There are beautiful notes that visually symbolize rebellion – no matter how mainstream they become. Smudged eyeliner, messy bedside hair, cropped hair, coarse curls, streaks of inorganic color, well-placed piercings. And, as Olivia Rodrigo demonstrates, bitten manicures serve a purpose. The pop star took to social media to announce her second album, Guts
, and the notch on the black polish suggested her new era might be even more disaffected.
While trademarks like crow waves, cherry lips, and feline liquid eyeliner appear on the album cover, the focus immediately falls on her hands. That’s by design: Rodrigo’s thumb-biting pose better showcases a set of silver rings bearing the title of the album, “GUTS.” At first glance, onyx manicures seem anti-French, black but youthful and period-appropriate. But a quick zoom-in reveals that the negative space of the polish job was created by wear and tear, instantly triggering the daydream of an age—whether in one’s own life or in the collective aesthetic—that the nails weren’t quite done yet .
Guts Released this fall – plenty of time for clever Breaking the manicure into the conversation.