Posts Tagged ‘guys’

Nail Polish and Men

October 17, 2007

Odd title…

Well, since it interests me, I thought I would write a few things about the mysteries of why men (most men anyway) like nail polish. 

 Okay, let’s clarify this a bit.  Most men like admiring nail polish on women, but there is another side to the story (isn’t that always the case?).  Men like the way it looks because the colors are intrigueing and bright or deeply mysterious, and always glossy.  Think about it, men spend a lot of time waxing and polishing their cars – they know how to notice and appreciate a great finish!

 Now, about men and nail polish.  Well, being a guy, I know first-hand that there are a larger percentage of guys that actually have a desire to have their nails painted than most people ever know about.  There are many more guys walking around with their toenails painted than anyone really suspects, but because you can’t see their nicely pedicured feet, you simply don’t know about it.  There are even more guys that want this, but have not been properly ‘introduced’ to the art yet, and are afraid to go there by themselves.  Somehow, our scociety has labeled this as “unmanly” for some odd reason, but those who dare to try it are amply rewarded.  Trust me on this one.

Some women are insightful enough to understand this and have created the opportunity to uncover that sleeping desire in their male friend(s) by taking the liberty to paint his nails for him.  Sometimes (actually, more often than not), he is introduced to this treat by his girl friend as he is sleeping.  Other times, when she is being more playful and convincing (which she is a master of) she will simply talk him into it.   Check out this story for an excellent illustration: http://darcy.gatefiction.com/misty/footsie.html.  There is sometimes a bet involved (stacked in her favor of course) that he loses, just to make it interesting for her.  In the end, he actually ends up liking it in a weird sort-of way.

 Wait a second!  Why is it weird?  Who declared that a simple thing like nail polish should only be for women?  It was probably a female because they know how good it feels to have nicely painted nails, and they don’t want to share that with men.  Whatever the case, as more guys are being ‘treated’ to this delightful experience, they are discovering that it can be quite stylish and satisfying.

 In order to make this really work for a guy though, his nails really need to be properly prepared.  This involves the typical (for a gal anyway) regime of cleaning, shaping and buffing so that his nails are neat and look worthy of calling attention to them.

Let’s talk about color selection, because that makes a big difference in how the effect is received.  Guys don’t typically wear girly colors.  The bright, feminine colors just don’t look that great on guys.  So, pinks are out (even though gals seem to think it’s rather fun to paint their guy’s nails pink for some odd reason).  Browns, silvers, grays, blues (not baby blue, but darker ones), and even maroon for some reason look okay and even pretty good on guys.  Black can be classy in some cases, but for the most part, guys don’t look that great in black unless the rest of their outfit matches (with a black tux on New Year’s Eve, maybe).

 Okay, we’ve explored the idea of guys wearing polish, but what are the rules?  Well, it’s pretty simple; if it feels good – do it!  In other words, if the guy is comfortable with wearing colors, then it’s probably just fine.  It’s a confidence thing.  If he’s secure in his masculinity, then there is nothing to fear.   It’s just a new experience the first time, that’s all.

 Wearing polish on one’s fingers does have a few requirements though.  The nails need to be properly prepared so they look neat and presentable (see above).  And, guy’s nails should not be too long, just a bit of the white part showing, but not beyond the end of the finger.  Case in point: ever seen a girl with short painted finger nails?  They look like a guys, right?   Okay, point made.   And, a guy has to be aware of the social environment where his nails will be seen.  Since it’s not widely accepted for guys to wear their finger nails painted (unless at a posh party or event), then he needs to understand that he may unintentially alienate others with this practise.

Now, a guy has a lot more latitude with wearing his toenails painted because he can choose by who and when they are seen.  And, because toes are not that exciting when natural, even having them cleaned, nicely shaped and buffed is such a great improvement that it may even take the place of wearing any polish at all.  But, if he is interested in a little excitement and admiration, then color is a means to dress up those toes!

Once again, use your head about color selection.  Your girl friend or SO can be of great help here (if you can trust her…).  She will know what looks good and compliments your feet, and what makes you look like a tart.  There are no clear-cut rules here.  Even red can look good on some guys – but you have to have the feet for it.  Typically, stick to the more natural colors like tans, light gold, light silver, and even french if the white tips are not too bright.  As I mentioned in another post, I tend to like maroon on my toes.  I guess it may have something to do with it being the first color my toes were ever painted by a mischevious girl friend while I was sleeping.   And, it looks pretty decent on my feet when they are tanned and in sandals.  Your mileage and tastes may vary.

 Here’s the payoff guys.  This is from my own experience, so it’s verified.  Gals love it!  They come up to me and tell me so.  Some ask why I wear my toes painted and when I tell them that my g/f did it, they smile and say “cool” or “I like that”.  They almost always ask me the name of the color, I guess because either they want to try it themselves, or maybe they are thinking like my g/f and they have a plan…  Either way, it’s pretty cool to have complete strangers come up and ask about it.  It’s kind of like an ice-breaker of sorts because I doubt if many of these gals woulds have approached me out of the blue otherwise.  I have never received any negative feedback from women (a few odd looks from guys, though). 

 Okay, I guess that’s enough.  You should be able to make up your own mind.  Do you or don’t you?  In my opinion, nail polish adds character, sets you apart from the norm, and is darn fun to wear!

 Not entirely what you expected?   Well, hey, it got you thinking anyway!   Please feel free to comment, pro or con.   I’m pretty open-minded and I welcome what you have to say either way.

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