Style magazines are supposed to be the leader of all things fashion and beauty, so it's a little concerning that so many of them continue to be SUPER late on styles that come from people of color. 

Black Twitter has dragged Vogue all the way to hell on Twitter for an ill-advised story that paints "extreme nail art" and "manicure sculptures" as a hot new beauty phenomenon... despite the fact that Black women have been wearing their nails like this forEVER.

"'Manicure sculptures" are the most extreme nail art yet" Vogue titled an article about manicurist Sarah Nguyen's gorgeous 3D nail art. 

Nguyen's work *is* incredibly gorgeous, and no one was dragging her for the lovely bejeweled magic she made with these acrylic nails. 

The problem is that Vogue — a magazine that is supposed to be the leading voice in fashion and beauty — is celebrating Nguyen's work as if she's just created something nobody has seen before. 

"While the bare nails dominating spring runways call for a polish detox... manicure whiz Sarah Nguyen is taking the world of nail art to new maximalist heights."

New? Oh.

The truth? Black women have been wearing their nails like this forever — except when Black girls have done it, these nails are called "inappropriate" and "ghetto."

Black and brown girls wear their nails like this to prom, for weddings, and yes — for regular degular slayage.

We never had special terms for these elaborate manicures.

They're just nails. Bling bling, if you will.

Twitter was quick to call Vogue out for considering these nails a new trend. 

'Ya'll calling Black people ghetto for having anything other than a plain color on their hands but when the hands are white it's "manicure sculptures" ... Lmao trash," one user wrote. "The hood been doing long nails jewels and creations since the dawn of time. Catch the fuck up."


People are tired of mainstream publications stumbling upon old trends and crediting other cultures. It sends the message that when Black people create trends, they aren't good enough. 

"I wanna know how many times Black girls had these 'manicure sculptures' and were called ghetto or ratchet for it," another user wrote. "Ghetto is nothing but creativity that hasn't been stolen yet." 

Go to any predominantly Black and brown neighborhood near you and stop in any nail salon on any block. 

I recommend a Saturday afternoon. 

Every seat will be full and every other pair of brown hands in there will be getting a style like the "manicure sculptures" Vogue thinks are so new. Samples of these nails will be hanging on the walls for the neighborhood people to pick from — but nail techs don't even have to ask what their clients want because they're regulars.

Be warned though: If you go during prom season or any major holiday, then the wait time is unforgiving. Most people bring a charger and a snack from the corner store.

Everyone knows the routine because it's as old as sneakers.

In fact, one of 2017's biggest breakout stars is an Afro-Latina who grew up following this exact same routine: Belcalis Almanzar, better known as Cardi B.

Cardi B is known for wearing her nails in a variety of embellished styles and she still goes to the same nail tech who did her nails before the money and fame: Jenny Queen of Bling in the Bronx. 

Cardi's worn her nails with huge jewels, glow in the dark nail polish, and even with mini portraits of her famous fiancé's paparazzi shots in them. 

Aside from a brief mention, Vogue — the biggest style and beauty magazine in the world — has never covered her nails. 


Instead, Cardi B has been asked to change her nails to make them more appropriate for her elevated financial status and popularity. Watch her set the record straight about what she plans to do with her manicures from now on:

"That will never fucking happen sweetheart" she said. "No matter how much money I make. No matter where I am in life. I love my nails like this."

It's simple: The fashion and beauty industry needs to grow up. Vogue needs to grow up. Mainstream culture needs to grow up.

photo: Giphy

White people did not invent everything and shouldn't be the only measure of what's cool and trendy. Black people have an innovative culture and we have set way more trends in motion than mainstream publications like to give us credit for. 

Yes, stuff like this matters because it's not only about nails. Black people are often treated like second-class citizens in every possible area. Small things like creative freedom and credit matter because they work to show *everyone* that Black people make valuable contributions to the world. 

It's a new year. This is the perfect time for publications to do better.