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Polished (Revisited): Podcast Transcript

Anita Rao
Happy July y’all! It is so so so hot in North Carolina right now. And I’m remembering what I re-learn every single summer: that unless my body is inside water - a pool, an ocean - I pretty much need to be indoors. So today, we are sharing a show about one of my favorite inside leisure activities: getting my nails done. I talk with my very own favorite nail technician, but, like we do on Embodied, we also go deep. We talk about culture, history, politics and explore the question: why do we care so much about our nails? Happy listening!

My manicure habit began in earnest when I was a young journalist living in New York City. I did not have much disposable income, but for the first time in my life that wasn't a barrier to getting my nails done. The average price of a manicure in the city in 2012 was $10, and nail salons were everywhere. I grew attached to particular spaces, specific nail technicians and became literate in nail polish brands and colors. A recurring favorite of mine was a cheekily named Essie nail polish — "Bikini So Teeny" — a sky blue color that I still love today.

I fell out of the nail care habits somewhat when I moved back to North Carolina. I no longer had a walking lifestyle where I could pop in for a quick manicure en route home. So getting my nails done became more of an event. In the past few years, I've hopped around different nail salons trying to find a good fit. And finally, a few months ago, I found someone whose style and approach has drawn me back in. She's made me appreciate the finesse of nail care...and think more critically about my role in the industry as a consumer. She's shown me that a manicure can be art and power.

This is Embodied. I'm Anita Rao.

Crystal Sanders
Being in the service industry, you have to understand how people feel. Especially as it pertains to their hands. It's one of the first things we look at. When we meet somebody we shake their hand, and [their] eyes immediately go down to your hands. So not only do the nails bring out our personality, it also just makes us feel beautiful as if we were wearing our outfits.

Anita Rao
That's Crystal Sanders, the owner of Chrissy Shined Nails, and my personal favorite nail technician. I learned about her through word of mouth and spent months ogling at her work on Instagram. I finally got my nails done by her earlier this year. And even before I walked into her office, I could tell that this was something different. First of all, I had never had a nail appointment before that was slated for an hour and a half. And Crystal was super upfront about her business philosophy. No last second cancellations or repeated no shows. If you want to be my client you should understand that this is a relationship, not a transaction. So we've got to both respect one another's time.

Crystal Sanders
A lot of the philosophy comes from, I think, just experience from my mother who is also a hair salon owner, other friends that I have who are entrepreneurs as well and hearing about their stories and the difficulties as it pertains to dealing with people and being a person in the service industry. So a lot of the philosophy surrounds myself and my business, protecting me, but also ensuring that I'm going to be happy doing this job.

Anita Rao
So, you mentioned growing up seeing your mom as a business woman. What stories did you learn about Black women's relationship with her nails? And how did those stories influence how you approach the work that you do?

Crystal Sanders
A lot of the Black women that I've seen, my mom, my grandma, my aunts, my cousins — the nail salon was sort of like a place like the barber salon. Just like the hair salon. You go there and you talk to your nail tech, but it's just a place of relaxation and self care. And so that's always been just the thing that has been prevalent in my mind, although I was an athlete, so I did not start doing my nails until after college. But even then, I think I've seen just in our culture of Black women, how important getting your nails done is to us. And how it can bring you together as a sisterhood.

Anita Rao
The concept of a nail salon as a gathering place outside the home has been around since the late 1800s. But you likely won't be surprised to know that the history of nail art goes back way longer than that. Here's fashion historian Suzanne E. Shapiro.

Suzanne E. Shapiro
There's evidence of like hennaed nails on Ancient Egyptian mummies in lands where the henna plant grows native, their traditions of using henna to stain the nails and fingertips. Of course that still happens today. And also, even part of the traditional Korean beauty practice of staining the nails with balsam flowers. But one thing, you know, that's always been kind of at the core of the manicure is just, you know, coloring is impermanent. It goes away and that's often a virtue.

Anita Rao
Suzanne authored the 2014 book "Nails: Story of the Modern Manicure," and the fun facts in it are truly endless. Suzanne's journey into this work started when she was in graduate school for costume studies at NYU. She was interested in the idea of fashion that draws folks from all walks of life and thought that nails were an interesting case study. She began her research by wandering the streets of New York City with a tape recorder, asking people how they felt about their nails.

