It's Official: Nail Art Is Being Taken Over By White Women

Photo: iStock

Black people can’t have anything.

I have no problem with white women getting a french manicure or maybe one finger of sparkly polish on their nails, but they’ve been gentrifying nail art long enough.


Their latest discovery? “Nail sculptures.”

What is a nail sculpture? To us black folks, it’s just jewels and embellishments on our nails. But while I’ve seen my mom and auntie wearing long, jeweled nails for years, as usual, white women think they’re starting something new.

Actress Tisha Campbell-Martin (details of the nails) attends The 2016 Disney ABC Television Group TCA Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California, on August 4, 2016.
Photo: VALERIE MACON (Getty Images)

But we grew up in this game, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to afford my nail obsession. Every two weeks or so, I get a refill on my acrylics, and if I’m really ballin’ I’ll get a design or some other fancy ‘ish such as this:


Aside from regular, shmegular, degular black girls, celebs like Cardi B have been rocking these for years. But when Kylie Jenner and her clan of sisters do the same, it’s like a new invention. I’m not hating on Kylie’s nails—I actually think they’re bomb. I just want to know why the white media acts like she is the originator of all things beauty.


For instance, last year Vogue referred to elaborate nail art as “manicure sculptures,” praising some nail tech for creating these amazing creations and charging $300 (I’ve never paid $300 for my nails, ever). Meanwhile, in a recent Elle slideshow on nail art, most of the nails featured were on—you guessed it—white women. And as usual, black readers immediately checked them.


The latest white woman-endorsed nail trend? “Jelly Nails.” Although the trend hasn’t been around as long as airbrushing, I saw them at least two years ago at my local nail salon. But of course, when ABC recently featured them, they gave credit to the look going viral after Kylie posted hers. Once again, this is not new; when I asked for it pre-Kylie, they just called it “glass nails.”


Maybe instead of just side-eyeing white women when they began airbrushing and getting acrylics, we should’ve shut this down—because this is the last straw.

Meanwhile, I thought white women only liked nude nails (their nude, obviously).

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About the author

Montana Couser

Montana Couser is a recent Howard University grad and Philly native.