A black woman was ostracized from a Columbia, South Carolina nail salon, that she has frequented for years, due to her weight. Ashley Cheffen says the nail techs at the Posh Nail Spa salon told her that they could not fulfill her nail appointment due to the size of her body. Cheffen stated that she has been going to this nail salon since 2018; however, on June 18, 2021, she didn’t receive the same treatment she was accustomed to. “I went, and it was pretty busy, and I sat in the waiting area for fifteen to twenty minutes, which is expected on a Friday night,” stated Cheffen. Cheffen finally got called back to a chair to begin her pedicure. She stated the nail tech began prepping her feet for the pedicure then stopped. Cheffen then said that shortly after, the receptionist walked over to her and stated that they would not be able to continue her service because of the weight limit on the chair.
The policy at Posh Nail Spa states that a customer could be held responsible for a chair if it malfunctions due to their weight being over 300 pounds. However, the policy does not mention that a customer would not be able to be serviced due to their weight. Cheffen stated that she was embarrassed by the entire incident. “I left. I sat in my car, and I kind of just had a moment. I was embarrassed, I was humiliated, and I felt horrible,” said Cheffen.
Joseph Wentz, a manager at the nail salon, spoke on behalf of Posh Nail Spa owners. He told WACH news that weight limits are in place to ensure customer’s safety and that their goal is to make everybody feel welcomed. “Posh is there to serve everybody and there is absolutely no discrimination against anybody of any size.” Posh Nail Spa’s owners informed WACH that the receptionist who denied Cheffen service is currently not working at the nail salon.
Kudos to Ashley Cheffen for shedding light on this injustice. Although safety is key, no one should be denied a service due their size, race, gender, etc.