Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why don't men wear nail polish?

This article from The Polish Addict got me thinking about something I've wondered about for a long time.

Women all over the world love nail polish. Most women own at least one bottle, and very few would turn down a nice salon manicure or pedicure.

Nail polish looks good. It can help you portray a specific image- professional, clean, wild, fun, sexy, spooky.

It is not only socially acceptable for women to be seen wearing nail polish, it's often a requirement.

Manicures and pedicures are relaxing and are, in my opinion, essential grooming. Gnarly feet, broken nails and cracked cuticles don't just look bad, they're downright uncomfortable.

If it's so normal for women to care for their nails, why isn't it the same for men?

My question: Why don't more men wear nail polish?

I suppose the main answer from all the guys would be, "that's for girls!"

I don't understand why it's perceived as girly when it can be equally manly.


Steven Tyler does it... (Yes, I am aware that this is a Steven Tyler impersonator, I couldn't find the exact picture of Steven I was thinking of and this was so close to it!)

Ozzy Osbourne does it....

Dave Navarro does it....

Kirk Hammett does it...

Alexi Laiho does it...

Richard Kruspe does it...

Hell, even Nathan Explosion does it.

All of these guys could contend for Ultimate Badass, so why don't more badass men rock nail polish? These are shining examples of how nail polish can be the exact opposite of girly.

There's even a company that makes nail polish especially for men- ManGlaze. They feature edgy artwork by Joe Simko, who's also done artwork for GWAR, and if you think that's still wimpy... Their black polish is the exact color of a Glock.

Hard Candy even had a nail polish line for men called Candy Man, but I can see why that one failed...

My message to men: It's okay to wear nail polish! And not just black. Any color your heart desires. And it doesn't have to be badass, it can be whatever you want it to be- hell, it can even be girly if that's what you want.

And another question: Why are women so opposed to men wearing polish? A lot of women will scoff in disgust when presented with the thought of a man in polish. I've seen many women respond negatively to pictures of manicured or pedicured men. Why is this? I just don't understand.

Do women feel like it's competition? Do they feel that it's not right because painting nails traditionally a women's activity? This isn't women's underwear, people, it's nail polish. Chemical soup in rainbow colors. To me, that is completely gender-neutral.

Hopefully, in the future, a manicured or pedicured man will be accepted as normal- not 'goth' or 'girly'- just normal.

What do you think? Are you uncomfortable or are you delighted with the idea of men wearing polish? I'd love to hear your opinion on the subject!

While you're at it, check out this man's experience with the fish pedicure.


  1. I reckon the blokes can do whatever they want - girls have acquired so many masculine trends as their own, it's only fair the boys get some back.

  2. Id love to see some guys wearing polish. Maybe not feminine colours because then we'd have competition ;o;

  3. Regarding men with nail polish: I think nail polish and manicures is a mark of femininity. That's a good thing. And only my opinion. My hope is that this beauty trend stays with the ladies. To me a well groomed women has nice nails. However, a young gal at the oil change place always has a professional manicure. Her hands are dirty, but still very attractive and feminine.
    Glad you are back. Now, I compare all other manicures to your nails! You have,without a doubt, prettiest natural nails, I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing them.


  4. hmmm, think of it: a whole new market fot men's nail polish! More polishes, yay!!

  5. I totally agree! It seems like taking care of your nails=gay and black nailpolish=ok on "rockers". That's what I call prejudiced! I saw a tv show a while ago, where a woman should send two men to try something new and vice versa. She sent them to a spa, where they should get hand/face massage and a nail treatment mani. Both of them are building carpenters, and before they where like "this is so silly and gay". They got their nails done etc. and by that I mean hand/finger massage, cuticle care, nail treatment and a matte clear polish on top. Afterward they had admit that they've been so biased, because it was so comfortable and relaxing and overall a good experience. So why does it have "GAY" whritten all over it like it's a bad thing? I really don't understand.

  6. oh, ok you can prob. see it's me above! clicked to fast;)

  7. Personally I see it as survival of the fittest thing. Women are more attracted to the stereotypical masculine image when they are ready to mate. Men who have manicures and paint their nails look as if they do not do any work with their hands. If no work is done with their hands then what makes them a suitable specimen to mate with? Are you seeing where I am going? ...but that's just the Anthropologist in me. I have made my own husband get manicures at the salon and had them use a clear matte polish to finish. He actually liked it...I think. :-) But I'm glad he doesn't raid my stash because it starts with nail polish and next thing you know he's using my Chanel makeup!

  8. I am totally all for men getting a mani/pedi because that is just all about good groming. Gnarly hands and feet are gross! But I think the mani/pedi should stop at a buff and shine. I am in the camp that thinks nail polish is for girls. I view it as makeup. The only guys that can wear make up and nail polish for that matter and get away with it are the rockers that you showed. For them, it is totally cool!! But it is not practical for everyday, normal people. It just isn't socially acceptable for men to wear makeup - how often do you see a man in lipstick? Nail polish on a man would evoke the same feelings.

    But I am also in the camp that people should do whatever the heck they want! So if a bunch of men want to start wearing nail polish and it becomes a trend, wonderful! But I don't think it will stick around, if that is the case.

  9. OK, I am outing myself, but I do watch American Idol, and I was tickled to see David Cook wearing green polish in a couple of clips....a rocker who wasn't wearing black was great!

    My hubby loves my polish obsession, and lets me manicure his nails once in a while, but shies from the polish application. I keep teasing him that I am going to paint his toenails while he sleeps :).

  10. was asking Swedish fashion designer Lars Wallin in my interview with him. He thinks - it will come. Rock stars already wear nail polish, so it can be trendy some day for others.
    I think most men think it is not just girlish but not "straight" enough.
    Once I painted my ex boy friend nail green. That was lovely but he was ashamed to wear them on public.
    I actually would like to reserve this occupation only for girls. There should be something that makes us different. If HE would do the same I could not say "Dear, wash dishes, please, do not you see, I make my manicure" :)

  11. I think that men should be able to wear if they want. I actually appreciate it when a man has well-cared-for hands and feet. Nail polish wouldn't bother me either. If a man could carry of nail polish with style and confidence, I would probably find it attractive.

    Lots of things change over time. There was a day when a man wouldn't be caught in a pink shirt, there was also a time when a man displayed his wealth and power by wearing lace. So trends change (more slowly for men's fashion) but they do.

    I'm *really* not into guys who are homophobic, and too concerned about looking "gay". I'm looking for a level of confidence that allows a man to be who himself.

    Also, I really hate the stereotype that there's a "Gay Look" as if there is only one type of gay person. Being gay cuts across social, racial, and economic lines.

    I do like the rocker style dark polishes on men for sure. I saw a man in NYC with sandals and black polish on his toes, and I loved it.

  12. I love guys in nail polish. My boyfriend lets me swatch on him all the time, and occasionally lets me paint his toenails. He tends to pick almost black colors, like Midnight in Moscow or Royal Rajah Ruby. Last week, he mentioned he really liked Run With It when it was swatched, so maybe he'll be branching out.

