Personal Grooming in Public: How Far Is Too Far?

April 18, 2012

Huffington Post

The other day some colleagues were giving me grief for whipping out an emery board and working on my nails during the day. I have an excellent excuse — I’ve recently broken a decades-long habit of biting my fingernails, and one of the ways I’ve done it is to buff them up a little when I feel the urge to gnaw them.

But I don’t think their teasing had so much to do with the sight of a man filing his nails — it was more that the activity brought back suppressed memories of a long-departed colleague who used to clip his TOENAILS in full view of everyone.

That got me thinking: what’s an acceptable level of public grooming? I don’t think anyone objects when a woman pulls out a compact or puts on some lip gloss. And nobody will criticize someone for glancing at their reflection in the window and putting some stray hair back in place.

But what’s going too far? There seems to be unanimity at Fast Horse that toenail clipping is an art best practiced behind closed doors.

Any readers have stories of those who took personal grooming in public too far?

And by the way — I’m not the only man to bring an emery board to work.