Suzanne E. Shapiro
People maybe thought it was a little — a little unusual. But then I think they realized it was like a question they've always wanted to be asked of like, "How do you feel about your nails?" And everyone had some relationship towards it. Sometimes that had to do with a special time in their life, when they started going to the salon as a ritual with a loved one. Sometimes it meant they had a new job. Sometimes there was a story about maybe even immigrating. And many times it was just kind of a personal rebirth or a discovery, and something that felt very special to them.

Anita Rao
There is such an interesting relationship between what's happening in history, in the economy, in society and what's happening with nail art and manicures. You write about a lot of different examples in your book. But I'd love to know maybe one or two that stand out to you. That really show the relationship between what's happening in the nail salon and what's happening in the world outside it.

Suzanne E. Shapiro
Yeah, I mean, that's the thing is when the manicure first caught on in the 1920s and 30s, it was a radical gesture. It was actually more of like radical feminists, and, you know, working class women that were just being assertive with their own sense of style and challenging some of the taboos that were in place. And so red nails, you know, were — were certainly kind of the most common style statement. But would you believe that actually, colors like black and pearl and green and violet, were actually available in the early 1930s? Maybe not widely, but it was, you know, it was just a way to, you know, play with some of these sort of beauty standards, maybe even match your whole ensemble. And also, at the time really kind of challenged the economic climate of what was going on. Hollywood really disseminated the painted manicure. And here's a way that, for only a few cents a bottle, a working class woman that wasn't, you know, fully, you know, compromised by the Great Depression, she could appropriate that sort of sense of Hollywood style and make it her own and have that moment for herself when she was making so many other sacrifices in her life. Things got a little bit more conformist through the mid-century, when it was less of a radical gesture and more of just like a, you know, well-put-together woman's toolkit. But still, I mean, it gave a lot of people great amounts of pleasure to just renew your sort of sense of style and your look through something as simple as a bottle of nail polish in the latest colors.

Anita Rao
So, like a lot of the beauty practices we've talked about before on the show, there is not one particular origin story for the manicure as we know it. But I want to go back a moment in history to the late 1800s when the first American manicure parlor was opened in New York City. Because there's a great story behind the woman who opened it, Mary Cobb. Tell us about her and how she came to open the first salon.

Suzanne E. Shapiro
Yeah, thanks for asking about Mary Cobb. I think she's an incredible and mostly unsung character in history. Manicuring as a service, it actually kind of started up in Paris in the 1870s. And actually the salon industry, it would have been fairly similar to what it was like today. It was both men and women that would have gone up to the manicurist's chair, and some of the rituals were very similar to what we'd expect today of just kind of soaking and buffing and filing. And this was covered in women's magazines at the time, these late 19th century magazines. And they — which they said, "When are we going to get this in the United States?" And fortunately, Mary Cobb answered that call. She had been the wife of a podiatrist and they had a practice together. However, she was an incredibly independent woman, was able to divorce him — he apparently had been an abusive spouse — and she regained her maiden name, took hold of the family business and she opened the first American manicure parlor on West 23rd Street in Manhattan in 1878. It was a really beautiful environment that she aspired to give her clients a sociable and genteel place where they could come take a break, get their nails done and she even marketed a line of nail care products. So yeah, an incredibly independent woman and entrepreneur that, you know, deserves a lot of credit.

Anita Rao
There are so many interesting entrepreneurs that have really shaped the industry, and one of those is the person behind that nail polish brand that I mentioned earlier at the top, Essie. And they are known for naming their colors in a really coy way. I mentioned the "Teeny Bikini" but there's another particular one that they released at one point that was so controversial that they had to rename it for certain markets. So, talk to me about Essie and some of their coy nail colors.

Suzanne E. Shapiro
I believe the one you're talking about is Essie's "After Sex." I don't know exactly about how it was distributed, or which markets was renamed for but apparently it did ruffle some feathers. But she's always given her polishes a lot of cheeky names. OPI is a brand [that] also has a lot of cheeky names. I don't know, one that comes to mind is "I'm Not Really a Waitress." It's one of the classic colors. Actually, there was a movie in 1939 called "The Women," and in it the color "Jungle Red" has this narrative function.

The Women Excerpt
"Go to sleep darling."

"Are you going to get dressed mother?"

"Yes, Mary."

"You forgot you were invited to a party?"

"Almost."

"Are you ill dear? I heard you ring."

"I've never felt better in my life."

"Ha, ha. I've had two years to grow claws, Mother. Jungle red."

