Show of Hands

In keeping with the superficial theme of recent posts, today I want to talk about hands. (These are my hands typing this post).

There are a lot qualities related to character and personality that might attract you to someone. These have been investigated and discussed by better blogs than mine, so I’m going to stick to physical attributes that may be deal-breakers or deal-makers for people.

One of the biggies for me is hands. Oh, I appreciate a good pair of lips, nice set of teeth, fine head of hair and overall healthy appearance, of course. And a warm voice is always nice. (Men’s voices are generally pleasant. A lot of women, though have grating voices — especially young women). But for me, it’s all about the hands.

I’m always drawn to notice a person’s hands. I get a lot of my vibe about that person from his/her hands.  Hands give me a lot of good clues about what sort of person he or she might be: whether or not they’re kind, intelligent, arrogant, self-indulgent, sensual, industrious, weak-willed, strong-minded, creative, aggressive, honest, funny…

Chewed nails, for instance, turn me right off and I immediately have a negative impression of that person. Watching people chewing their nails on a bus or in a waiting room or whatever makes me want to go over and slap the hand out of their mouth. But I don’t. I just sit there and look repulsed.

I also don’t find short or really thin fingers appealing either.


 Or hands that look too doughy and white or have no defnition.


Or fingers that get pointy at the end, though they might otherwise be nice enough hands.


I like hands that look strong and capable with well-groomed, unfussy nails. Hands that will grip your hand in a firm handshake without crushing it.  Hands that look gentle without looking soft.


Hands that look like they’ve done interesting or useful stuff.


I’ve seen unremarkable people with very remarkable hands. And very good looking people with very ugly hands. And then there are people who have very nice hands and other very nice features as well. 

Of course, these hands would look even better without the cigarette.

Here’s a picture of the hand of a well-know person. It’s an interesting hand. Any guesses as to what sort of person might be attached to a hand like this?



This hand belongs to Bill Clinton.

Some of you guessed this was Obama’s hand – although the object of the exercize was NOT to guess who the hand belonged to. Here’s a picture of Obama’s hand.

It’s gigantic. He’s not a particularly gigantic man, so his hands are frighteningly gigantic.  This is the first time I’ve looked at Obama’s hands. I find them scary.

40 responses to “Show of Hands

  1. I think that looks like the hand of a leader.

    I don’t really notice hands (I’m a voice and mannerism person) but I don’t like too many rings or overly done nails and I particularly dislike that squared off white tip look. I think it’s called a French manicure or something.

    You probably wouldn’t like my hands. They are rather short, but I love my hands because they always remind me of my Granny’s hands. I remember playing gin rummy with her when I was around 9 and I said, “Granny, I just love your hands with all those shiny crinkles!” She laughed and said something like, “Honey, that’s just because I’m old.” Now my hands have the same shiny crinkles and it makes me happy and makes me remember Granny.

  2. I’ve always been self conscious about my hands with their short fingers. I could never stretch them enough to play the piano properly when I was young. Probably still wouldn’t be able to.

    Poorly manicured hands will turn me off any shaped hand. I am with you on the nail biting thing, ew.

  3. my girlfriend is a hand-girl. she pretty much has an orgasm when she studies brad pitts hands. seriously. i have to leave the room.
    i have nice hands, except for these “freckles” that have been appearing on them for the last year or so.

  4. It’s a man’s wedding ring…so the only Clinton it might be would be Bill – but it can’t be, because he likes to look single as often as he can get away with it, so it would be rare to capture a shot of him actually wearing the ring.

    The ring also eliminates the Pope, of course.

    However, since it’s a man’s ring, maybe it’s Sandra Bernhard.

    No clue, really.

    Don’t notice people’s hands as much as you do, and I think I might have fewer prejudices because of it. 😉

  5. Geewits – I’m sure I’d love your hands. The shiny crinkle story is too wonderful not to like the hands that come with it.

    Violetsky – So you’re not a concert pianist — I’m sure your hands still serve many useful functions.

    Meanie – I’ve never looked at Brad Pitts’ hands, but I totally get your friend. I don’t have any of those “freckles” yet – one advantage to not being fair skinned.

    Raino – You’re not supposed to try and guess the name of the person, just think of something the hand might tell you about the person.

    JB – You’re almost getting the hang of this. Hand jewelry is a good clue to character. On what do YOU make your initial assessments of people?

    Julia – See note to Raino.

