You may have noticed men with just a single painted fingernail and thought to yourself what a silly new trend, truth is though there is a lot of meaning behind the single painted nail and it’s important to know what that meaning is.
This trend for men only, started in Australia and has now made its way to the States. The colour of the paint and the choice of nail is irrelevant, it all represents the same. The movement began with Elliot Costello, after meeting Thea, a little girl, on his travels around the world to help underprivileged areas with Hagar International. While in Cambodia the little girl and Elliot became friends doing unlikely things together, things little Thea loved, like painting her nails. She painted one of his nails as they chatted about her daily struggles and her life. It was then that he learned about her being sexually abused. He told her then and there that he would keep his nail painted as a remembrance of her, and her pain.
Filled with ideas and inspired to make change after his experience with Thea, Elliot came up with The Polished Man Project. The idea behind it is that men are encouraged to paint one fingernail for a week, this single nail is representative of the 1 in 5 children who fall victim to sexual abuse.
“Being a Polished Man means challenging violent behavior and language, both locally and globally.” This is what is says on the Polished Man’s website. Men need to be the voice for change, as 96% of sexual violence inflicted on children globally is perpetrated by males. The main hope, however, is not that just seeing the painted nail will bring mere sadness for the hundreds of thousands of kids suffering every day but rather for the painted fingernail to start conversation and maybe spark new ideas or even donations for support programs for these children of abuse?
So, if you see a man with a single painted finger nail, ask him about it, and if you are a man, paint a finger nail in support and remembrance of those who have no voice!