The nails may not be what we most worry about. Perhaps over the years we have given both the nails on our fingers and toes little thought. We know that they grow long, they can break and that they are useful for many things. Scratching an itch would probably not be as satisfying when we don’t have nails. Perhaps peeling an orange with nothing but your fingers wouldn’t be as easy when you have nails going through the orange skin. Ever wondered how difficult it would be to remove the plastic protecting a bottle or a jar without your nails?
We have many uses for our nails including using them as an accessory when we get a mani or pedi but anatomically speaking, why do we have them in the first place? The answer to this question is still debatable. Generally the nails are seen as a protection for the soft tissues at the tip of the fingers and toes. Many of us also use the fingernails in handling and manipulating small things. But there are some scientists who argue that without the nails, the tips of the fingers as well as the toes would have evolved and would develop to be less sensitive as they are right now with nails.
Nails and Status
As the world moved to the 2oth century, nails on the fingers became a representation of status and a reflection of trends in culture. Sociologists and those who are experts in fashion history offered an explanation that throughout some decades like in the 1980’s when the hip thing was bigger, longer and more glittery, people started seeing long and painted nails as a representation of money and leisure just like when during the 19th century, people associated having pale skin with wealth since one with pale skin meant not having to work outdoors. But as time moved forward there became a shift in the fashion industry. The clean look was the hip thing and not long after the trend in nails also shifted in the same direction. A cleaner look in nail trend meant shorter and well-manicured nails!
The Jury is Still Out
Scientists still argue about why the tips of our fingers and toes have nails and Science has no definitive answer or consensus just yet. But outside this nail debate, it may be safe to say that fingernails and toenails are going to be with us for a long time. And since the nails are a part of our body, it would be wise for us to make sure that they are well looked after. Our nails can also give us clues on the state of our health, giving hints on underlying or undiagnosed medical conditions! So it would be wise for us to pay them attention just like we do with our hair and skin!
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