  6. How did you take that picture of your hands typing… with your feet? If so, your physical prowess amazes me. And if it’s something as prosaic as someone else taking it, or a tripod, I just don’t want to know.

    I don’ t notice hands much except when they’re really bad, but once in a while hands strike me. Jimmy Stewart had beautiful hands….

    Now that you mention it, I like those hands at the bottom. They look competent. They look strong. I love the long lean fingers.

    You are going to tell us who they belong to aren’t you?

  7. Jazz – Okay, I won’t tell you how that picture of my hands got taken.

    I chose that last photo because it’s an interesting hand. The hand is proportionally smaller than the fingers. This says to me that something about the person’s character is also not in proportion — there’s something a bit “off” about them perhaps. The fingers are long, but also very thin. Thin fingers aren’t very appealing to me. They would put me off a person a tiny bit. But, the fingers are also a bit misshapen which could mean a quirky personality, which could be fun, but could also mean too quirky. The hands don’t look like they’ve ever done or are even capable of manual labour. There is no strength in them, no power. They look weak to me. I would wonder if the person is also weak. What else can you see? I’ll tell you who it is tomorrow.

  8. I always look at a man’s hands. That’s a big one for me. The hands are what you use to express so many feelings and emotions…whether you’re talking with your hands (I totally do this) or expressing tenderness or familiarity through a touch. I have always felt like holding hands is WAY more intimate than kissing.

    My mom is in her 70’s and has had terrible arthritis in her fingers for years. Poor Mom. 😦 Her fingers are twisted and not what they used to be. But I still think she has the most beautiful hands in the world.

  9. It is, indeed, the Pope, although I’m not totally sure which one. I’m not Catholic so help me out on this, but isn’t the ring a symbol of being married to God or something?

    And, XUP, I’ll be totally self-conscious if I ever meet you in person. My hands and fingers are smallish (ring size 8) and I’m battling a decades-old habit of biting my nails.

    Did anyone else think of the Seinfeld episode when George was a hand model, and replied to compliments about his hands by remarking that he had won a contest? I believe it was also the mumbling girl/puffy shirt episode.

  10. Hmmmmm

    I thought I was the only one that looked at peoples fingernails. I actually have a phobia of long fingernails, and to that end I clip mine a couple times a week. I absolutely DO NOT bite my nails that’s just GROSS! but I cannot stand it if the nails show more than a mm or two of ‘white’ at the end. And women with those freak-ass ‘glamour length’ nails give me the willies. God forbid they reach out to me, even if to pass me something… I will recoil in abject fear! Touch me with them, and I will likely hit the offender, involuntarily of course. And then lets make it worse by those with the long nails that file them on the metro. I could hurl.

    What I find even nastier than any length of finger nail however (be they bitten to the quick, or guinness record length) are unkempt toe nails. I am far too frequently repulsed to near-nausea by people that insist on wearing sandals or flip flops etc that have nasty toe nails.. Long scraggly ones are bad enough, but then there are those, especially those with toenail fungus issues. What is wrong with those people? I mean if they were my toes I’d be doing whatever I could to correct this. And until all was well I sure as hell would NOT be flashing them in public. God some of them look as if their toes are about to fall off…

    Ok well it’s time for lunch here at work and I’ve lost my appetit.. Thanks XUP!

  11. I love the “old person” hands that look like they’ve done interesting things. These, to me, are most beautiful hands…

  12. I have one hand with long nails and one hand with short nails… I’ve kept them that way since I started playing guitar.

    So they’re a little odd, but very well moisturised. Nothing drives me batty like cracked dry skin.

  13. XUP – Hmmm that’s a very interesting take. I like the look of them, they seem capable to me and strong, to you they’re the opposite. Unlike you though, I don’t see hands as being an indication of a person’s personality (i.e. the mishappen hands might equal quirkiness).

    And if those hands belong to someone like Dubbya, I’m gonna have to revise what I like in hands completely. I might even have to kill myself.

    It would prove though, that hands are no indication of personality. Or conversely that I’m a complete moron at reading hands…

  14. Crumpets!!! Now I have to pay more attention to my nails. I looked at my hands about a month ago and thought “Oh no! Those are getting to be old lady’s hands!” But then I thought “Alright!” These hands have held babies, played guitar, built houses, typed stories, caressed bodies, held cameras, sketched, played piano…” You get the idea. They may not be perfectly manicured, but they are mine, and they are beautiful.

