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May 15, 2019

Barbra! Scratch the Nails: Vintage Photos of Barbra Streisand With Her Iconic Extra-Long Nails

The director-actress-singer has worn her fingernails very long since the late ’60s, when polished claws were fashionable. On her “The Way We Were” album cover, circa 1974, her nails appear straight on and in silhouette. And in every Streisand film except Yentl, in which her character tries to look like a young boy, her trademark nails are never far from view.

So what? Psychologists--amateur and professional--are having a field day with interpretation.

“She wants us to understand her power and control,” said Beverly Hills manicurist Rando Celli, who tends the nails of Faye Dunaway, Diana Ross and Rickie Lee Jones. “Those long, strong nails say, ‘Keep your distance.’”

“She has beautiful hands and wants them to be noticed--and look, everyone’s talking about them,” said skin-care specialist Ole Henrikson.

“Women who aren’t comfortable with their appearance often fixate on one feature that they like and take special care to call attention to it,” said Glendale psychotherapist Christine Maginn.

Brentwood psychologist Fanya Carter agreed: “Streisand’s hands are her one special feature; if she calls attention to them, she distracts audiences from her nose. But this time... too much attention to her best feature made her insecurities show.”

“Over the decades, I’ve often been asked if my nails are real. They are!” – Streisand wrote on her Instagram account in 2018.

“When my mother wanted me to work in the school system... and be a typist, I rebelled by growing my nails,” she also revealed why she has always favored extra-long nails. “To this day I wish I could type.”

Ever since then, she has kept them noticeably long.



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