Nail Art as Activism
This story was produced as part of a content partnership with The Daily Beast.
Last May, at a high school in a small town just north of Winnipeg, Canada, a teenage girl came out as gay. When a group of bullies began taunting her, calling her “weird,” 20 students came to her defense. “We all decided to paint our nails rainbow to show our support,” says Nikki, 14. “We told the people bullying her that it’s so mean and wrong.”
Now, every month, Nikki and her friends continue to paint their nails rainbow as a show of solidarity. When other students have come out as gay, they know they’ve got a gang of defenders to back them up. “We’re like a big support group,” Nikki says.
Remember when neon nails were all the rage, plastered on the pages of every fashion glossy? Back then, it may have been little more than a chic fashion accessory. And yet today, the idea of intricate, complex, even meaningful nail art has taken on a life of its own.