Men have been spotted walking around with a single fingernail painted on just one hand.
While it’s easy to see this sudden trend and assume that it’s just another ridiculous hipster fad that some guys have decided to join in on, there’s a much darker meaning behind it that others need to know.
In America, a whole new crew of famous guys are painting their nails. Well, nail. Zac Efron and sibling actors Liam and Chris Hemsworth (below) recently shared photos of themselves with one nail painted to support the Polished Man project; an initiative that calls on men to raise awareness about the one in five children around the world who experience physical and/or sexual violence before the age of 18. Donations to Polished Man support children’s trauma recovery and prevention programs all over the world.
The first man behind the movement to paint his nail and pass the idea along was Elliot Costello, who met a little girl name Thea while he was travelling with a group called Hagar International. Elliot and the crew landed in Cambodia to see how they could make an impact in this underprivileged area.
But in turn, the tiniest villager left the biggest impression on Elliot, who realized an issue that’s much bigger than Cambodia and effects children all over the world, especially here in America.While getting to know little Thea, Elliot met her on her level and did things that she would think was fun. For this girly-girl, that meant painting nails.
He painted hers, and she painted one of his as they talked about her life and also her struggles. He learned that she had been sexually abused. In that moment between this man and little girl, as she put polish on one of his nails, he told her he’d always leave that finger painted to remember her, which also meant he’d remember her pain.
Elliot came out of this endearing interaction invigorated with ideas to make a change among men for the sake of children’s safety from sexual abusers. That’s when he came up with the Polished Man project, which encourages men to become a #PolishedMan by painting one fingernail for a week. That single nail on a hand of five nails, represents the 1 in 5 children who will tragically be a victim of sexual violence at some point in their lives.
According to the Polished Man’s website dedicated to awareness to stop sexual violence against kids, “being a Polished Man means challenging violent behavior and language, both locally and globally.” Elliot found that men need to be the voice of change for this abuse on innocent children to end, since 96 percent of this type of violence on kids worldwide is perpetrated by males.
Ultimately, the hope is to not just see a bright nail on a guy and remember for a few moments that there are hundreds of thousands of children being abused each day and suffering the consequences from that for a lifetime. Rather, Elliot would like the fingernail to be a start of a conversation about this sad reality, that could lead to more ideas to end it and maybe even donations to “support educational programs and resources for child survivors of abuse,” APlus reported.
The campaign recently took off. Hopefully, this means that you will see more men around town painting a nail in a bright eye-catching color. If you see a guy sporting this style, ask him about it. If you are a man, paint one of your nails in remembrance of all the kids who don’t have a voice in the matter. Maybe a little boy or girl will see your nail, and it will brighten their day to know they aren’t forgotten about in their fight for their safety and innocence.