As companies increasingly find ways to capitalise on what they perceive as a diversity ‘trend’, WAH Nails and The Full Service have come out with a campaign for pride that shows what genuine inclusivity, representation and brand activism looks like – not to mention the magical manicures themselves.
Featuring fierce stills from Vicky Lawton and colourful short films by Jordan Rossi, the ‘Fingers Up’ campaign puts LGBTQ+ creators, activists and performers centre stage and empowers them to tell their own stories. Unlike other corporate pride campaigns that pay vague lip service to free love and equality, WAH and The Full Service haven’t shied away from directly calling out transphobia, dehumanisation and ignorance. For some of those featured in the series, nail art has historically been an act of empowerment and rebellion; trans activist and author Charlie Craggs, one of the faces of the campaign, says that painting her nails has always been an ‘act of defiance’ in the face of haters. Whether it’s self-care, a career or a genuinely risky statement, ‘Fingers Up’ reminds us that something as simple and personal as a manicure can be political for those in the LGBTQ+ community.
It’s no surprise that WAH and The Full Service have come out with such a colourful and powerful message, nor that WAH is choosing to make a material difference by donating 25% of sales generated from their Pride Menu to the London LGBTQ Community Centre: WAH makes no secret of its high proportion of LGBTQ employees, and frequently hosts events for the community. By acknowledging that Pride is ‘more than rainbows and parties’, this collaboration has succeeded in sending out a message of strength, beauty and power – and in making us all want our nails done.