  13. First let me say I believe everyone should be able to do whatever they want without any judging them. Having said that though, my personal preference is not to have most men wear nail polish. I like nice hands and feet but not polished. It's makeup and very feminine. It's like a woman growing a goatee (if we could). I think depending on the line of work the person is in also matters. Anything *artsy* is more acceptable than some man in a business suit on the train wearing China Glaze Wagon Trail to his office where he is Partner at a law firm. I totally support those who do, but if my hubbie came home with painted nails it would come off ASAP! :-)

  14. Bad Idea.. we want manly men. Not girly men.

    1. if your son (if you have one) came home and started wearing Nail varnish and eyeliner would you disown him for being too Girly or would you accept him as he is, im 18 and a student i wear eyeliner and nail varnish im not girly

  15. Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller) has been rocking Essie Jelly Apple for years.

  16. Well said, Scrangie!!

    Nail polish is awesome, for all the great reasons you state. And like so many women already know, it's just darn fun to wear. Changing colors when you feel like it, even the act of polishing one's nails is therapudic in a way.

    In fact, I know of a number of men who regularly wear nail polish, primarily on their toes (I'm one of them!). But, since I am into it (my wife actually got me started!), I have actively looked for others who share this interest.

    I think your attitude about men wearing nail polish is admirable. I sincerely wish more people were as open-minded and accepting as you are. Not sure why, but many, many people seem to think that everyone should follow their rules and share their values, or they label them as "strange".

    Well, I sure enjoy reading your posts, and as I said, even though I'm a guy, I really like this stuff!

  17. I second vampy varnish! I like men well groomed, but no nail varnish or make up, thank you very much!
    Mens hands look best when they look like MENS hands!

  18. Oh, in case you are curious about what a guy's toes can look like polished, here is a link to some pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/toepaintguy/

    Since my wife introduced me to this (in an effort to get me to take better care of my feet), I have had no reservations about wearing my toes polished. It feels completely natural to me now.

    More men should really try this. More women should really encourage their men to try this! You will both like it - honest!

  19. Hey, is Steven Tyler rockin' the Italian Manicure? Woohoo. Anyway, I am all for whatever floats your boat. It is fingernail polish. I don't want someone judging me because I am 39 and like to wear green nail polish or glitter, who in the hell am I to tell a whole gender they shouldn't wear polish. If you are well groomed then great. My DH doesn't but I think he would. I give him manicure and pedicures at home and don't use polish but he loves the pampering and I like that he looks nice. I showed him the Manglazes and he was like "I need those" haha. So I am getting them. Polish does or doesn't make the man. It is just polish. Back in the 1700's men wore face powder, fake beautymarks, wigs and tights. They were still men and not one thought they were gay.

  20. Men who wear nail polish are the manliest men! It's simple - if you are manly enough, there's no nail polish that can change that. Also, I think a man with nail polish will have an open mind (or maybe just an attention problem).
    Btw, yes - black matte polish is too easy! My husband wore China Glaze Branding Iron a while ago and next in line is a baby blue holographic one :)
    I'm all for sharing these traditionally feminine things, it's time men learned what it is to be judged by appearance.
    Thank you for your post!

  21. Recently I've seen a lot of NP on dudes (I got a Flickr account, that is:). 99% of the time it's absolutely cringe-worthy.

  22. The examples you've pointed out are excellent, but those men are creative types, who've always been allowed a greater leeway with their appearance. But I bet they still look dodgy to most women and men, who think makeup and nail polish are one hundred times more frivolous on men. Men who look up to people like Steven Tyler or Dave Navarro for style cues are probably already more open to the idea of wearing nail polish already. :)

    For many women, nail polish is a nice 'finishing touch' that goes with the makeup and perfume territory. But most men, since they barely do anything to make themselves up, they don't "need" to use nail polish and so they won't. Just like women, men take their sartorial cues from well-known icons - the Marlboro man, George Clooney, football players, they don't wear nail polish, so why should they?

    But things change - black and vampy nail polish are starting to lose their 'goth' connotations, and so I think nail polish for men could take off. For the next round of American Idol, perhaps all the male contestants should be *ahem* forced to pick a nail polish shade to wear on stage. Or the option should be given to them as the makeup artists are prepping them for the performance. >) For nail polish to be really accepted by men, we also need more prominent non-creative types to wear polish. Fingers crossed!

  23. I was reading your article with my SO behind me and he says... "Is she... holding a Glock?" LOL

  24. I think the Hard Candy line for men should have been named "Hard Man" not "Candy Man".

    I like seeing polish on a guy's toes. Black nail polish on the right guy's hands is really sexy. I am totally up for giving a man a pedicure. I almost prefer to do it for him. I don't want a man looting my stash, ya know? I think I would have heart failure if I saw a man using my OPI Rainforest and leaving the cap off too long or shaking the bottle. It would be my worst nightmare. We would have to have a paint on nails, paws off stash policy. Otherwise, the romance would be gone.

  25. It's a little depressing how many people are so set in their socially assigned gender role mindsets.

    I love men in nail polish. I polish my DH's toes all the time, and his nails on special occasions. I'd never make assumptions about someone's manliness based on the color of their nails - or their shirt - or their hair.

    And for the people who want it to stay women-only so they can feel special, well that just seems weird to me.

  26. I feel like it's similar to the whole "real men wear pink" trend. really it should be "real men follow trends."

    I'm not against it but I wouldn't like it on my guy.

  27. It's an interesting gesture but as a guy I prefer nail polish on females and would personally never wear polish... even clear.. Polish is great and sexy on women and that's about it.

  28. Like I said over on the Polish Addict's page, I don't see why anyone shouldn't be able to wear it! My boyfriend and I are animators, so we are always using our hands, so they need to be in good condition. I did his nails once (without polish, just a nice trim/buffing) and he loved it! He actually asked me the other day how much a full mani would cost at a salon! I said I'd do it for him, and he was all excited!

    Granted, my bf is not into many masculine things, and he's very open to new things, but I think all men should be in to such good hygiene!

  29. Yeah, um hate to break it to you but that is not Steven Tyler. Just so you know.

  30. I like polish on everyone. While I wear it most of the time and in all colors with a preference for the brightest, it's my wife who won't. I've gotten her to a spa twice and, while she generally enjoyed the experience, she removed the clear and/or white polish the next day. (I am a carpenter, artist, and trike rider/seller for those concerned about context.) I've been around long enough to have been the first guy I knew of to wear earings in both ears. While things are moving faster than ever, I'm not optimistic that polish on men will become common any time soon, more's the pity. I'd even settle for more women with more color--polish, clothing, hair, etc. I truly appreciate your blog and positive comments. The more color, artistic freedom, and tolerance in the the world the better.


  31. Woah, is that your Glock?

    And I would love me some Richard Kruspe *drool*

    As for men and nailpolish I frankly do not care, but my SO only lets me use clear on him, I wish he would wear colors that would be so much fun! and something for us to share =)

  32. some weeks ago i did a mani on one of my best friends - lavender purple and i liked it (i love his nail shape, i wish mine was so perfekt).

    but he needed to take it off for job matters 1 day later. hmpf.
    i wait for the day, everbody can look as he/she likes, without thinking of such things...

  33. Here's how I feel about it: the ones who can pull it off - like Steven Tyler et al - should rock it out. The other 99.999% should leave the nail polish to the girls.