  15. Lesley – Another touching tribute to hands that have lived, loved, toiled and enjoyed. I’m not sure I agree about the kissing thing though — kissing is pretty damned intimate.

    Bob – See what great things you can learn just by typing a comment. It’s not too late to stop chewing your nails – just think about how grossed out Kitty is every time you’re tempted. And I remember every Seinfeld episode — although they’re all kind of jumbled up in my old brain.

    Kitty – Gald to contribute to your overall calorie reduction program. I feel the same way about long nails. There’s all sorts of crap and germs and stuff that collects under there — and then people eat with them and touch people — EW. As you can see from the photo at the very top, I keep mine nice and trim, too. Now go help your friend Bob to stop biting his nails.

    Noha – I love looking at old people’s hands and imagining all the things they’ve held and made and done and been part of. It always seems like there’s such a story there.

    Stella – See, people will immediately know by looking at your hands that you’re a musician — or a serious coke addict.

    Jazz – I’m not suggesting it’s an exact science – hands just speak to me. Some people assess others on their shoes or their eyes or their smile — I just like hands. (You’ll be happy to know you won’t have to kill yourself)

    UP – there is no doubt in my mind that you have beautiful hands. A manicure is no indication of anything. I’m sure I’ll see in your hands that you recently did a lot of shovelling.

  16. So interesting. I’m fascinated by how many people correctly guessed Clinton. I don’t really notice hands, but you’re not the first person I’ve heard talk about their importance in attraction.

  17. Kimberly – Only one person guessed Clinton – the mysterious Raino.. And I’m really surprised not more people mentioned an attraction to hands. I definitely know it’s fairly common.

    Robin – Ya, that probably has something to do with it, but I looked at some other pictures of him and his hands are still gigantic even without the odd camera angle. Go look.

  18. I notice people’s hands too. For some reason, I find a person’s personality is reflected in their hands. My father had strong hands, and I always felt safe whenever I looked at his hands.

    I don’t care for hands that are covered in expensive rings, on each finger. Somehow that reminds me of Cruella De Ville.

    You have nice hands. Have you ever played the piano? You have a pianist’s hands, the way you hold them.

  19. I notice hands, and I have a wide range of aceptance. My ex has lovely hands – long (but not freakishly long) fingers, but also manly. I could always picture him doing the surgery he used to love. My boyfriend had sturdy muscular hands and I love them, too. I’m reasonably happy with my own hands – medium length fingers and showing the years a bit, but I like my nails (narowish and unchewed). And I laughed out loud at “I just sit there and look repulsed.” Yeah. I’m sure that stops them in their tracks!

  20. I know! I’m totally in the minority on that one. (Because you are right about kissing.) I don’t know what it is with me….there’s just something about hands that is even more so to my own personal tastes. (Which is probably why I dug this post so much!)

  21. oh im with you. i look at hands all the time.. and nail biting is something that completely disgusts me. that picture.. almost made me puke in my mouth a little.. blech

  22. I notice people’s hands too. And men’s hands? You’re right…they are a turn-on if they are proportioned correctly and well taken care of.

    By the way, XUP and Lesley, have you ever noticed our Vincent’s hands? I LOVE his hands and get closer to the television whenever they are prominent in a screen. Definitely worthy of a man like him. 🙂

  23. I HAVE noticed Vincent’s hands! I first paid attention because he’s left handed and you don’t see that much anymore. (I’m also a lefty. FATE? Anyone? 😛 ) They’re very attractive…. with wonderfully shaped fingers and nail beds….the right combo of masculine and gentle. OKAY. PERV MOMENT OVER NOW. I almost forgot where I was. 😉

  24. By the way….it’s still me – just under lesleykim now…I created a WordPress account for commenting. Then I promptly stole Debra’s avatar image idea. I’m so original! – Lesley

  25. Sorry I’m late to the comment party! I guessed that they were Clinton’s hands before I even scrolled down to see the update!! (Not that it matters, just that it automatically popped into my head when I was reading the post!) 🙂

    I always look at people’s hands, too.

    When I was a wee lass, I chewed my fingernails. My mom tried everything to get me to stop. Nothing worked. One day, I remember looking at my stubby nails and thinking, “How ugly! That’s gross!” and I never chewed them again. 🙂 I know my mom was relieved but could have probably strangled me at that point. 😉

    When we had Claire, our friend came to take pictures of her when she was just a few hours old. He got some awesome pictures of all of our hands. I love those.

    Anyway…interesting post!

