Painting your nails is fun. Lots of people agree with me on this; it’s a form of self-expression that, unlike cutting your hair, can be easily changed if you decide that you don’t like it anymore. So why are certain groups shamed for doing it? To be perfectly clear, I’m talking about guys.
When women and more feminine non-binary people paint their nails no one says anything more than ‘I like your nails, where did you get that polish?’ But when guys and other masculine people paint their nails, they are called gay among an array of slurs. Why do more people not talk about this? It disgusts me – though sadly doesn’t surprise me – that people in this school and this community would attack others for literally just painting their nails. Why gay is even an insult in the first place (hint: it’s the homophobia) is an issue for another article.
A return to the point at hand, no one should feel ashamed to paint their nails. Painting your nails is relaxing, expressive, and gives a bit of pop to your outfit. Really, the only downside is that it kind of smells when you put it on. Though I personally don’t often have time to paint my nails, when I get a chance to sit down and paint my nails while watching an episode of “Downton Abbey” or “Parks and Rec,” I find myself uber calm.
This isn’t a fringe trend either. More and more male celebrities paint their nails, and its not just gay men and drag queens. Celebrities like Jared Leto, Snoop Dogg, Brad Pitt, and many more are starting to wear nail polish both casually and on the red carpet.
It’s been noted that styles are going closer and closer to the 80s and 90s, with the return of scrunchies, jean skirts, and aggressively oversized shirts. Subsequently, it’s no surprise that celebrities, known to be very fashion forward considering that they set the trends, are beginning to paint their nails, just as people like Freddie Mercury and Kurt Cobain did in the 1980s and 90s.
Additionally, this is an age-old practice. In Ancient Egypt, women would dye their nails with henna to indicate social status, the lighter the color, the lower a woman’s status. In Babylonia, warriors spent hours before going to fight painting their nails, doing their hair, and other beauty treatments. The Ming Dynasty of China is known for the elite having extremely long nails. So long that they had to wear nail protectors and servants would do things for them, so that the nails did not break. King Louis XVI always had his nails primped to perfection, Incas painted eagles on their nails, the list goes on and on.
So whether you go to a salon, or do it at home, painting your nails is a fun break from the stress of school that everyone should feel free to enjoy.