  34. Stef, that's true! I've definitely seen a lot of "guy-liner" lately...

    Steph, I agree about the feminine colors, just because I think it would look weird. Guy in sheer pink polish, maybe not. Guy in bright blue polish, yes please!

    Scott, ah, I see! I can understand that for sure. Thanks for your comment! (and the compliment!)

    Fashionista, oooooh I like the way you think!!! Right on!!

    Sanna, exactly what I wonder about! I think people are very confused.

    Elvira, ah, yes, very interesting! I never thought about it that way- it makes sense. Thanks for your comment :D

    Katee, I see :) I totally understand that. Thanks for sharing your opinion with me! :D

    Melli, I'm not really an Idol watcher, but I'm totally going to have to check that out! That's awesome!

    Anna, haha I like that :) Thank you :)

    HoneyHoney, yes, CONFIDENCE! Exactly!

    Emily, that's so cool!

    VampyVarnish, I understand :) Thanks!

    Mom, I had a feeling you would say that!

    Jessica Rose, SERIOUSLY? How did I not know this?? That's awesome!! Thanks!

    Jason, thanks! I understand it's not for everyone as well, but no one's MAKING anyone wear nail polish, you know? I guess I understand both sides now! Thanks!

    Micha, I can totally see where you're coming from now. Thank you!

    Jason, those feet look more well-groomed than most women's feet I've seen. Impressive!

    Angel, exactly. That's how I see it, but now I understand both sides :)

  35. Marie, definitely! And I'm not saying all men *should* wear polish, but if you like it or want to, why the hell not?? That's awesome about your husband too :D

    Masa_inn, lol! I haven't looked! Maybe I should stay away! I see enough bad manicures on ladies, seeing more bad ones on men would make me cry lol

    Shryh, AWESOME post. Thanks for posting that!

    Steph, lol! I am. Too cute! :D

    Tarotbydiana, I don't know how Hard Candy thought that would get men to by polish. Cute name, yes, but Candy Man??
    But stash looting- omg. I never thought of that. Get 'yer own, boys!!!

    Kitty, thanks for your comment! :D

    Dami, lol. Real men follow trends. Great comment!

    Suichi, thank you for your comment! I love hearing your point of view!

    MariahGem, people would be surprised by the sheer number of men who love manicures and pedicures. Who doesn't love a nice mani/pedi?! Honestly! I think men should be included.

    Carmen, I was hoping no one would notice :D It's a Steven Tyler impersonator. But, I couldn't find the old black and white picture of Steven posing showing off his nails and this is *almost* the same! But thank you for noticing, keen eye :)

    Chip, aha thank you! I agree- MORE COLOR! Green, pink, orange, blue, yellow!!

    Pinky, yes, it is :D
    And I'd love some Richard too, maybe even throw in a little Till and Oliver and Paul and Doom and Flake... hehehe

    Ray.of.night, sounds like fun! But sad that he had to take it off :(

    Melanie, hehehe I agree- you should be able to pull it off before you flaunt it but I think the percentage is a *little* higher than that hopefully :D

  36. you forgot about perttu kivilaakso :)

  37. Scrangie--Rock the Glock two-handed, your choice of color. I would love to see another great pic of you, too. The little shot of you on your profile is Sa-weet

    Scott (not a stalker)

  38. Scrangie, when my wife was pregnant and could not bend down to paint her toes, she asked me do it for her. Not pretty at first, but I got away with it since she could not see them! In time, I got better at 'staying between the lines'.

    Oh, and just so you don't get too nervous about the idea or sharing nail polishes... my wife and I have our own polish collections, and though we share a few, we respect each other's 'stash'.
    Besides, I tend to like blues, blacks, greens, browns and silvers...and she likes reds, pinks, purples and golds.

    We work it out.

  39. I don't really care if a guy takes care of his feet or hands. But, I wouldn't be into a guy who painted his nails. Thats my teritority. Its simple, boys and girls were created different. Boys want to get dirty, and eat, and burp, and play sports, and play video games. Theres nothing wrong with it. Were just different. I want to paint my nails. He wants to play Madden 09. thats perfectly normal.

  40. from 'St. Louis Punk-Rocker' -

    I totally dig this subject! nail polish on dudes has been a long time coming! I also do not know where some people get the idiotic notion that a dude who wears nail polish is less manly - bullcrap! I've been wearing the stuff ever since I was ten, and all the rock and roll gods got into it. I could name hundreds of rock stars, pro-athletes, and other celebs that are into it. I hope the day does finally arrive that if a dude feels like wearing some black or gold or chrome polish on his nails, no one will think a thing about it. Thanks for the cool blog! (ps - want to see some sample photos of my polished nails? Just go to Flickr, type 'nail polish' into the search box,' and look for photos from the 'St. Louis Punk Rocker.') Thanks!

  41. Scrangie, thank you for posting this subject on your blog. It's really cool to see how many different opinions there are on this! I'll add one more to stir the pot...

    I guess I have always noticed when women wear their nails polished. I love the look of it! It had not occured to me to try it myself until my wife encouraged me to do it. She's pretty fun and open-minded, and so these kinds of suggestions are one of the ways we keep our marriage exciting and interesting.

    Honestly, I don't really care whether I wear it or not, but she is crazy about it on my toenails, and so it works for us.

    If I can pass on just one thing to all of you that may be of value, I reccommend that you open your mind up enough to try new things with your partner. Some will certainly not work, but many will bring more fun and intrigue to your relationship. And you will not know what those new exciting things are and be able to experience the enjoyment they could bring unless you try them.

  42. I think men should be 'allowed' to take care of themselves and enjoy some of the many personal-care advantages that us women have been enjoying for generations.

    Pedicures and manicures are defintely for everyone who wants their feet and hands to look cared-for and nice. It's even good hygeine in the case of pedicures so that one does not develop ingrown toenails, foot odor, callouses and other diseases of the feed.

    And I am all for the use of nail polish by guys! If I told you that I thought Johnny Depp looked gross wearing eye liner, most of you women would consider me a conservative, backward bit**. So what's the big deal with men having great-looking nails too?

    Does it not sit well with many of you because a popular celebrity like JD has not openly endorsed it yet? Well open you eyes! There are many men who wear nail polish - fingers and toes! And it looks totally HOT on them!

    Well, I guess we're all entitled to our opinions, so here is my vote FOR guys getting their nails polished.
    Just don't be stealing my polishes, okay? Get your own, guys!

  43. I'm a guy and I used to bite my fingernails all the time, and my hands always looks bad and hurt worse... so last month I decided to stop and haven't bitten them since. Well then my nails started growing... Surprise! So since I don't have a girlfriend, and my 2 girl cousins live far off. I went to the local nail salon for a manicure. They did not put on polish, but I had a great time, it was very relaxing. So last week I went to get another manicure and see what a pedicure was like. This time the lady asked if I wanted nail polish and I don't mind trying new things so I said ok and got clear on my toes and fingers. I have to say I really enjoy it, they stand out more and in my opinion look great. My friends keep saying im gay and shouldn't wear it. But thats what happens when you live in small towns... people aren't nearly as open to change. I wouldn't do colors, especially not girly colors, but I really cannot see why ANYONE has a problem with clear... I mean... its CLEAR!?!? It just looks better. Perhaps more of the problem is them thinking about you putting it on as being girly... but really it takes me like 5 minutes to do my fingers... quite fast & easy (Especially since it's clear, you really can't mess it up that bad) I think more guys ought to at least wear/be able to wear clear. (Matt or Gloss)

  44. I am a manly man on most days and a metro on some. Nothing is more gratifying to me than to shake it up by wearing purple polish, while dressed like a construction worker. People find it difficult to understand, and the homophobes are afraid to comment!