Suzanne E. Shapiro
This kind of circle of friends all dealing with their own personal drama. They wear the color "Jungle Red", and they bond over that. So I love that you're seeing that celebrated in film as early as 1939. But really, I think from the beginning, color names have often been aspirational. I mean, even in 30s, instead of just calling something basic red, I mean, it would be "Paris Red." Because, I mean, who didn't want to align oneself with like the fashion capital of the world at the time? So that's always been a fun connection with nail color as well.

Anita Rao
That conventional nail polish that you buy at the drugstore today has a truly surprising origin story. The chemical compound at its core, nitrocellulose, was first developed as a military explosive. That chemical was then used to make durable shiny automobile paint, before folks got the idea to turn it into small bottles of substance to color your fingertips. The company Revlon that's still around today was not the first nail polish company of its time, but it did become immensely popular in the 1930s. By offering opaque polishes in a variety of shades and colors, their products brought nail polish to the masses. And since then, there have been some shades that reached super fame. Like the dark blood red Chanel color "Vamp," originally known as "Rouge Noir," which sold out immediately when it was released in the early 1990s. There's actually a whole corner of the internet dedicated to this color, competing theories about its origin story and history. I'm not going to get that deep into it. But if you happen to have an original "Vamp" bottle on your nightstand, DM me.

Náosha
For me, getting my nails done is a way of expression. Sometimes I can't wear the outfits or put on the makeup to express how I feel. But when I get to do it on my nails, it's an extension of me.

Megan
Nail art is a form of freedom and self-expression. My illness gives me the ugliest colored nails in the whole world. They're like a mix between purple and orange. But doing nail art and being able to express my creativity and hide that piece of my illness, like, it doesn't look how my illness wants it to look, my nails look how I want them to look.

Mimi D
I am a licensed manicurist of 19 years. Servicing a client who rarely does any color, definitely doesn't do any nail art and you finally get them to let you do just some small art on one of their fingers. Watching how they become obsessed with nail art. It just starts with one and allowing them to just express themselves. I love seeing that.

Reign
I gave this woman a manicure, I changed the shape of her nails and it transformed her. And when I was done with her manicure, she looked down and she just was in shock and she couldn't believe that I was able to make her nails look like she had always wanted them to look without her having to say a word. And it really made me feel as though I had an impact on someone. And it just changed their entire day

Anita Rao
Two of those voices you just heard are nail artists Mimi D and Reign. They're creators of some gorgeous nail art. Like a whole mountain sunset scene on a tiny fingernail. So how do we get from single color glossy fingertips to the iconic nail art we see today? The story is part technology — like acrylic nails, which were invented by a father-son dentist duo in the 1950s and early 60s — and part innovation, which was driven in large part by women of color, who were the biggest early adopters of novelty nail art starting in the 1970s and 80s.

Crystal Sanders
Well, immediately I can think of Flo Jo.

Anita Rao
That's nail artist Crystal Sanders again. She's talking about Florence Griffith Joyner, a runner who still holds a world record for the 100 meter race. Florence worked in a nail salon part time while training for the 1988 Olympics and competed wearing red, white and blue acrylics.

Crystal Sanders
They only talked about her nails.

Anita Rao
Exactly.

Crystal Sanders
And if we compare it to today, Sha'Carri Richardson. I mean, she is a great track and field runner. The only thing people notice about her is the long nails. And so I think that has definitely stuck out to me because, for us, long nails are a significance of beauty in our culture. Whether you are in a white collar or blue collar, we have long nails on our women. And at every level, of course, color, art and length signify status as well. But I think for me seeing that as a young child, of course, there were certain colors that I could not wear, but I wanted all of the things. We used to get little press ons that you get in the little manicure kits and do everything, Click Clack-y, stuff like that. But after a time it became, "You don't want to do that, because it's going to make you seem a certain way when you go out there into the world and start getting into the workforce."

Anita Rao
It's so interesting how these things are policed and these rules are written. Because you mentioned Flo Jo, obviously the, you know, still holds the 100 meter world record, incredible athlete. But was talked about mostly in the press for her nails. I think when you Google, like, long nail history, or origin, or something, it's the Kardashians that come up. Not these incredible Black women who really pioneered this art form. So talk to me about that, and the ways that Black women have been erased in a lot of ways from the history of nail art in this country.

