The chic St. Tropez Nail Spa in Fairview offers the standard array of of waxes, facials and manis and pedis you expect from a strip center nail salon but with a special twist. Because not only will the ladies there turn your toenails plaid and your fingernails a tasteful sparkling silver, they'll do so with undertones of casual racism.
At St. Tropez, they go to great lengths to point out that they're Americans, goddammit. They mention this on their website, on their Facebook page, and on a large, red, white, and blue sign: "American owned, American staffed."
The salon's owner, Diana Casey, carefully is cagey in explaining the sign. "This is a business decision," she told WFAA's Steve Stoler. "It's just letting people know I'm American, and I speak English." As opposed to a French Canadian, or a Bulgarian maybe.
But even if Casey won't say it, her customers know what she means. Take this Google review from a month ago:
AMERICAN OWNED!!!!!! That may sound bad to some but those of you out there know why I say this. These people care about what you want. They give you options and do not try to sell you or force you to do something you don't want. They explain things to you.
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Or this Facebook comment: "Please keep your sign up. Don't let the haters get you down. Love of country isn't offensive. God bless!"
Love of country might not be offensive, but not-so-subtle digs at Asian Americans, who dominate the nail industry, are. The owners of neighboring businesses, three of them Asian, get the message. So does Ed Thayer, the adoptive father of four Vietnamese girls, who confronted Casey after noticing the sign.
"I said, 'This sign here implies that the other salons around here that are owned by Asian-Americans are less American than you,'" Thayer told WFAA.
Casey swears she never meant to offend anyone. She's keeping the sign up.