    I wear nail polish often, but here is the problem.

    -It chips off quickly when working on a car.

    -A chainsaw and gloves will rub it off in hours leaving nasty chipped polish.

    -To have nice looking nails, you need at least .1" of free edge to shape. Doing "manly" stuff breaks that edge off.

    If you want to be somewhat "manly", I suggest the Sally Hansen "Hard as Nails Extreme Wear". It lasts seven days on a woman and two days on me...

  45. I feel that if a man is comfortable with wearing polish, whether on fingers and/or toes then who gives a crack of what others think. I wear polish on both and I am not gay. I am partial to dark colors, even shades of purple, red, brown/plum, blues, green, etc. My friends, family and wife thought I was becoming a picther & catcher but then saw that I do take care of my hands and feet more than I have done in the past, and must say that they look better than some of the ladies/women that I have met. I would actually like to meet others with the same interest that do not blame their nail painting on booze or kicks! I wera it 24/7.

  46. Hey, I need to say a big "THANK YOU" to all the open-minded people (both women and men) here who think that men can show a little pride in their appearance without thinking that there is something wrong with them!

    I have tried nail polish on both my fingers and toenails, thanks to a especially convincing gal that I dated for a while. I didn't really care for the look of polish on my fingernails, but I still wear it on my toes because I really do like it (and it lasts a lot longer too). It probably helped me feel this way because she thought it was 'hot' too.

    Why shouldn't men be able to do this? Is it certainly less permanent than a tattoo or even a piercing. And is it exclusively feminine? Ancient Egyptian men wore their nails colored to show their status. Even men in the 1600s wore makeup and wigs. Sure, more women wear nail polish than men today, but IMHO it looks equally great on anyone who takes the time to have their nails smoothed and properly trimmed.

    And I agree on color selection. Maybe pink or red are not the ideal colors for men, but there are plenty of other colors that look good on guys like black, dark blue and green, silver, charcoal etc. Just use your imagination and see what works for you!

  47. I don't think it's wrong to wear finger nail polish if your a man, I do, and on my toes as well. I am not gay but in my opinion if a man feels comfortable wearing it then it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. I wear different colors as well, i.e., blues, purples dark reds, greens, plums, etc. My friends and family had thought at first that I started to pitch & catch but then discovered that nothing has changed. I also seem to take care of my hands and feet more than I have in the past which actually look better than some of the women/ladies/chichs that I have met and I have been a auto mechanic for 25-years. But I will not grow them long. I wish I could actually meet other men who do the same as I do and are not ashamed. I live in the High Desert part of California, 92356.

  48. Scrangie, I want to compliment you for your boldness in bringing this subject up, and especially for suggesting that men feel free to wear nail polish.
    I picked up this interestingly satisfying 'hobby' a number of years ago from my girlfriend and have privately been wearing my toenails polished ever since then.
    I have experimented with pretty much every color (as you also suggest!), and find that I tend to like charcoal, silver, purple and blue (my gf's favorite!).
    I have not worn nail polish in plain sight, but after seeing you enthusiastically supporting it and reading the many comments here also in support of it, I think you may have given me the confidfence to try it!
    This is like a big weight lifted off of my shoulders because both me and my girlfriend really like it, but I just never felt that I should wear it openly.
    Thank you for encourging this kind of discussion. You're blog is awesome!

  49. I am really glad to see a lot of women approve of guys waring nail polish! I am a guy who likes to look after my nails and I love nail polish. My wife is cool with it as long as the clos aren't too girlie. I tend to ware pale or natural cols mostly. I wish it was more fashionable for guys to do this so that I can ware it all the time...

  50. I think it's a bit silly to think it's about "competition" since the discussion is typically about straight men and how straight women feel about them wearing polish.

    It's deep within our psychological makeup to be attracted - or unattracted - to certain things. In the same way that a man might not be attracted to women with short hair or women with pubic hair or any other such thing, I think it's just as within a woman's right to say she's unattracted to men who wear makeup or nail polish. It is something that is typically associated with the feminine. While I think any man should do whatever he likes and feels good about, I am not attracted to men who wear makeup or polish (likewise, I don't like men who wear a lot of jewelry).

    It all just boils down to personal preference and hard wiring in the department of attraction.

  51. I realize this is an older post, but I just found it today and felt compelled to comment because it is interesting to me.

    I actually had this happen recently. My husband asked me why I thought nail polish was only for women. I said that I did not know and asked him why he wondered about it. He said that in nature, the male species is the one who is more colorful and bright, where the female blends in with her surroundings. But with humans, it's the women who tend to wear bright colors, and he liked some of the colors that nail polish is available in.

    I really do not know why nail polish is not intended for men. I guess it could be.

  52. I am glad that finally men want to get noticed...having nice nails is not just a girly idea, it shows that someone takes pride in themselves. So don't judge men for wanting to paint their fingernails..we don't call women that wear mens clothing lesbians do we nooo...I think we should stop being the judge and just let men have their turn and don't get jaolous so much

  53. All the examples listed of male nail polish wearers are rock stars.

    Males wearing nail polish is unheard of outside of the entertainment business (or ordinary ppl copying rock stars,etc) because it looks ridiculous out of this context, just as wearing eye make up does.

    It just isn't something that men do. Have you ever seen a man with plucked eyebrows? It makes men look like drag queens.

    The exception is men wearing clear nail polish...one of the idiotic trends created by the "metrosexual" fad.

    Leave make up to women. If women want to paint their nails & faces, let them...but most men view wearing make up of any kind as completely alien.

    1. So rock stars can look like "drag queens" and I can't (besides I like to sing and play guitar :D, but that's anoter thing).
      You say let them about women, I say that there is not a correct image of a male, as it is just a style, plus I wouldn't wear that all the time.

    2. So why only rock stars can look like "drag queens"? Some men and women like the look of men taking care of themselves in a different way, in a similar way as women do, I like the look of it in myself, that's what counts more than ever changing mass modes, otherwise called "normality", some women like men with makeup (but also without it, we're not bound to wear it), as males. There is nothing reserved to women or men.

  54. I've noticed an increase in men wearing sandals, and with more mens feet being exposed, I've begun to notice the generally poor condition they are in too! I am all for guys taking better care of their feet! Why even show them when they are so gross?

    More related to this discussion though, I think that if a guy were to keep his feet looking nice (nails trimmed and callouses buffed down), then maybe a dark polish (like black or dark blue) might actually look good on his feet.

    I have never really liked the very dark colors on women anyway. It makes their feet look heavy. But on men, I think it works. Might be pretty cool!

  55. There are some really hypocritical views in these comments. I notice a lot of people saying men should not paint their nails because men's hands should look like men's hands or other spurious comments. Honestly, if that were the case women should stop dressing like men and wear the stereotypical girly girl clothes.

