It's a fad that seems tailor-made for jokes about stupid city-slickers: sophisticated ladies are paying good money to put their feet in a water tank and let fish suck off their dead skin. It's long been popular in Asia, and now the process is catching on in New York, where beauty parlors like Ritz Nails in Astoria have charged customers $50 for the privilege of feeding carp with their feet. It seems like a win-win for everyone involved, but Senator Jeff Klein wants to ban the practice! That's too bad, because as this video shows, Post reporter Jennifer Fermino has a lot of dead skin and could feed thousands of hungry fish. (We called Ritz Nails and the owner told us that since the Post story broke, he's no longer doing the carp pedicure, because, "I don't want to be famous.")
The process uses a species of toothless miniature carp, named Garra rufa, that is native to hot springs in Turkey. Proponents say the fish have magical healing qualities, but 14 states have banned the treatment because allowing fish to feast on feet in tubs of open water is supposedly unsanitary. A spokesman for the Department of State, which regulates beauty salons, tells the Post, "This may already be something that's not allowed under a current law."
But Klein isn't taking any chances with his constituents feet, and is introducing legislation this week, vowing, "Once we shed some light on this dirty little process, more people will avoid it and we can ban it."