Crystal Sanders
Essentially, it's just a co-opt of our culture. Of course, now we're seeing with the Kardashians, and on runways, and Fashion Week, all of these long, extra long nails with all the nail art and it's edgy, and it's cool, it's trendy. But then you just take it back to our culture. We have Meg Thee Stallion, we have Cardi B. When they have their nails on it's ghetto, it's trashy, it's, you know, Back women not being professional. And for me, it's like, but how come Cardi B can't show her fashion through her nails? She grew up in New York, a class system, so I'm pretty sure she's had nail salons on every single corner that she's ever been to. Probably started getting her nails done at 10 years old. And then she was an exotic dancer. And that's one of the ways that, you know, they flaunt their stuff, is through the nails. They're alluring. You bring people in with them. And so I think for the co-opt of our culture, it's definitely one of the things for me that they try to define Blackness by nail color, but how do you define Blackness by nails? Blackness is a spectrum, it is not simply just through our nails.

Anita Rao
There is a growing movement of nail artists who are working to re-center Black folks in the nail art conversation and document their contributions to the industry. The Instagram account Blkgirlnailfies is a great place to start connecting with some of those artists. And we'll link some other resources in the show notes of today's episode. For however much I'm a big fan of getting my nails done and supporting the work of nail artists, I've also tried to keep my eyes wide open about the economic realities of this field and the implications of doing this work on the health of nail technicians. I moved away from New York in 2014. And just one year later, there was a huge two-part New York Times expose on nail salons throughout the city. Through interviews with more than 150 nail salon workers, reporter Sarah Maslin Nir found out that the vast majority were paid below minimum wage, frequently experienced abuse from employers and were potentially putting their lives at risk through exposure to chemicals that can cause respiratory and skin issues — among other things. Suzanne had also read this two-part series, and I asked her for her thoughts.

Suzanne E. Shapiro
Yeah, I mean, to this point we haven't yet talked that much about the incredible contributions of Asian American entrepreneurs who really revolutionized the salon industry from the 1980s on. What these lower price salons did is they made a special occasion luxury attainable to many more and on a regular basis. Just driving down those prices through competition. And also just what were simple, kind of like, time-saving fixes. So, many, many more people and including working class people could make it a beauty basic. So yeah, I really appreciated how Sarah Maslin Nir, she investigated these working conditions. I mean, really, this told the public what should have been more apparent to them in the first place that if you're paying $10 for a manicure, something there is wrong. Somebody is getting exploited. So, you know, I think we should all be willing to pay more for the luxury and not forget who's doing it.

And I remember when the piece came out. I mean, my book had already been out at that point. And a couple of people came to me and said, "Oh, no, are you nervous that like your beloved manicure is getting this kind of negative attention?" I said, "Absolutely not. This is really and truly important. This is not going to stop, you know, people getting manicures. But maybe it will educate them and hopefully create needed change in the industry." And I think there have been increased regulations. Prices have gone up in general. I think also with the rise of nail art and different gel systems, people have been seeking kind of higher end services, which necessarily take more time and cost more money. I don't necessarily have the familiarity with the kind of business enough to know how much of that does trickle down to the workers. But we're seeing it again, as a little bit more of a luxury experience that people are willing to pay a little bit more money for, and not necessarily have this most baseline treatment that they come in every two weeks for.

Anita Rao
Crystal, I want to ask you about that from both sides. Both from the aspect of chemicals in the products that you're using and how you protect your own health, and as a business owner. What you think about kind of the state of the industry and how its regulated?

Crystal Sanders
Well, firstly, that's what makes gel nails different. The type of gels that we use, they're usually less chemicals. They don't take the liquid and the polymer-monomer kind of combo, which creates fumes and excess dust for the workers. And so to minimize on those, yes, I have raised my costs, because of the products that I'm using are more expensive. The cleanliness of my salon also is paramount to me providing you that service. And so then you kind of go into the regular nail salons, where they do charge cheaper prices. And again, people are being exploited. But essentially what we have is a system of capitalism. And so when you have that mindset, the next person lowest down is going to get exploited. The workers just try to get you in and get you out because they have to do so many people in a day to just make a dollar.

Leslie
I have had a very long journey with nail care that began during summers with my grandmother. And my grandmother was a beautiful woman who really cared a lot about her appearance. She would get to paint her nails this beautiful bright red and we would get, like, a clear color like a light pink or something that was a little bit more neutral. Once I got to a space of, like, being able to choose my own colors, of course red was the forbidden color that I went to first. Part of nail art is in some ways ancestral. It's something that I continue. I even like keep my nails the same shape as my grandmother did, in, like, a sort of almond pointy shape. She used to say she did that to make her hands look larger because she was a smaller woman and wanted to be able to take up space, and in different ways besides just her height.

