In the wake of the horrific Brooklyn nail salon brawl , many in the Black community are debating if it’s ever okay to frequent Asian-owned nail salons. On one side are the women who strongly believe that we should support Black-owned nail salons with our dollars, while others don’t really see the harm in getting a quick mani-pedi from their neighborhood spot regardless of who owns it.
While the Internet can be a rather polarizing place where people aren’t afraid to draw unforgiving lines, we spoke with two ESSENCE staffers who have different points of view on the subject. Keep scrolling for their takes.
Elsa Mehary, Contributing Art Director
“As a creative, I am very DIY and frequently do my own mani-pedis. I use my hands a lot in the metal shop or on the computer and [when I’m] creating, so polish doesn’t last long, and gel nails is a definite no. In Fort Greene before extreme gentrification, a friend had a Black-owned salon that I supported.
However, after the attack on those Black women in Brooklyn, I will likely only seek out Black-owned salons if I absolutely need to go. It’s the principle. I don’t feel like they respect us as a group when we are the most consistent group supporting them. I do know I am in the minority, as pretty much all of my friends get their nails done at these salons. I will not be there with them.”
Siraad Dirshe, Beauty Editor
“Trust me, I fully believe and live by the adage ‘FUBU—for us, by us.’ And I do make it a point to support and seek out Black-owned businesses whenever I can. However, when it comes to my nails, I typically only get them done when I’m short on time, and the most convenient options in my neighborhood are the Asian-owned salons. I’m not really loyal to a particular one and typically go for the closest and cheapest place. When I have a bit more time on my hands, there are a few Black-owned nail salons in my area that I do try to go to.
After seeing this most recent event, however, it does make me think twice about spending my money in one of these salons, and it makes me want to (finally!) get better at doing my own nails.”
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