Scott says: Hey everyone! Today’s post is another really interesting first-hand account I received from a guy out there breaking the arbitrary gender fashion norms and painting his nails whatever color he damn well pleases.
His name is Gustavo, and he sent me this interesting letter a few months ago. Unfortunately, it took me a while to get around to posting it, but whatever. Better late than never, right?
He gets down and dirty describing why he wears nail polish and I think makes some really great arguments against being afraid to just try it.
Enjoy readers – hopefully this will inspire a few more of you to shed the silly gender fashion shackles and make your nails look however you want.
Check out those awesomely-long nail beds!
Just finished reading one of your guest posts from a guy names Wes.
There are many things from Wes’ post that I identify with. As Wes did, I also started searching the internet when I became curious about men wearing nail polish.
I am 45 and the father of 3, and I am a firm believer in the “practice what you preach” rule. Reading your blog, I see experiences that coincide with my own. Like Wes and you, I contemplated creating a blog, but I just have not had the time to start it. (He has since created his blog, which can be found here.)
I am a professional photographer and I have several businesses, one a tech support business and I also promote medical tourism, so I interact with doctors and medical staff as well as with general business owners and employees.
I have always liked pampering. As far back as I remember, I have always liked to take care of my appearance, for example having my hair trimmed, taking care of my face with spa treatments, and going for massages.
10 years ago I let my hair grow shoulder length and I highlighted it. 5 years ago I started to give myself manicures and pedicures.
Initially, my family and relatives gave me grief about the nails, calling me metrosexual, gay, and – well, I guess you know the drill.
But, I have always been the kind of person that sticks to his guns, and to stand up for what I believe in.
I started painting my toe nails in color and then my finger nails in color about 6 to 8 months ago. I really can’t remember exactly when I started searching the internet for reasons to justify my painting my nails, but eventually I came to the conclusion that I didn’t need any. I was just being true to myself.
It all started one day when I was with my eldest daughter, who’s 21. We were at my local drugstore shopping for some makeup she was looking for. I started browsing the nail polish section and came across a real nice blue color, kind of dark metallic blue from Maybelline. I loved it so much that I purchased it right then and there.
The next time I went to have a pedicure, I told the nail tech to apply it for me. She gave me “the look” and asked me, “are you sure?” to which I replied, “Of course I’m sure, I gave it to you didn’t I?”
When she finished, she told me, “You know something? It looks very good on you! That color is awesome and suits you very well!”
When I got home and my wife looked at my painted toes, she told me in a disapproving tone “The next thing I know, you will come through the door with your fingernails painted,” to which I immediately replied without even thinking before I spoke, “That will never happen.”
As they say, “never say never.” The rest is history.
When I started painting my nails, I realized I did it because I liked looking at it. The reasoning was simple. It was me who was looking at my nails 98% of the time!
When I showered, when I typed on the computer, when I signed checks, credit card vouchers, cooked, when I drove my car and held the steering wheel, etc., it was me who was enjoying my own nails in different colors. I did not do it to attract attention or as they say “peacock.”
To this day, my mother disapproves of me painting my nails, telling me that it may “confuse” my 6 year old son, and asking what kind of example I’m setting for him.
To this I tell her, “I’m showing my son that nail polish has no gender and I am teaching him, by example, to stand up for what he believes in.”
Of course my 3 year old princess loves it, and even encourages me to change colors, heck, she even doesn’t like it when my nails are nude.
My eldest daughter didn’t approve at first, but then she realized I was right, she was wrong, and that nail polish is a form of expression, a fashion statement, and a genderless and expression of style.
My wife did not approve and still is not crazy about it, but she is a very intelligent woman, and I think she realized that it would be a futile effort to try to persuade me to stop doing it.
At first, she even told me she wanted to “vomit” when she looked at my nails, so I immediately addressed this affront in firm and unambiguous terms. Since then, she has made her peace with my choice to polish my nails.
I have 3 brothers, all younger than me. One still gives me grief about it, and the other two either don’t care or just don’t say anything.
I could go on and on with how people around me have reacted… My point here is, one should not care about what people think when it comes to one’s personal style. I think people should be true to themselves.
Personally, wearing nail polish all the time has not affected my job, career or business dealings. Summer just came and went where I live and I was wearing gladiator sandals, thong sandals and the like everywhere, painted toes and everything. I felt very comfortable and did not receive any bad comments. On the contrary, I enjoyed several compliments.
If a man has the style, swagger, of whatever you want to call it, and can pull off wearing nail polish, so be it. However, I do have to say, it is definitely not for every man.
A man can pull it off only if he has a strong sense of self, a bold personality and is very secure. Also, not every man’s fingers and nails will look good with polish, but, one will never know if he does not try it.
So why did I take the time to write this to you?
I decided to do this because I thought if you posted it, it would help others live their lives to the fullest by maybe helping them take off their blinders and stop allowing society to dictate the rules on how we should present ourselves.
Of course, we need to obey the laws, but lets not confuse the law with the “unwritten rules” that society has imposed upon us.
You know those unwritten rules: those that decree what the gender roles mean, that label some actions “gender blurring” (which is BS), and that lay out what is manly or “femme.”
Personally, I HAVE SET MY OWN RULES when it comes to my style and how I dress. Since those are my own rules, I am my own judge and jury, and I decide when to bend them and break them. After all, they are MY RULES, and no one else’s.
While he was writing, Gustavo also commented on men’s makeup:
“I really like the way you wear makeup on your eyes. I wear concealer to hide dark circles under my eyes and eyeshadow to add a bit of dept. No eyeliner for me, but I am also for the make up for men movement. I think any thing that will make you look good and feel good is a positive thing.”
I totally agree with everything Gustavo had to say!! Why should something so harmless as nail polish, or makeup, be strictly forbidden for men? Is is any more vain than combing your hair in the morning, or getting regular haircuts? I think not!
Guys – don’t be afraid! Just express your style as you truly wish to. Join me, Gustavo, Wes, Chris, Michael, Rye, and all the other guys who are shaking up the gender rules of nail polish and fashion. The more common it becomes, the easier it will be for all of us!! Just do it!!