Someone asked me recently how my interest in nail polish began when they spotted my toes glistening from the sun in a rich, satisfying shade of forest green. I think they were wondering why I would willingly subject myself to the scrutiny and judgment of others who believe that men should not have an interest in something as vain and frivolous as nail polish. I told them that I just liked it. Simple as that. I mean, if you take the position that it is something not worthy of one’s attention, then you have just made an assumption that roughly half of the population focuses their attention on something that is not worth their time!
Why would a man find this interesting and worthwhile, enough to even become at all enamored with? Well, that is a good question. Because it’s primarily emotionally-driven, maybe that’s why men aren’t naturally driven toward it. But does that mean that men should not be emotional? How many women would love to have their guy show more emotion and be a bit less rational in his decisions and considerations?
Color is everywhere we look. It is prevalent in nature and can be used to attract and to hide, to send a message and to make one feel more comfortable. It enhances every aspect of our lives, and without it, life would be quite gray. The color of nail polish is an ever-changing and intriguing insight into how a person feels about themselves. Ask a woman how she chose the color of nail polish she is wearing and she will more often tell you that it is what she felt like wearing.
Do men feel? Well of course they do. Do men see and like color? Well, I hope so! If not, the many rich and vibrant colors that they paint their cars, boats and motorcycles with would be a total denial that men do see and feel color. And the many women who wear beautifully colored clothing and accessories, leaning heavily on their artistic nature to coordinate and compliment their mood seems to indicate that color plays a very important role in our society, and we know colorfully dressed women attract men! Marketing professionals know this all too well too. They use color to train the eye toward what they want us to notice and desire.
So, getting back to the discussion about whether men should wear more expressive colors, and consider using nail polish as women do, it brings up an obvious question (obvious to me anyway) of why more men don’t do this already. Have you ever asked a guy if you could paint his nails? Try it sometime! You will find that your question will be met with an awkward stutter of “well, it’s not right” or “men don’t wear makeup” or “I don’t want to be labeled as odd”. But behind their response is a notion of uneasiness about being ‘noticed’. Women love to be noticed! But even with the macho front, many men don’t want to stick out. They like the apparent security of being ‘one of the guys’, or maybe put another way, safely fitting in to the ‘safe’ male image.
There is another reaction though, one that you probably will not see on the outside. Men are curious. That curiosity gets them in to trouble a lot too, but in this application, men are intrigued by something that is different and potentially a bit dangerous and risky. The idea of trying something like wearing nail polish is a bit threatening, but at the same time very interesting and exciting to a guy. If he feels he is in a safe environment, meaning that no one else can see him, and that his partner will not tell all of her friends, he is liable to try it to see how it feels – for the thrill of it. But really ‘safe’ environments rarely exist, so most men will not go there for fear of begin ‘found out’. Another surprise revelation (for some of us anyway) is that many men already do wear nail polish – on their feet! But you don’t see it because it is often done in strict privacy so they can enjoy it while avoiding the anticipation of other’s opinions about it.
Okay, now let’s explore why a guy would even consider wearing nail polish. Well, it may be a surprise to you, but it’s not really about the polish itself. It’s about feeling good about oneself that primarily drives this secret desire. Men want to feel good (doesn’t everyone?) and they are known to do things that are not safe or mainstream to get that feeling. Why would a man want to drive a motorcycle fast in traffic…or jump from a perfectly good airplane…or cheat on his wife? Because it’s exciting, dangerous and full of intrigue and unrestrained emotion. Trouble is, these risks more often gets him into trouble than not, so most will avoid these things. What if a guy could experience some of these similar emotions, but in a way that did not harm anyone? Wearing nail polish in a vibrant and eye-catching color is one way to experience this emotional ‘high’ and it is entirely safe.
And it’s healthy. What? Consider this perspective; if a man is mature and self-confident enough to try something that is pleasurable and has little negative consequence, yet provides a heightened degree of emotion and a satisfying level of danger and intrigue, he has to have a pretty healthy level of self-confidence, that he does not allow what others think to drive his decisions and choices. And it shoes that he is man enough to go out on a proverbial limb to try new things that are exciting and ‘different’ from that safe male image we talked about previously. And wouldn’t a guy like that be much more attractive and interesting than one of the ‘safe’ but boring men?
Here is another angle to consider. Men don’t pay near enough attention to the condition or presentation of themselves as they should. Consider the condition of most men’s nails (hands and feet). Their fingernails are usually freshly bitten (or too long), they trap unhealthy dirt and grease under them, the cuticles are often rough and torn, and calluses (on feet) are rough, hard and ugly. When a man begins to take an interest in his nails, he takes better care of them and does not tolerate the unclean and uncivilized look, making himself more attractive in the process. And he doesn’t scratch the hell out of you in bed!
The addition of a little color in an appropriate shade for men adds a touch of class to his feet and helps make him appear as a more interesting and expressive person. He gets noticed and attracts attention. Others see him as open-minded and creative. And another interesting thing happens in the process, he likes the feeling of being less restrained and able to show his emotion in a way that is fun and satisfying. He becomes a more likable and ‘emotional’ person, one that people like being around and having fun with. Wearing polish on one’s fingernails is usually not as practical for men since the treatment does not tend to last long with the type of activities most men are engaged in, but many will wear a layer of clear of a subtle French to keep their hands looking neat and clean.
Well, interesting food for thought, isn’t it? There is a reason why nail salons are catering to more male clients these days, and why sales of men’s sandals have increased recently. Men are beginning to understand that the old ways of appearing as stodgy, closed-minded and ‘let’s not show any emotion’ kind of guys are fading. Women want men who are more able to feel and share their deep feelings with them. The man who recognizes this and understands that he does not have to have a gray brick-wall front is finding out that life has much more to offer than pretending he is something that he is not.
I challenge you to take a ‘test drive’ of your new freedom. Schedule a manicure and pedicure at your local spa, and prepare to enjoy an experience that will make you feel relaxed and catered to. Polish or no polish, you will enjoy the experience enough that you may even go again. But, you’ll miss out on another exciting and pleasurable part of the experience if you leave with your feet naked. Ask the person providing you the service for a suggestion of what color would look good on your feet. Starting with some color on your toenails is a great way to become introduced to this new and exciting phenomena and still retain some control over who you allow to see your new ‘look’, until you are ready. And there are many polishes that savvy nail polish companies market for men, in colors that are masculine and appear attractive on men’s feet. I guarantee, it will be an exciting and uplifting treat that you’ll want to experience again before too long!
The author is an experienced nail polish wearer who discovered years ago that a little color goes a long way. Use restraint in your color choices until you are entirely dedicated, demand a quality application, and be aware that having great-looking feet may cause jealousy if they look better than your spouse’s!
Your mileage may vary.
Please note: This wasn’t written by Kim Snyder but by a great guy who happens to have a very great sense of humor and a love for nail polish. Open your minds and hearts and understand.. we are all the same.. Nail Polish Junkies!!