Why are men painting just one of their fingernails this month?

Nailing it!


By Gwen Ong

Why are men painting just one of their fingernails this month?

Chris Hemsworth has been spotted doing it, as with Hugh Jackman and Gabriel Macht aka Harvey Specter. These are the “polished men” – guys who are lending their support for the Polished Man campaign; a project aimed at challenging men to nail it to end it.

End what exactly?

According to UNICEF, one in five children are victims of physical or sexual violence before they turn 18. That is one too many! “While most men don’t perpetrate violence, 90 percent of sexual violence against children is perpetrated by men and we all have a responsibility to help change that,” said Elliot Costello, the CEO of YGAP a non-profit organisation, who initiated the campaign.

Started in 2014, the Polished Man was inspired by a trip Elliot took to Cambodia where he met a young girl named Thea. Despite the language barrier, they talked for hours and bonded. When it came time to leave, Thea took Elliot’s hand and drew a love heart on his palm and painted his nails blue – a polished man.

The next day, he learnt that at the age of eight, Thea’s father passed away, leaving her mother with no choice but to send her to an orphanage in the hopes she’ll have a safe refuge. However, Thea was physically and sexually assaulted every day, for two years. She had finally been rescued and Elliot was one of the first few Westerners she’d met since. Saddened by her shocking story, he sought an opportunity to bring awareness on child violence to a wider audience. He realised Thea’s nail polish friendship gesture was the perfect catalyst to talk about an important issue.

Being a Polished Man means you don’t turn your back on the vulnerable. You raise your voice – and nail – to say, “not on my watch”.  

Through the Polished Man, the organisation has been able to raise funds for trauma recovery and trauma prevention programmes for children who have suffered or are at risk of suffering violence globally.

This month, guys are encouraged to take part and show their support by painting a fingernail and pledging a donation. Learn more here


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