I was getting my nails done today. I like the gel nails because they don't have to attach anything to your nail, they don't grind down your nail, and they don't destroy your nails when you take them off. So, while I was having this done I was thinking about an epiphany I had when I was in college. I took some Asian history courses and I remember my professor talking about how well the Chinese were doing economically based on foot binding. "By the 19th century, some 40–50% of Chinese women had bound feet; for upper class women, the figure was almost 100%. It is estimated that more than one billion Chinese women had their feet bound from the late 10th century to the mid-20th." (thanks Wikipedia!). Lets put this into perspective. Let's say the lower class makes up 80% of the population. 40-50% of the lower class had their feet bound. Half of the lower class had enough economic stability that they didn't need half of their population to work.
This is relevant because the woman next to me was getting the ridiculously long fake nails put on. I was thinking that she couldn't possibly do any work with those things on. Maybe that's where fake nails started. Maybe women didn't need to work and so they started getting fake nails as a status symbol. Now, when the economy is so bad, it's a false status symbol. I guess it does say one thing, the need for people (mainly women) to do manual labor is low. Seriously, how would you do any work in nails like these: