Men have been seen in public with one painted fingernail, and the rationale is very cool and for a good cause.
Men may opt to paint one or more fingernails on each hand, and the color they pick may differ from man to man.
It’s true that some dudes take it up a notch by adding a design on top of the color, but the solitary meaning that it signifies remains unchanged.
This male-only fad originated Down Under, but enterprising American dudes are bringing it stateside.
While on the road with a group called Hagar International, Elliot Costello encountered a young girl named Thea, who inspired him to paint his nail and spread the idea further.
Elliot and the group arrived in Cambodia with the intention of making a difference in the lives of the people who live there.
In turn, the smallest villager made the greatest impression on Elliot, who learned of a problem that affects children all throughout the world, especially in the United States, and not just in Cambodia.
Elliot took the time to get to know tiny Thea by engaging with her in ways that she would enjoy.
Nail polish was a must for this girly-girl. She painted one of his as they chatted about her life and her troubles, and he painted one of hers.
He found out that she had been the victim of sexual abuse…
“As she painted one of my nails, I assured her I would always keep it that way to remember her, and by extension, her suffering.”
After this touching exchange, Elliot had renewed motivation to effect positive change among men so that children would be safer from sexual abuse.
That’s when he had the idea for the Polished Man project, in which men are challenged to spend a week painting one fingernail in order to become a #PolishedMan.
That one nail on a hand full of five symbolizes the one in five children who will be victims of sexual violence.
Polished Man, an organization working to end sexual violence against children, claims that “being a Polished Man means challenging violent behavior and language, both locally and globally.”
Since men are responsible for 96% of this type of violence against children globally, Elliot concluded that men must be the catalyst for change if we are ever to see an end to the abuse of innocent children.
The ultimate goal isn’t for people to only see a man with a shiny new nail and reflect on the fact that every day, hundreds of thousands of children are harmed and will pay for it for the rest of their lives.
Instead, Elliot hopes that the fingernail will serve as a conversation starter about this unfortunate reality, leading to new ideas to end it and perhaps even donations to “support educational programs and resources for child survivors of abuse,” as APlus noted.
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