Queer manicures, a.k.a. lesbian manicures, are on the rise

When I saw someone doing long almond gel nails with extremely short index and middle fingers on one hand, I was intrigued. My first thought was, “Oooh, love it. ” My second thought, “Hmm, only two?”

This classy lady with eye-catching looks is having an affair with another woman. Her nails – done in a gender-friendly manicure style commonly known as freak manicure, lesbian manicure or femme-icure/femmicure – feels sophisticated and loud at the same time, with a strong “if you know, you know” energy.

Mina Quarterman, a famous Los Angeles-based comedian and actress, whose hands are often front and center in her work, said: “I think lesbian or gay women, we are. We tend to look at the hand immediately.

After Quarterman, who professionally travels with Mina Q, saw a friend’s short/long combo in 2021, she went to a beauty parlor to do her own version of the increasingly popular set of photos. variable — which she and her friends now call “leisure lesbians. ”

A woman showing off her nails.

Laurina Sacchetti with a new manicure by celebrity manicurist Natalie Minerva.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Manicure with short and long nails.

Weird nails as seen on Laurina Sacchetti.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

After exchanging jokes with his girlfriends during their joint date (“You’ll have my hysterectomy with those”) and answering a few perplexing questions from the manicurist, Quarterman rejoices. left the store with lilac nails. Her index and ring fingers on both hands have no extensions, but as she notes in a TikTok videoyou may also want to ignore the extension on your thumb, *wink wink. *

Scanning someone’s fingernails isn’t just about judging whether that person is gay or not, Quarterman said. Hands have long been a hot commodity.

“Women can look at a guy in gray sweatpants and be like, ‘What is he doing?’ Are you looking at their hands like, ‘Are they longer, thinner? Thicker? Shorter?’ Then it was like, ‘A nail for what?’ I’ve talked to a lot of lesbians about this,” Quarterman said. “We don’t just look at your face. We want to know how you feel about your whole body.”

Despite the overwhelming narrative that gay women must have short fingernails (remember that “L Word” scene?), you can actually be gay as hell with a Cardi B- esque or whatever you want. There is no mandatory checklist, cookie-cutting style or way of being that qualifies you to be truly likable. Just as other parts of you can take shape in many ways, so can weirdness.

Kinsey Clarke, a nail enthusiast, highlights an important point in Canadian culture Outbreak: What is considered by many to be mainstream gay culture (Read: White-focused) is translated differently in black gay communities as well as in other communities of color. For Clarke, there was never a tension between her long acrylic sheets, or “straps,” as some Black lesbians affectionately call them, and her sexuality.

Instead, long nails allowed Clarke to participate a cherished beauty ritual at the same time affirming the femininity of the black lesbian. While what pleases her the most is rocking whatever resonates with her – short, long, acrylics, natural, a freakish set of nails – and still being unconstrained by a perception of how a Lesbian women “should present”.

“There’s this weight on the shoulders of a lot of gay and lesbian women to look a certain way, to have their nails a certain way, and I think that’s awful. —. Do what you want, girl. Do your nails the way you want,” Clarke says.

Clarke says: If you’re worried about your nails being “too long” or uncomfortable for a potential mate, there are options – like clipping them, putting cotton balls under the nails, using rubber or gloves. sterile hands for sex, Clarke said. “There are many ways to have cake and eat it at the same time.”

Nail designs in the studio of a manicurist.

Nail designs in the home studio of celebrity manicurist Natalie Minerva.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

For some, the anxiety of being read as gay can be really upsetting when coming out about their gender for the first time – a challenge that Clarke herself went through. “In my experience, that went away the longer I was out. I always like to say, ‘What people think of me is none of my business.’

Alyssa Blake Nader, aka @daddydoesnailsa whimsical nail artist who works in Los Angeles and Oakland, says regular clients feel comfortable connecting and having a manicure session led by someone who understands the exotic culture and journeys through the world. Life experience.

“I’ve had people directly say, ‘I want to do’ [my] fingernails to explore my weirdness and gender identity. I’m so glad I found you,” Nader said.

A first time client, who recently got the hang of being weird and not being a binary, had never explored false nails and nail art due to being socialized like a man and feeling It seems like it’s over the limit.

“They did [at the nail appointment] to their friend and start crying, like, ‘Can I have nails? And can I have glitter? ‘” Nader talks about the light bulb moment. “I did their nails, and they were happy and grateful when it was confirmed.

“I think, for a variety of reasons, people deny it themselves. One is because they are accepting themselves. It really grabs attention, so they went to a place with their weirdness and gender expression, where they felt comfortable receiving that attention. “

Some people may not allow themselves to enjoy manicure and express themselves in that form because they see manicure as feminine, Nader says. They might think, “That doesn’t match my gender suppose to have” and “People will think of me a certain way – about how our looks affect the way we look. “Those sentiments can direct the person toward socially acceptable repression and away from fulfilling discovery and validation.

Other clients have enjoyed the nail art and whimsical manicure as a form of purposeful flagging, Nader adds. Then there are those who simply get nails that make them feel good. For example, someone might be “transmasculine” and know that having nails doesn’t make them any less masculine or feminine – it has nothing to do with that. It’s like, “This is just me.”

A manicurist works on nails.

Celebrity manicurist Natalie Minerva does Laurina Sacchetti’s nails.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Natalie Minerva, a celebrity nail artist and manicurist for HBO’s hit “Euphoria,” believes that a conscious effort to be as warm and welcoming as possible will go a long way. .

“It’s always been my routine, no matter what. Minerva, who started doing nails 11 years ago, says anyone can get a manicure. “You shouldn’t feel weird or bad or different just because you want to [a particular style], no matter if you’re straight, gay, anything in between. You will be able to get the nails you want, just because you feel like it and it makes you feel good.”

Minerva did the nails for stars like Barbie Ferreira, to the satisfaction of her Instagram followers. Exciting comments like “gay rights!” and “two shorter ones tho 👀” rolls in whenever Ferreira shows up on Minerva’s feed dressed up nails. Minerva says that nail art is becoming more personal and meaningful.

“Nail art is like wearable art. It’s like a tattoo, except the great part is that it changes with who you are,” Minerva added. “You can constantly update it. That’s really a beautiful part of it – it’s always changing with your style, your preferences, and what you define.”

https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2022-06-22/what-is-a-queer-manicure-lesbian-manicure Queer manicures, a.k.a. lesbian manicures, are on the rise

Russell Falcon

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