Friday, September 21, 2018


No Asian Nail Shops for Me.

May 25, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThySistas.comWhile visiting a friend in Houston I we decided to have a girls day which included a mani & pedi. I was excited to spend some time with my friend and her sisters. I realized I needed to enjoy some positive sister energy. What was supposed to be a relaxing moment turned into a negative experience once we got to the nail shop. When we got there was another sister there getting serviced as we were directed to the spa chairs to get a pedicure. The sister was pleasant and spoke. All of us began having a good conversation. While this woman’s feet were being worked on the nail techs began to converse in their native language, little did they know one of us understood, and the subject was the woman’s feet. They had rather humiliating things to say about her, and little did they know she is a cancer survivor.

We looked at each other as we watched the woman understand somehow that maybe they were making fun of her. This sister looked ashamed, and embarrassed. It wasn’t long before the foreign conversation switch to me. The scar I have on my foot from an accident was a chuckling moment. We politely got up to leave asking what we owed since the service was not complete. My friends’ sister informed the lady that she spoke their language and the mocking was humiliating and wrong. We left and tried to enjoy the rest of our day, but that experience stayed with me.

I returned to New Orleans and back to my normal nail shop. I was never happier to see sisters in this capacity. I know every Asian owned nail shop does not operate in this manner. However, I admit it made me reflect about how there are race issues within the group that is People of Color. Black people are often treated like everything is about race, as if we are over sensitive. Yet, we understand that the way white supremacy sees us is also how we are presented to many other groups. It angered me that that sister was mocked after having endured so much with cancer. She couldn’t have a pedicure without being made to feel abnormal. Hair, nails, pedicures these were areas that a woman could enter to pick herself up no matter what is going on in her life.

I appreciate being able to go to my black owned nail shop, that is clean, peaceful, and the energy is great. I know the women here, and I my scars are not looked at and mocked…instead they help me remember I’m still beautiful. We need more black nail shops where sisters can have a space where they have value. There are too many minorities that set up shop in our communities, but don’t value us as people. No one should have to be subjected to what I experienced, and then pay money after said treatment. If I’m not at home or don’t have access to a black nail shop I won’t be going. I want to spend my money in a place that will celebrate who I am.

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.


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