In the 1988 article “Griffith-Joyner Nails 100-Meter Dash Final” the Chicago Tribune reported how Florence Griffith-Joyner (Flo Jo) won Olympic gold as she wore “4-inch, curved, tiger-striped fingernails” one day and a solid fuchsia manicure the next.
More recently, tennis champion Serena Williams’ “outrageous, rule-breaking” manicures enjoyed their own coverage while she won championships as featured in the 2016 Vogue magazine article “6 Times Serena Williams Crushed the Game Day Manicure.”
Originally dismissed as ghetto and trashy, American nail fashion is a textbook example of cultural appropriation. The popular and creative nail designs now considered mainstream were born in the Black community back in the 196o’s and ‘borrowed’ with no acknowledgment of the source.
Check out The History of Acrylics and Appropriation, Essence Magazine’s The Business of Black Beauty and We Need to Talk About Nail Art & Black Culture, for more about blacks in nail care. Preferably while getting your nails ‘did’ at a black nail salon like the ones listed here:
Shine Nails Chicago – since 2004
A Polished Work Nail Spa Lounge – since 2013
Glitter Nail Salon – since 2012
Show some love, and drop a link to your favorite black nail salon on our Instagram page.