awkward moments in social media

Orly Could Have Photographed Their 12 Years a Slave Nail Art a Little More Sensitively

A few days ago, nail-polish-maker Orly began posting images of manicures “inspired” by each of this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees. Of course, some of the contenders are easier to depict in a nail-art form than others — the American Hustle and Gravity looks are much more fun than the one for Philomena — but Steve McQueen’s brutal 12 Years a Slave obviously presented the biggest challenge. Orly did a fine job with the manicure itself, which just consists of the title and an image of a broken chain, but the decision to photograph the hand model holding a bottle of brown polish wasn’t the most sensitive way to honor a film about the ugliest moments of America’s long history of racism. In response to one Instagram commenter’s complaint about the color choice, Orly explained that the shade was used to do some very minor accents on the manicure, but one has to look at the photograph pretty hard to see them. It seems clear that the bright red they used for the lettering would have been a much better choice.

Orly’s 12 Years a Slave Misses the Point