Why More and More Men Have Started Painting Their Nails

Painted nails in men are still associated with rock singers, punks, and rebellious youngsters. But recently, more and more men have started painting their nails, no matter what their age or music preferences are.

We at CHEERY decided to find out how the trend for painted nails in men appeared and why more and more gentlemen are joining this trend now.

Men started painting their nails a long time ago

Historically, women weren’t the only ones to get their nails painted. Scientists found a solid gold manicure set in a bundle of combat equipment during archaeological studies in Southern Babylonia. Experts believe that before going into battle, men painted their nails black or green. This was a way of intimidating their foes.

Other ancient people also painted their nails. During the Chou dynasty in ancient China, gold and silver nails represented the highest social ranking.

In the past, men painted their nails as a form of protest

During the 19th and first half of the 20th century, nail polish was believed to be something that only women wore. Everything changed in the 1960s-70s with the appearance of new music genres, including punk.

Both punk musicians and their fans painted their nails. This was a kind of rebellion against the social norms telling everyone what a “true” man had to look like.

Today, many men do it to support a movement

Today, some men get nail polish not because they are rebellious, but to show their sympathy and support to a cause.

In October 2019, stars posted photos on social media with one nail with polish. They did this to raise awareness and funds to help children who have suffered from abuse and trauma. This “Polished Man” movement was started by Elliot Costello, a social entrepreneur from Australia that founded the organization YGAP, which works to end poverty and empower entrepreneurs all around the world.

0000001 / Reporter / East News, 0000001 / Reporter / East News

The #PolishedMan movement encouraged men to paint one or several nails to raise awareness and help gather support for abused children. Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Zac Efron, and many other men joined this movement because it really helps children and draws attention to this problem.

Thanks to famous actors, large funds were raised for programs that work to both prevent child abuse and provide recovery services for traumatized children.

Some people paint their nails to show admiration for their idols

Invision / Invision / East News

Some men are inspired to paint their nails by famous musicians. In recent years, it has become a popular trend among young people. When they see their idols with painted nails, guys realize that they like the look, and want to both support and imitate the stars.

Male polish is a popular thing in Asia, where men don’t only paint their own nails but also work in nail salons. Men rarely work as nail technicians, barely topping 3% of the entire industry. But in specific locations, such as in the Vietnamese market, it’s higher — 27%.

Manicures give fathers a great way to spend time with their kids

Wiese / FaceToFace / REPORTER / East News

It’s an old stereotype that moms have to do the most work when raising girls. But there are fathers who disagree. Some men do their daughters’ hair and nails so they can spend more time together. There are even special classes for fathers and grandfathers to learn these skills.

One dad, Nathan Bond, doesn’t just do his daughter’s manicure, but also lets her paint his own nails. Nathan is a single dad, and he says that having painted nails reminds him of his daughter throughout the day. When someone tells Bond it’s for girls, he says, “I’m a guy, and my nails are painted, so it’s not true.”

Other fathers think it’s perfectly normal to paint their nails together with their sons. Many boys like bright colors, so why not let them use nail polish? To help prevent bullying, some dads support their children by getting matching nail polish.

Musicians need nail polish

Steve Sands / Bauer Griffin / East News

For many guitar players, using nail polish is a necessity. The strings from their instruments can do serious damage to their fingernails, so in order to protect them, they apply an additional layer of protection.

Nail polish can also have an effect on how an instrument sounds. Unfortunately, regular nail polish doesn’t always help musicians, so they use special strengthening polishes.

Some paint their nails out of boredom

When many people started working remotely and spending a lot of time at home, some men tried painting their nails just for fun. Some were talked into this by their wives and girlfriends, and others just wanted to experiment. It started a new wave of interest in male polish.

Painted nails are now trendy, with nail polish becoming just as popular as tattoos and piercing. And today, society is more open to new things. Besides, many young people today don’t care much about what others think about their appearances.

Other men just like their bright nails

AP / East News

If a man paints his nails, it doesn’t always mean he is into a social campaign, or part of a social group. Some people just like the way their nails look with polish. Not all men fight gender stereotypes. Some just like manicures.

Sebastien Fremont / Starface / STARFACE PHOTO / East News

Nowadays, public sentiment is changing very quickly. Things that may have seemed unbelievable, revolutionary, or rebellious yesterday look totally mundane today. It’s great news that the stereotypes everyone is tired of are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Do you think “male polish” is a temporary thing, or will it become a social norm?

Preview photo credit 0000001 / Reporter / East News, Sebastien Fremont / Starface / STARFACE PHOTO / East News
Cheery/Beauty/Why More and More Men Have Started Painting Their Nails
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