle class. I remember in the 70′s only few women in America could enjoy a manicure, since labor was not cheap.

Brazilian women will understand what I am trying to say in this post. We never visit Brazil without a visit to a beauty shop, where we try to cram in all the manicures and haircuts and highlights we can


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