Anonymous asked realsocialskills:Sort of random, but are nail clippings considered gross? I’ve never thought twice about nail clippings before, but I just recently found out some people consider them on the same level as boogers. One of my friends was clipping his nails in a shared housing area and another person told him that was gross and to do it in the bathroom. I personally don’t find it gross, but am I just missing out on some common social cue here?realsocialskills said:I think nail clippings are generally considered gross. What do y’all think?
there are three factors at play here:
1) yes, many people consider nail clippings to be gross. For one thing, the underside of your nails is pretty dirty, and also there’s just an underlying ick-factor that I can’t describe
2) often people don’t like when you do an act of personal grooming in a public space. Personal grooming acts that I don’t consider gross (tweezing your eyebrows, applying acne cream) are often considered sort of taboo to do in public, especially in shared spaces. For example, I don’t think anyone would be grossed out if they walked into the bathroom and saw me applying acne cream to my face, but it takes on a very different vibe if I were to wander into the kitchen and start using the microwave as a mirror. In fact, I was once sharing a hotel room with a friend and we were carrying on a conversation as I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom, and at one point I popped my head out to continue the conversation and she was VERY grossed out by the fact that she could see me brushing my teeth. And it’s not like I was foaming at the mouth or anything, she just found it very distasteful to see even that level of personal grooming. I don’t think that’s a generally accepted norm, but seeing grooming they consider personal really bothers a lot of people.
3) clipping your nails takes a very short amount of time, and tends to send nail clippings flying everywhere. Clipping your nails in the bathroom over a trash bin takes like 2 minutes at the very max for me, and because of the nature of bathrooms (floor rarely has junk on it, usually tiled so sweeping is easy) clean up is very easy there. So it’s one of those activities where it seems a little odd not to do in the bathroom. Whereas if you do it in a shared living room, the noise might bother people, and it will probably take you longer to clean up your nail clippings than if you’d just done it over the trash can.