Crystal
I grew up in the 90s. And I'd get my nails done at my mother's salon in southeast Raleigh. I admired a nail tech there and I wanted to be like her and the women she served. When I graduated college, a short time before the recession, I struggled to find work that would let me be creative and also paid well. Nail art has been a way for me to pay my bills — and also to express myself creatively.

Merissa
Honestly, I don't feel very good anymore in life unless I have nail art, and it completely baffles my mother. She doesn't understand. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel part of something. And when my father was dying, man, I got such good nail art. And they glued all of these objects to the tip of my finger. And while it got in the way it was kind of uncomfortable, it was, like, looking down at my hand I remembered that I cared about a certain thing, which was, like, fabulousness. I just cared about being fabulous. And that's all that mattered. And it helped me through misery, like, just looking at a fabulous set of fabulous fingernails is freaking wonderful.

Anita Rao
The nail salon economy in the U.S. is mostly run by mom and pop operations with a predominantly immigrant and refugee labor force. The Vietnamese community in particular has been shaping the industry since the mid 1970s when hundreds of thousands of refugees settled in the United States. My Ngoc To is a writer whose family story is intimately tied up in this history.

My Ngoc To
We came to Georgia because of my maternal grandfather. He was a boat person who fled Vietnam in the 70s and landed in Atlanta because some Christian missionaries had sponsored him over. And then years later after he started working — first at the airport, just chucking away the, like, solid waste compartments of airplanes — he somehow managed to work for the International Rescue Committee. [He] was very good at his job and then knew all the paperwork, and so [he] was able to sponsor my mom's family over to Atlanta.

Anita Rao
Once My Ngoc's parents arrived in Georgia, they found jobs where they could. Her mom started working as a kitchen assistant in a Marriott Hotel, and her dad worked at a paper factory. But they quickly realized that they weren't making enough money to raise their family. So when their friends and neighbors told them about opportunities in the nail industry, her mom started looking into it.

My Ngoc To
She started studying for her nail license at night in the evenings after her job, and eventually worked at a salon. And then when she was working at a salon too, she was like, "I can't be an employee forever, because of the exploitation that's evident in the field." She wanted to become a nail salon owner. And eventually they saved up enough money to purchase their own nail salon in 1998.

Anita Rao
They eventually opened a second nail salon, and you really grew up in these spaces. Working in a salon was your first job. So talk to me about your relationship with the salons as a kid and the relationships you built with the other people that worked there.

My Ngoc To
I definitely was a nail salon child. It was kind of a substitute for daycare. And so I would just bring books or whatever I had and spend my days kind of swimming back and forth between the front where all the customers are and going to the back. I ate lots of ramen, the employees would always talk to me. It was a warm setting, but also very lonely and isolating at the same time, because there were no other kids there. The kids that I interacted with were the kids who came with customers. And there was always kind of, like, a power imbalance that I wasn't able to name at the time. But I knew that they couldn't just be my friends because they were customers.

Anita Rao
You wrote a really beautiful piece for The Guardian where you describe this tight knit community, but also this whole network within the salon that's really invisible to outsiders. You mentioned a bit about a kitchen. But there's — there's a whole way that this community operates to sustain themselves outside of the salon to be supports to one another. Talk to me a bit about that network that you became privy to and what struck you about it?

My Ngoc To
Yeah, it's kind of a built in kind of, like, antenna among Vietnamese immigrants and refugees to kind of look for community. Even meeting people outside of the grocery store or running into someone at the church or a Buddhist temple and be like, "Oh, what village in Vietnam are you from?" And there's kind of this constant searching for kin or people from your village. And so that's how people find a lot of leads to what nail salon to work at. And that's how a good number of people found their way to work at my parents' nail salons is by word of mouth. At the nail salon there's also, like, it's just a web of, like, oral communication. Like, if there's a sale going on at the grocery store, for example, of, like, shrimp 50% off, people will come up in pairs at a time and just — and just go and get Shrimp on their time off.

Anita Rao
Quick shrimp run. [Laughs]

My Ngoc To
Yeah. So there's a lot of, like, "We're here for each other, and we want the best for each other." It's a very collective mindset.

Anita Rao
I would love for you to take us a little bit into the history of why so many nail salons are owned by Vietnamese immigrants. And the very particular history of the connection between Vietnamese refugees and the nail industry. Talk to us about that and how Hollywood actor Tippi Hedren comes into the story.