    Personally, I would not be able to stand it if my cuticles were damaged or my nails weren't filed into shape. Even things like moisturizing are met with criticism from some people. Are we as men expected to live a double standard of looking nice but not actually caring about our appearance?

    Even the social bias on men wearing "girly" colours in clothes that come from both genders is absurd. Colours like pink are close to red which is socially accepted as a masculine colour whereas blue is represented as things soft, calm, and delicate, traits that are attributed as feminine. How then did pink become the girly colour when it in fact used to be blue that was girly?

    I feel that we should not be so paranoid about doing something we want to do. I myself already push the borders by wearing high heel boots (though, not stilettos because they are less comfortable). Even my favourite colours being purple and pink (and having matching mobile phones in those colours) raises some eyebrows now and again. But it's become well accepted among my social groups now, and I will often get reassuring compliments when I try something new and bold.

    In all honesty, any person should be able to wear what they are comfortable wearing. Obviously some things look better than others, but it all comes down to personal taste on what you choose.

  56. I am only 14 and when my parents go out for the night or at weekends I paint my toes. I love doing this, i have been obsessed with women's shoes and polished toes since I was young and I have a big foot fetish now. Whenever I go out to the beach or something it is like heaven lol. I just dread to think what my mum would say if she found out that I paint my toes! What does everyone else think to this? Do you think I should ask her to paint mine when she is doing hers or just keep it as one of my guilty pleasures? And what would they think if i went to the shops and bought nails polish?

  57. Replies to Anonymous of March 17, 2009 9:35 AM

    >>All the examples listed of male nail polish wearers are rock stars.

    Do you really need examples? Step up, be your own person. Unless your the lead dog, the view never changes.

    >>Males wearing nail polish is unheard of outside of the entertainment business (or ordinary ppl copying rock stars,etc) because it looks ridiculous out of this context, just as wearing eye make up does.

    It’s not “uheard of” just because YOU haven’t heard of it. Check New York, Los Angeles, London – look around a bit.

    >>It just isn't something that men do. Have you ever seen a man with plucked eyebrows? It makes men look like drag queens.

    I’m a man – I do it?!?! Wait lemme check… Yup still a man :) Just like anything else plucking can be overdone and look “bad”.

    >>The exception is men wearing clear nail polish...one of the idiotic trends created by the "metrosexual" fad.

    What if it’s NOT a fad? EEEEEKKKK, run for your lives. And… no I’m not a metro, but I do know a few.

    >>Leave make up to women. If women want to paint their nails & faces, let them...but most men view wearing make up of any kind as completely alien.

    For the women does that include the: pretty, ugly, fat, skinny, hairless, "wookies" and all those in between? Wait, I don’t remember seeing you at the Manly-Man Union meeting last week. Oh that’s right, you were on the Anonymous People Know Everything Sub-committee, that was kicked out in the hallway, deciding what “most men” think. BTW we voted on this one -- you guys are wrong.

    Okay, I’m not trying to “bash on” this particular Anonymous' comment, it just looked like the most fun to respond to and it actually got my hackles up.

    Now a little about me: 41 year old Desert Storm vet, currently a Corrections Officer (prison guard), 2nd Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate*, married twice, three children (teen, tween and single digit) and totally heterosexual.

    *Yes, I've been to class with painted toes. A few strange looks, a couple of questions (mostly "WHY") and then on with class. When it comes down to it do you want to be more concerned about the burgundy toes or the black belt.

    I got into this by accident – setting up a surprise spa visit for my wife, the spa owner talked me into trying a pedicure. At the end the lady asked if I wanted clear or color, while holding up a bottle of clear polish. Caught off guard I replied with the ever popular and suave, “Ummm…” She countered with, “You’d look good with color.” (and yes, she was HOT) Next thing I know I’ve got painted toes, my wife likes it, I like it and my 7 year old understands “It makes Daddy happy and no one gets hurt.”

    “Oh my, I hope I don’t ruin my pedi… as I’m kickin’ ya teeth down ya throat!” :)

    1. Quick question for you... how would your black belt & burgundy toes fare against UFC Hall-of-Famer Chuck Liddell and his blue polished toes?

      And in a similar vein... What color does Chuck Norris paint his nails? Gold - real, molten gold. And, he doesn't need remover, when he wants the color off, he glares at it and it runs away!

      Keep rocking the color, and THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! I SALUTE YOU!

  58. It's seems amazing that women will call men chauvinist pigs and old fashioned antiques when women are fighting to be treated equally to men, but when a man wants to take something that is perceived as feminine and use it himself, those exact same women feel fine calling him gay or girly. Isn't that wrong ladies? You don't like it when you are stereotyped, so why stereotype us then?

  59. Rock the polish, dudes. It looks hot. Well, generally...it depends on what they're wearing and what their feet look like.

    But it's just paint. Have fun with it.

  60. There is a reason why nail polish companies are introducing colors for men now. Guys are starting to express some creativity and style!
    And it's about time!

  61. There is no reason for men's nail polish. Color is just color and after all women wear all colors including black and dark blue. Therefore there is no reason them men can't wear red or pink. What is fair is fair. Just buy women's nail polish. There is no need to buy nail polish for men because there really is no such thing and there is no need for it. Men need to get over their insecurities. I know a lot of women that use men's products and they don't have any problem with it.

  62. Well, you are right that men can just buy 'women's' nail polish, but there are some colors that look more masculine, and they are just hard to find in most stores.
    Black is an easy one, but try to find a decent green that is not either mint or has sparkles.
    Even blues that don't look either too light or neon are tough to find.
    Besides, why not nail polish for men? At least the companies offering these have taken some of the work out of colors that look good on most men.

  63. All the new OPI colors the suede and matte work so well on guys. No lie!

  64. i pain tmy nails all the time... i forget to clean teh cuticles, but i do paint them black...

    mos tmen are so afradi of the other guys wondering why they r wearing polish and may fear beign percevied as gay...

    i hate societies preset rules and laws on image...

  65. Society doesn't have any rules about what you can wear and what you can't wear. The rules are in your own mind and most of the fears are unfounded. Just paint your nails and wear them proudly. If you cower in the corner or act like you are doing something wrong, then people will treat you badly. If you wear your nail polish with confidence and go about your normal business, you won't have any problems.

  66. Society doesn't have any rules about what you can wear and what you can't wear. The rules are in your own mind and most of the fears are unfounded. Just paint your nails and wear them proudly. If you cower in the corner or act like you are doing something wrong, then people will treat you badly. If you wear your nail polish with confidence and go about your normal business, you will not have any problems.

  67. Okay, I might be the wrong person to have an opinion on this, because I'm transgendered. I've always wanted to paint my nails, and I do. Men who paint their nails, however, face societal dictates based on gender. I don't understand it either. Men should be able to paint their nail without being thought gay or girly, and you should need to be a rock star to get away with it. I just happen to like the way it looks on men or women. Another reason nail polish works for me in that I have psoriasis, and in some cases, psoriasis makes your fingernails detached from the nail beds, making them look rather unsightly. Polishing them hides that, but try wearing polish to work.

    But another reason I wish

  68. Will, I'm in the same boat. I love dude stuff, Sports and Hunting. I play 7 sports for cryin' out loud!
    I love feet now too. I want to paint my toes but I'm afraid my parents would find out.

