I had an eye opening experience on Saturday. I had a booth at the Women's Expo in Victorville, CA. There was food, music, Zumba and over 6000 people that walked through the doors to show support for women and women’s health. I had the greatest opportunity to meet nail-biters, non-nail-biters, reformed nail-biters, controlled nail-biters, and finger pickers. Did I leave anyone out? Every type of hand was there. One lady admitted she just had acrylic nails put on to help stop biting. Very nice hands by the way.
Many were surprised to see my booth. I guess nail-biting is not a very talked about subject. Everyone who had their nails, or only some of their nails, left intact were happy to share their stories and show me their hands. If they didn't bite then they were proud to announce that they never had been there or done that in terms of their nails, and each person had at least a handful of people that they knew bit their nails. Some swore they were only nervous or stressed biters, but most biters admitted that they are not sure why they bite their nails, only that they do bite their nails. Scratch that, one lady swore to me that she didn’t bite her nails as she proceeded to put her fingers in her mouth and chomp away.
There were some sad faces that broke my heart, too. Fingernails hidden from view, and a look of embarrassment on their face as they told me their story. Their experiences were similar, and after they were done sharing their stories I explained to them that they’re not alone, that they have nothing to be ashamed of, and that there is hope to stop this madness.
The most asked question of the day? What is the ‘truth’ about nail-biting?
For inquiring minds that want to know, here are some of the ‘truths’ about nail-biting found in my book that I shared with the Expo guests.
1. Nail-Biting is a form of manicuring.
2. Nail-biting is self taught.
3. Nail-biting doesn’t have to be a stress related activity, most stress is due to the state of their nails, not the habit itself. Some nail-biters find that biting their nails relieves stress, and for others it brings enjoyment. There are many shades of nail-biting.
What I wish I would have said is that nail-biting is a two stage habit where touch/feel and then you bite. That is the basic truth.
I would like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by my booth, I had a great time! Thank you for being there to support me! I could not have done this without all of the support and enthusiasm of the amazing women and men at the Expo.
Most importantly, I would like to thank my sister-in-law, Meriana, and my daughter, Monica. Without your unending support this day may have never happened at all. Seriously, I wouldn’t have been able to do this alone.
For my next act, my article, tentatively titled: “Are You a Pathological Groomer?”. So make sure to come back and check it out.
-Audrey (Retired Hall of Fame Oral Manicurist)
My name is Audrey and I have been working on the problem of nail-biting my entire life. I made this website to serve as a community where people can come to learn how to stop biting their nails and discuss their progress with others.