long nails

Of all the influence Sex and the City had on my young mind, nothing stands out quite as much as a scene where Miranda, hiding under a bed, catches a glimpse of her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s shoes and fingernails.

“How were they?” Carrie asks.

“Both acrylic!” Then they both laugh at the woman’s terrible style.

That scene made a big impression on me because it really drove home how judgy people can be about fingernails. People who wouldn’t think of making fun of a person’s teeth or even their clothes will zoom in on fingernails as cultural signifiers. I had to make sure never to wear acrylic nails lest someone laugh at me that way.

But new beauty site Byrdie points out that long, pointy, surely man-made fingernails are having a moment. Rhianna and Adele have been wearing long, almond-shaped nails for some time now. One of Lady Gaga’s fell off and sold for $12,000. Daria Werbowy even sports a magnificent pair of red talons in the Winter 2013 Celine campaign, and that’s a pretty clear “thumbs up” from fashion.

But can this look work in real life? Everyone for sure loved Hailee Steinfeld’s awesome Comic-Con manicure, but wearing nails like that in real life raises questions of practicality. Could you deal with them while typing, riding the subway, or putting in contact lenses? I’ve kept mine short since Uma Thurman wore hers that way in Pulp Fiction, and whenever they happen to grow past the tip of my finger, the sound of them clicking on the screen of my iPad fills me with an incalculable rage.

What do you think of really long fingernails?

Via Byrdie/Photo: Shutterstock