  69. As a guy, i think its too much effort. I do like nailpolish i just dont want to put in the time and effort to buy it.
    That said i dont like all nailpolish. bright long nails are tacky and grotesque which is partially why im put off.

  70. Well, I'm a guy that wears polish on my toenails (mostly dark colors), and I have had some great fun with it, and some really great reactions, specially from the ladies.

    See my blog at http://toebad.blogspot.com/

  71. i'm a guy and i wear nail polish, but i use diferent colors, like blue, green, gold, purple, right now i have turqoise, idk it's just fun, and i love to see ppls reactions lolz

  72. Men should be able to. I like black nail polish. I am still trying to convince my family that it's not a "goth" or "gay" or "rocker" thing.Nail polish also makes your nails look cleaner and shinier.

  73. I'm a hetero male I've been wearing nail polish on my feet and hands for some time now and I love it! I have pictures on my blog of my lastest pedi's so feel free to check it out! I get a lot of compliments on them, and I love the attention! :)

  74. I often wear nail polish on my toes - black, chrome, green, blues. I wear it on my fingers too, but not as often. Down to social acceptability I suppose. It should be accepted, earings for men have been for a long time now so are tattoos for women.

    I would wear it all the time if more men wore it.

    Like all things if enough men wore it - ther e would be a critical mass ands it would become the norm.

  75. about two weeks ago I had my nails done. The usual manicure, then the person doing mine said that I needed a hardener and applied it. It did help my nails look better. she thensuggested that i put on a light nailbed color that was translucent. I agreed. After she put it on my fingernails looked healthy. the color being transparent really made them look very well and I recieved a couple of compliments from my friends. They didn't even know they were polished. I intend to have it redone shortly. Guys you need to try this, go to a nail salon and get it done, ITS GREAT

  76. I know this is an old debate, but still, it continues to this day!

    I agree with you Scrangie, come on guys! I love rockers, and it's soo hot with black polish with that look.

    I just GOT to say, that is not Steven Tyler on your pic, it's a look alike or something :P

  77. Candy Man sounds cool, like THE CANDY MAN, as in...the horror movie series. I'd love a bottle of that shit.

    Incidentally, I'm a guy, I'm very butch, and I wear black nail polish.

    Why? You might ask.

    Because I'm goth and I'm fucking awesome. Go ahead, call me a pussy fagot, I'll beat the living shit out of you for it. Then who will be the pussy fagot.

    Fear is the mindkiller, so go put on some fucking nail polish men and prove you aren't little bitches.

  78. I wish that it would be just find if a man wanted to wear nail polish! Granted it's a turn on for me to see women with well manicured nails preferably red! Love painted toes in high heeled sandals! But seriously! What does it really matter in the huge scheme of things if a man wants to dress as a woman and is still the nice person he always was and or wear makeup and polish! Really? Why is it made into something deviant or perverse! It hurts no one! It just make those manly men feel uncomfortable! Tsk Tsk! Tough! Grow up! everyone can fit in and work and live in unity! You all just have to want it and accept it! Life on this planet would be a little easier to live in!

  79. Erica4U
    I wholehearted agree with your comments. There is nothing wrong with a man in a skirt or a dress. I wear skirts and skorts, especially during the warmer months of the year. I was elated when I found out that mens' skirts would be available this spring (2010) offered by H & M fashions. Skirts like shorts cover the same body parts, but are cooler and comfortable. I have my nails done once a month because they look healthier. The salon does put on a clear coat and what they call a translucent pink to bring out the nail bed. It does not color the tips like nail polish. My girlfriend thinks they look much better this way, even though they are a bit glossy (shiny). I am not Gay nor do I lean that way. I think comfort should come first as to what is considered the NORM.

  80. I apologize if I hurt anyone's feelings but I find it both hilarious and sad that anyone would think that preferences for what are merely fashion would be 'hardwired' or even socially unacceptable. 100 years ago any woman in this country that wore makeup of any kind was immediately written off as a whore while 200 years before that men and women in Europe (and elsewhere) were quite comfortable using cosmetics. There have also been times further back in history when cosmetics were ONLY allowed to be used by men. It's strictly fashion and you should never allow fashion to lead you by the nose. Cosmetics have no more to do with the sexuality of the person wearing them than the length of their hair and those of you decrying the shaky masculinity of those men who might choose to wear cosmetics remind of an old fart uncle I had who insisted that REAL MEN didn't wear long hair and got quite pissy when you pointed out that in fact, not only did America's founders wear long hair, they wore wigs if necessary to follow that particular fashion. And that's all it is folks, fashion...and nearly as quick to change as the weather.

    I'm enjoying your blog Scrangie and trying to catch up.

  81. When we were on a 2 week vacation, While on vacation, I got a pedicure at my wife's suggestion. She dared me to get colored polish. The manucurist suggested a reddish pink color. The only footwear I had was open toed sandals and flip flops which I wore with the painted toes. Much to my surprise, I got nothing but positive comments, especially from the flight attendant on the return plane ride. My toes have been polished with about the same color ever since.

  82. I just had surgery for a hammertoe on my right foot and am scheduled to have the pin removed next week. I have been chomping at the bit to have another pedicure and to try a new color as my feet have been sorely neglected for the last month. I am going all out with a spa pedicure this time. My new toe deserves it.

  83. I presonally dont see the problem here. I am a 34 year old man with two kids and a girlfriend like that should matter. My girlfriend and I go and get a pedicures and manicures together. And we do get our toe nails painted matching. She likes it cause its a way to match.

  84. "Fear is the mindkiller, so go put on some fucking nail polish men and prove you aren't little bitches"

    While I'm not especially prone to violence ;-) I wholly agree with the sentiment here. Men are made to be afraid, ashamed and embarrassed to be caught in public wearing nail polish. Why? Especially if "Manly Men" aren't supposed to be afraid... and yet they're terrified of such things as this.

    As someone already mentioned, in the past men wore makeup, let alone nail polish, and women didn't. Tights, another good example, were originally Menswear, women were forbidden to wear them, and now it's become the opposite.

    Because it's not "Socially Acceptable" is a pathetic excuse for what is simply giving into fear engendered into men from a young age.

    Over time women have taken from them all the things we wanted, from being able to wear what we want, from makeup and tights to pants, and in itself that's a ~good~ thing, along with all the other more important freedoms we've taken... but to turn around and deny them the same freedoms honestly just turns my stomach, especially when it's ingrained along with so much fear.

    Men, wear your nail polish in public and tell yourself "Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me."

    Only Real Men can survive their own fears.

  85. Look up menwithredtoes.com, I started this website just recently, to promote cancer awareness and to raise funds for cancer research. I started wearing red toes in public, handing out business cards, etc. to raise awareness. Then I made some buttons, t-shirts and other stuff, and felt totally comfortable wearing sandles with my toes painted, primarily red, but other colours as well, and when people ask, I explain I am raising cancer awareness, and am spreding the word. Even my doctors got a kick out of it and said it’s a great idea. It is not often you see a 53 yr old guy, grey hair & red toes, but it does work for me.