  26. I’ve always been told I have nice hands. I try to keep the nails manicured because…well…even on the days where I have felt my fatest, my hands always looked good. 🙂

  27. I am also fascinated by hands.
    I love giving manicures to people. Every Thursday afternoon I give a manicure to an 85-year-old lady.
    I also have a “thing” about doing bizarre nail art when I polish my own nails. I have to do a different design style every week.
    I seem to have a thing for freaky colors that you wouldn’t generally expect to see on nails.

    Dare I mention that this week’s colors are black, neon yellow, and neon green? In stripes and fleur-de-lis swirls?

    Ok, then forget I said that last part.

  28. Jo – Thanks! You’re the only one who commented on MY hands…and after I open myself up so far as to expose them to all and sundry. Ha ha. I played a bit of piano, but never went very far with it — what you see are computer keyboard hands. BUT, you should see my daughter’s hands! Now, those are piano hands. Her piano teachers all love them — she can span an octave without even trying. It’s interesting how many people associate the topic of hands with a loved one.

    Citizen – Hey – you’ve never seen my “repulsed” look!

    Lesley – I was going to mention to you yesterday, since you were so fond of the clothing post, you should check out the How to Be Cool Over 40 post.

    Ellie – You can find anything on the internet — except my hands. Those were taken with my camera — well, I guess they’re on the internet, too now.

    Jobthingy – Oh, sorry. I hope you weren’t in the middle of an important dessert food or anything.

    Debra – YES! I have avidly watched the VD’O’s hands. Wah-hoo!!

    Lesleykim – Nice avatar. Calm down and go tuck yourself up with a nice L&O CI CD and call us in the morning

    CP – I think a lot of people have those pictures of the parents first holding hands with their newborn. Interesting isn’t it? Hands are a lot more important to people than they even realize, I think. You should post the hands pictures some time — do a comparison of then and now!

    Grandy – I know a lot of women who will scrimp on other things, but they absolutely need their weekly manicure no matter what. I’d like to see photos of your lovely hands, too

    Janna – What a lovely thing to do. Is this a volunteer gig or someone you know? I’d love to do something like that. Also, you should compare notes with my daughter on the crazy nails thing. She must have 100 bottles of nail polish in her room and none of them are red or pink. She sports dots and flowers and stripes and alternating colours or a different colour on each nail. All the time I think she’s doing homework, she’s really decorating her nails.

  29. Late in adding my comment but I also think you have beautiful hands and I thought it was a cool pic to take and post.

    I so agree with your observations about hands. It’s almost a deal breaker (along with bad teeth) for me to meet someone who bites their nails or doesn’t clip them neatly. I used to date someone who just ripped them when they’d get too long. ewwww hindsight 20/20 he was like that in his personality lol

    I don’t normally wear nail polish but when I do it’s a French manicure and my nails are very short (none of that fake gel with a thick white line ewwwww tacky…) like a lot of rings either and if I wear any, they tend to be a bit bulky but always silver. At the same time, I love cool rings on a man’s hands. I also love old hands, they’ve seen/done so much. And I agree that hands project a lot about who you are.

  30. I just checked out the “Cool Over 40” post and 1) LOVVVVVED it and 2) Took Copious Notes as I now have less than a year to prepare!

    Thanks for the tip! I have been slowly making my way through your archives (rather randomly and pel-mel) (sp?) and have been enjoying myself immensely.

    (“Cool Old People?” I am endlessly tickled by your categories.)

  31. UA – Thank you so much & ya, bad teeth is definitely a deal breaker. I love silver, too. Gold just doesn’t look right with my skin tone, somehow.

    Lesley – Who’s this “kim” that’s attached herself to you? Is that your other name? I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and that I was able to keep you cool for the upcoming milestone. I love you, too.

  32. I agree that hands hold a special attraction, I don’t have a hand fetish but I think hands are very sexy.

    These hands from you mentioned (the thin fingers):

    I find to be very sexy hands.

    I also like when hands that look long, but are normal sized if you know what I mean.

  33. I have a love/hate relationship my hands…

    I have nice thumbs and index fingers, but the rest of them don’t match.

    I call my ring finger ‘Afro Man’ because the puffy, fat bit after the nail looks like a little afro. It’s like some other random person’s finger and it grosses me out.

    I’m so insecure about them and sometimes I wish I lived in Alaska or somewhere so I could get away with wearing gloves all the time. But that would be weird.