Nailed It
Amandla Stenberg's 'Bodies Bodies Bodies' Manicure Had A Special Hidden Meaning

The Hidden Meaning Behind Amandla Stenberg's Bodies Bodies Bodies Manicure

Hint: It was a subtle nod to their character's sexuality.


The #spookySZN vibes have come early this year, because Bodies Bodies Bodies has taken over as the hot (slasher) movie of the summer. The whodunit flick stars Amandla Stenberg, Pete Davidson, and Lee Pace among a cast of characters, all of whom could be the murderer. While you’re busy trying to guess who’s behind the tragic events, there’s one super sweet detail you probably missed: Amandla Stenberg’s Bodies Bodies Bodies nails were apparently a nod to their character’s queer identity, and it’s so subtle and well done, you’ll want to copy the look immediately.

Bodies Bodies Bodies is all about the details. As a group of wealthy friends embark on a bloody hunt to discover who the murderer is among them amid what was supposed to be an innocent game, there are plenty of red herrings, twists, and turns. Meanwhile, many clues in the background guide you to the murderer and make it impossible to guess who could be the mastermind behind all this gore. That attention to detail also carried over to the costume and makeup designs. There was even a reason behind which tattoos of Davidson’s the movie kept and which were covered up. However, the smallest detail with some of the deepest, most real meaning is Stenberg’s manicure.

The Inspiration Behind Amandla Stenberg’s Bodies Bodies Bodies Nails

If you haven’t seen the film yet, don’t worry, there aren’t any serious spoilers ahead. The movie starts with Sophie, a wealthy girl played by Stenberg, bringing her girlfriend, Bee (Maria Bakalova), to a hurricane party at one of her childhood friends’ mansions. The design for her nails came from the same place yours does: a Google search.

“This is a Gen Z story with rich cool kids. I am Gen X. I looked up 'nails Gen Z' and saw all of these incredible designs — smiley faces and stickers — we wanted only a few actresses to have designed so it looked ‘real,’” Sarah Graalman, the Bodies Bodies Bodies makeup department head, tells Elite Daily. Since Sophie is the resident chill girl, her nails are neon, funky, and graphic, whereas Alice, who’s more basic, just had a simple french manicure.

Who designed Stenberg’s Bodies Bodies Bodies manicure?

Graalman actually handed off the design of this manicure to Stenberg themself. With Graalman’s approval, Stenberg was sent off to a salon to get whatever style screamed “Sophie” to them, and the actor (and executive producer of Bodies Bodies Bodies) didn’t disappoint. Done at a salon in Brooklyn, Stenberg’s nails are a contrasting neon green and black french manicure with stiletto nails and a few stickers. But, the colors and designs aren’t what stand out about this manicure.

What makes Stenberg’s Bodies Bodies Bodies manicure so special?

Courtesy of Sarah Graalman

If you look closely, you’ll notice that Stenberg’s middle and pointer finger on their dominate hand are clipped much shorter than the rest of their nails as a nod to Sophie’s sexuality. According to Graalman, “Many genderqueer/LGBTQ folks will recognize [this] as being friendly when pleasuring a partner — Sophie and Bee *are* in the first blushes of love!” We love girlfriends treating each other right.

Although it’s subtle, this manicure shows Stenberg, Graalman, and A24’s dedication to creating an authentic movie down to the smallest of details.

What was the meaning behind the rest of Stenberg’s Bodies Bodies Bodies makeup?

Stenberg and Graalman’s attention to detail didn’t stop at the nails. They also teamed up to create the perfect look for Sophie, and of course it included the latest controversial “cool girl” trend: bleached eyebrows — and it was the perfect move for the journey of their character. “We bleached Amandla's brows, which I find adds softness to a strong eye look,” Graalman explains. “We then get to see the thick liner/mascara run through the chaos until Sophie is left with nothing but some mud and bleached brows.” Talk about taking a strong, bold character and breaking it down ‘til even her face is a total blank, empty canvas. Just as the movie *slight spoiler* takes everything from Sophie, it also takes all of her personality-defining makeup.