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This devastating quote will change the way you think about manicures

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Sarah Maslin Nir's investigation into the exploitation and underpayment of nail salon workers is worth reading in full. It uncovers the horrific, systematic abuse of women working in salons in New York. Many of these women are earning less than $50 per day (some as little as $10) — and that's after paying their own employer $100 for the opportunity to work in the first place.

About midway through the piece, these two paragraphs stand out as especially devastating:

Qing Lin, 47, a manicurist who has worked on the Upper East Side for the last 10 years, still gets emotional when recounting the time a splash of nail polish remover marred a customer’s patent Prada sandals. When the woman demanded compensation, the $270 her boss pressed into the woman’s hand came out of the manicurist’s pay. Ms. Lin was asked not to return.

"I am worth less than a shoe," she said.

Read the full New York Times story here.

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