My Ngoc To
Yeah, this was a Hollywood actress that in the 70s had a very compassionate heart for all of the Vietnamese refugees that were kind of coming into California. So she asked her manicurist to train about 20 women on how to do manicures, and that was the seed that started it all. From there on, like, I think those initial 20 women began to just keep training other people, and immigrants and refugees were able to start their own salons and then their own line of business products and kind of it was a way to help themselves and also help their community. Like, this is something that we can do. Because it's so hard when you come over when you're in your 30s or your 40s. And you — it's very hard to learn a new language. I think another stream of why this industry exploded so much. It's also this hunger and this thirst for just being able to survive, because the backstory is that even though the U.S. was at war in Vietnam, the name for the U.S. in Vietnamese is "nước Mỹ," which means beautiful country. And so even though all of this stuff was going on, Vietnamese people had held the U.S. in a very beautiful light. And it was very easy for them to just devour that American dream and come here in search of that.

Anita Rao
You mentioned growing up in this space as a kid, and noticing the power dynamics and being aware of just how your community is situated within the broader nail industry, is something that you've thought a lot about over your professional career. I would love to know what your relationship is at this stage of your life with nail salons and with this kind of art form. How are you thinking about it in this phase of your life?

My Ngoc To
Well, me personally, I think I find it funny that I just don't get my nails done anymore. Because I — well, one reason is I started rock climbing. And it just doesn't work to have my nails done, because they just rip off right away. I find myself kind of avoiding nail salons, because I think at the very least, like, I have a lot of emotional baggage around it. They weren't necessarily the most fun places for me to be growing up. And I am also aware of the complicatedness, at least with the nail salons that I've been in that are run by Asian American, Vietnamese immigrants. And I am aware of how my parents owning two nail salons really helped our family gain economic mobility and really allowed me to develop my career in the way that I wanted to. You know, I didn't necessarily have to worry so much about financially supporting my parents along the way. But at the same time, I'm becoming more and more aware of how, I guess because I am a social worker,[Laughs] it also builds that lens of critical awareness in me that, like, a lot of the money that my parents make is off of exploiting contract workers who don't have health insurance, who don't have workers compensation, who don't have protections for their health. And I'm also aware that my parents themselves, like, they're doing the best that they can because it's just a tricky situation. For me, it feels complicated. And I'm glad that I don't have to think about it too much because I don't get my nails done.

Anita Rao
I was so moved by My Ngoc's vulnerability and how she really holds the complexity of it all. More and more nail salon kids of Vietnamese immigrants are beginning to tell their stories and paint a much fuller picture of the history and inner workings of this industry. If you're interested in learning more, I highly recommend the documentary "Nailed It" by filmmaker Adele Free Pham.

One of my favorite things about getting my nails done with Crystal in particular is that we can have a conversation about the heavier stuff like the bleakness of capitalism and the realities of the nail industry, but then pivot to something a little bit lighter. Unsurprisingly, the exact same thing happened when I had her in studio.

Anita Rao
I know that one of your big aspirations is to do Beyoncé's nails. So, in case you're out there hearing this Beyoncé, what do you — what would you like to do? What nail art do you want to do on Beyoncé?

Crystal Sanders
For Beyoncé, since she is having her world tour, everybody's doing shiny things. So maybe, like, some chrome with, like, some, like, 3D gel. I don't know if she has time to get her nails done now. I think she does press ons because she has, like, three kids, especially twins. Being a twin, I know how crazy that is. But honestly, I would just like to do some Beyoncé styled nails, whatever she wants I can do.

Anita Rao
Embodied is a production of North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC, a listener-supported station. If you want to lend your support to this podcast, consider a contribution at wunc.org now.

This episode was produced by Paige Perez and edited by Kaia Findlay. Amanda Magnus is our regular editor, Skylar Chadwick is our intern, Jenni Lawson is our sound engineer. Quilla wrote our theme music.

A special thanks to all the people who contributed to this episode, including Leslie, Mimi D, Crystal, Náosha, Reign, Merissa and Megan. If you have a story to share with us thoughts about a recent episode, or ideas about a topic you want us to cover, leave us a message at our virtual mailbox, SpeakPipe. You can find a link in the show notes of this episode.

Thank you so much for listening to Embodied. And a big special thanks to all of those new folks who found their way to us, we are so happy that you're here. We would love it if you'd spread the word about the show in your own networks. Word of mouth recommendations are the best way to help us grow and your support means a lot.

Until next time, I'm Anita Rao taking on the taboo with you.

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