  86. What a great idea! I see that Kim from Overall Beauty has signed on with you too.

  87. Ok i am a man posting a comment and probably the first one belive it or not i am not that old i am 14 and my girlfriend wanted to paint my nails.

    I was ok with it it was bright red too i didnt think to much of it people tend to put a label on people like this to make fun of them and get a kick out of it.

    in my opinion that is wrong and thats why it seems to me they mock everyone and they are a nut and a loser to open ideas and changes in life. so go ahead make fun of people then lets see what happens years down the road...

  88. ok since i think my other answer got lost i am retyping...

    my girlfriend and i were in school and yes i am a man, so anyway she wanted to paint my nails red.she painted them red after that she gave me a kiss on the cheek 1st time btw so anyway i let it dry and think why is this so bad for people? Then i get a late pass and go to class what is the first label i hear "GAY".

    Seriously i did not give a freaking **** (stars sorry dont want to get in trouble). This is what people need to be doing branching out instead of being closed to new ideas.

    Because frankly this is not bad, a little new to people but not bad. write back even though im anonymous just post a comment below and i will read it thanks ;)

  89. There are people who no matter what believe that if unless it involves some sort of violence, degradation of women, or some other form of nonmasculinity it is GAY. For instance I like skirts, they are very comfortable. They are cooler to wear in the summer. Unfortunately most men don't know this. To say this detracts from masculinity is stupid, A man can still play baseball, drink beer and enjoy other activities as well. It doesn't make him GAY. His penis will not fall off nor will he want to date the guy down the street.

  90. For some folks, the only way they can feel good about themselves is to beat other folks down. I got it even before I wore toe polish. I have been wearing kilts for years, and I don't have to tell you about all of the "nice skirt" comments I would get, even from folks I considered friends. For those of us that are secure in ourselves wearing polish is just part of who we are, who gives a rat's @$$ about what anyone else thinks.

  91. i am a man, i love women, and i have green nail polish on my fingers and grey nail polish on my toes. i love it so much.

    compared to women, there are very few ways that men can express themselves. i happen to be a very vibrant, colorful person; i hate the idea that as men, we have to be a certain way to not be thought of as gay. FUCK HOMOPHOBIA. i love looking down at my toes and seeing my nails looking good. i love having my fingernails painted. it's taken me my entire life thus far to break out of the ideas that have been imposed upon me and my gender and just enjoy who i am and do what i want.

    i also hate the argument that only rockstars can do nail polish. those rockstars are rockstars because they broke out of your cookie cutter mold and decided to do something different. the men you want are all just satisfied with being normal and run of the mill and aren't willing to put themselves out there and try something that might be AMAZING. have those men; you deserve them. as for me? i don't need a TV show to pick me up and shove me out of my comfort zone and try things out. that's what i love doing with my life.

    who's really the better man?

  92. i am a man, i love women, and i have green nail polish on my fingers and grey nail polish on my toes. i love it so much.

    compared to women, there are very few ways that men can express themselves. i happen to be a very vibrant, colorful person; i hate the idea that as men, we have to be a certain way to not be thought of as gay. FUCK HOMOPHOBIA. i love looking down at my toes and seeing my nails looking good. i love having my fingernails painted. it's taken me my entire life thus far to break out of the ideas that have been imposed upon me and my gender and just enjoy who i am and do what i want.

    i also hate the argument that only rockstars can do nail polish. those rockstars are rockstars because they broke out of your cookie cutter mold and decided to do something different. the men you want are all just satisfied with being normal and run of the mill and aren't willing to put themselves out there and try something that might be AMAZING. have those men; you deserve them. as for me? i don't need a TV show to pick me up and shove me out of my comfort zone and try things out. that's what i love doing with my life.

    who's really the better man?

  93. I agree with Katee, guys getting manis and pedis is okay, to keep their nails neat and clean, and to pamper themselves with the massage maybe, but not actual colored nail polish. That would be too much. The black works cuz all those guys are weirdos to begin with, its not like they dress, act or work like normal people. Its just too different.

  94. Abby, I think most of us would rather choose to do the things that make us happy and be a 'weirdo' than be a boring, closed-minded judgmental douche who follows all the arbitrary rules about being 'normal' that someone else has made for them.

    1. Scrangie - I agree with Guy, well said!!

      I've always been one to think outside the box, march to my own drum, question authority. I've never been one who cowers timidly in the middle of the herd, blindly following all of its customs no matter how illogical, out of fear of standing out and being noticed. I don't measure my manhood by what the herd thinks of me (I measure my "manhood" with a yardstick, ha!). I wear color on my fingers and toes, because I like it. I'm not saying that all men should, or even that most men could, wear nail color. In fact, any man whose masculinity is so weak or fragile that it would be threatened by a spot of paint (or the opinion of a bigot) isn't man enough to wear nail color!

  95. Glad you said it, so I didn't have to.

  96. Abby,
    I do not appreciate your judgemental attitudes toward men.

    As a man I wear skirts almost all the time and I have nail polish on my toenails. I gave up on putting nail polish on my fingernails since I am fussy and it took too much time to keep them touched up.

    Nobody calls women cross dressers whenever they wear men's clothing. Yet we men are made to feel ashamed when we wear nail polish, skirts, dresses, and high heels.


  97. John,
    I agree with your comments as to the nail polish
    although I have a hardener and a translucent nail
    bed pink applied.
    I also agree with you about the skirt issue. The wearing of skirts for men also have health reasons as well, but I won't go into details here. I wear skirts, they are comfortable period. I buy all of my skirts from www.skortman.com . He will even modify skirts designed for women and make them for men. I have two denim skirts, one a modified straight
    line with it being not quite an A-line with a male fly, button front and zipper, the other being a full A-line with the same fly, button and zipper. Both of these will allow me skirts for winter here in northern Ohio during winters
    here. I wear these with tights for warmth as well. I am not gay.
    Most of the women here like the styles I wear, When I show them the mens label by the waist they are surprised, some have ordered a couple for their husbands and sons. So this being unacceptable (to me)is hogwash. I am accepted here by family, friends and strangers.
    It is the image I think what a person projects is
    what people make judgements on. If a male acts masculine, does manly things, then will be better accepted by others. If he acts effeminate then he be judged as such.

  98. I have been wearing polish for a while now, and I don't doubt that skirts are comfortable, but they seem to be pushing the envelope a little more than I am ready for. I prefer to wear kilts instead, they are truly made for men, not modified women's clothes. As a matter of fact, when women wear them, THEY are the cross-dressers. If the dress code at my office permitted kilts I wouldn't own a pair of trousers. I currently own 10 kilts, 4 different tartans, and several Utilikits. There is a growing community of Kilt wearers in the US.

  99. I have discovered with skirts that it simply does not matter where the zipper is. When I urinate I simply lift the hem of the skirt. The zipper is in the right place on my skirts and faces the correct male direction but it is too short to be useful. This consideration would rule out the men being able to wear women's pants conveniently.
    I do have wide hips so the profile of the skirts does not have to be altered.

    It is such a shame we men feel it is necessary to say "I am not gay". I myself am a happily married heterosexual male.


