There’s one benefit to an outdated gender stereotype
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It’s a shame that in our culturally limited idea of masculinity we tend to view men who wear makeup, nail polish, and other traditionally female beauty products as unusual. But there is one benefit to this persistent stereotype: Men who do paint their nails in vibrant colors have a way of standing apart from the crowd.
That was exactly Elliot Costello’s intention when he founded the Polished Man project. In an effort to raise awareness about the one in five children around the world who experience physical and/or sexual violence before the age of 18, the Polished Man asks men to paint one fingernail for the month of October. Now in its third year, notable celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth, Tyler Blackburn, photographer David Higgs, model Anthony Selemidis, and Olympic gold medalist Michael Klim have all painted their nails in an attempt to end violence against children.
As the CEO of the Australian-based nonprofit YGAP, Costello made a trip to Hagar International in Cambodia where he met a girl named Thea who suffered from physical and sexual abuse when she was eight years old. While speaking with Thea, she painted Costello’s nails blue and that’s when he decided he had to do something to raise awareness about this issue. As he explains on the Polished Man’s website,
“The power to stop this is on your hands. It starts with painting a fingernail. That nail leads to a conversation. That conversation inspires a donation. That donation allows for prevention and protection.”
But this campaign isn’t limited to just men. Women can join in my painting just one fingernail and posting a picture with the hashtag #PolishedMan as well. According to Mashable, the project has raised $257,227 so far, all of which will be donated to children’s trauma recovery and prevention programs. So for all the men out there who’ve been dying to try that gorgeous shade of aubergine or simply want to end violence against children, here’s the perfect chance.