  100. I’ve been getting pedicures for the past year now and not only are my feet in better condition but my toenails are much better looking. It took awhile before I asked for a french pedicure but only after I found a matte topcoat and an off-white polish for the tips. I’ve worn sandals finally for the first summer since I was a teenager, (30+ years ago) and finally I am not ashamed of my ugly toenails. No one has seemed to notice that I’m even wearing polish since it is such a subdued finish. My wife hasn’t even mentioned how svelte my toes look other than suggest that now that I’m getting pedicures we both might as well get our appointments done with her nail tech and go together. Our first appointment is next week and I’m getting nervous about not only my wife knowing I use polish, but her nail tech knows all my wife's friends too. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to drag my matte topcoat and off-white polish into the salon and give up my stealth looking toes. Not reallly asking for suggestions but I will let you know how it turns out if I don’t chicken out.

  101. Steve,

    If it looks good, and she hasn't noticed it by now it shouldn't be a big deal. I'd go ahead and get them polished. Honestly, you shouldn't really be keeping secrets from her anyway. This might just strengthen your relationship (I'm not implying there is anything wrong about it). My wife loves that I use polish, we take turns painting each others toenails and they always turn out nicer than if we had done them ourselves.

  102. i am male and i have always asked that question, why is it that only woman get to have fun, look sexy and have nice things to play with, i wear cutex on my toes, yes pink with white - but only in the house and around, WHY...because society don't allow men to wear these kind of things....i want my nails to be painted as well, and while on the subject, why can't men wear make up, i like to waer mascara, little base and mabe a bit of eyeshadow - WHY not - why do men have to be bald and ugly and not looked after, it is silly

  103. the most amusing thing i see from women is "Its ok but its a slippery slope", "he might end up wearing my makeup" and the best, "it's too fem"

    I want to tell these equal but different creatures that "I never want to see you in pants, they are too masculine."

    as a man heaven forbid i ever tell a girl shes acting too masculine. fuck me...id be labeled by many women and some men as a sexist bigot. even if i said it as obvious sarcasm with neon pink fingers and toes. yet I vary rarely see women directly calling out their girls on blatant sexism. the media seems to support this trend now too.

    thanks to the author for mentioning that and all the intelegent women who actualy see the reverse discrimination going on.

    2 of my friends came out of the closet in their teens; ive been exposed to atypical humanity and questioned/observed it enough to know its not my thing but there are things they do better, like not try to fit these stupid Barby and ken rolls us straight folks stress over.

  104. thanks again Scrangie. after reading more of comments i caught you pointing out how close minded one of the other comments was :)

  105. Incredible topic, I'm sorry I am coming into it so late.

    As someone else mentioned above the double standard here is incredible. Women have such a wide range of fashion options that they can use to express themselves. And the traditional options for a man? Shirt, pants and tie. But wait! The tie can be colorful.

    As a man, if you try and break out of that mold the label is immediate -- gay. Wear yoga pants and a t-shirt that shows your belly button and tell me what happens.

    But on the other hand if you saw a woman in camo pants and a wife beater t-shirt would you think -- dike? The majority, I believe wouldn't. In fact some would probably think -- HOT!

    It bothers me, as I will relate below. :-)

    I've lived for years in the colder areas of Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Recently I moved to California and it has been hot here. Real hot. So in order to stay cool I wanted to wear shorts. Giving away my age here. In the '70s and '80s shorts were, well short. Today I see "shorts" go down below the knee. Anything higher is, god forbid, "gay".

    Now wait a minute here, the point of shorts is to be not so hot and to get more air flow. These new short pants don't cut it. And what if you have great legs and think they should be shown? (Modestly, I do.) Forgetaboutit, down to the knees at least or you are, wait for it, gay.

    So my local 2nd hand store helped me out and I found some shorts that come to mid-thigh. Which I find out are considered short shorts. Hah! In my day short shorts were in danger of showing the bottom of your butt. (And stay off of my lawn!)

    So I wear 'em. And get stares. From guys!?!? Women mostly don't notice, or just smile. (Well, a few young girls giggled.)

    And I'm like, this is pushing an envelope? Well, watch this!

    Went to a completely amazing nail salon and had a pedi- and manicure. Clear polish on the hands and a French pedicure. Got three toe rings also. My hands look nice, but my feet look awesome. And the pampering there! Guys, if you want to feel like a king go to your nearest salon and get the whole boat done. You will thank me.

    To conclude, women have such freedom in this area. Dresses (from short to down to their ankles), pants, shorts, heels, flats, spikes, blouses, t-shirts, suit coats, etc. Many ways to express themselves.

    Most men? A tie.

    It is a very odd world and I do not choose to walk in lock step with it.

    Thank you for the topic Scrangie, I hope it encourages others to move beyond the norm.

  106. Great comment, Michael! Thanks for taking time out of your day to share your thoughts!

  107. This is encouraging to me, I'd love to try a little black on my fingernails, but I never dared. Obviously it would look good if not in punk - rockish look, at least in a stylish dandy look. But I'm into rock punk fashion to some extent. I'd not do my feet though.
    Men must wear whatever they want, people must have no such boundaries.

  108. Had ManGlaze "Nawsome Sauce" put on during my spa pedi yesterday. My nail tech said that she normally hated greens, but really liked this one. Got lots of positive comments from the ladies, both customers and techs.

  109. Antome, try it! If you are into the 'stylish dandy' look (and I am a fan!) you should try a deep creme blue or a pale creme grey polish- a little less harsh than pure black but still stylish!

    Kevin, that's so awesome! Rock those green toes!

  110. I wear a color called Naked Ivory everyday. No one has ever said anything about it.

  111. Hey all, may I chime in as a noob to the experience? I posted most of this on Lacquerized, but seems to apply here as well.

    I just toyed around with painted toenails over the past month...and I LOVE it. A welcome break in the "drone wear" of men's daily clothing that I've engaged in for many decades.

    It started as a long story FB prank with my wife and I. I manage properties and found a crazy set of peep toe red suede 6" heel platforms in a vacancy. Brought them home for her before realizing that they were silly big, until she tried them on. She tried them on me - a perfect fit. We crafted an idea to post my feet/legs on her FB page and wait for comments from her friends. The painted nails added to the prank factor, but I felt like a human peacock when I looked at my painted nails.

    Long story short is that the prank was great and I now like my nails painted and will likely stick with it. She likes it too, and that's enough for me to stay on the path. A handful of her gal pals like the look also. It was odd - as the moment that I looked at my finished tootsies - I considered them "pretty". I've never been pretty before. (And no - I don't have gnarly guy feet, they do look rather feminine, even unpolished).

    I'm sure that I'll have some nervous moments if I go out in the sandal weather painted, but I've little to lose and am fairly resilient. I've shaved my legs for decades for bike racing, and being of Scot's heritage and ancestry, I also wear a kilt at times. I've heard about every aspersion that could be cast...

  112. I won't run long here, but have only in the past month embraced and experimented with painted nails and I love it!

    Scrangie,RLH - I love your blogs! I'm new to blogging, so I hope that I commit no serious faux pas's either in posting or replies. Slap me upside my head and correct me where you can and care to!

  113. Thanks for the support, scrangie, I'm a little late, but planned to answer earlier, but no problem. Yes it's just that I wanna try, and I'm expecting the right occasion to do it, maybe on stage singing a song or mardi gras :D. And no, i prefer black, obviously having too chunky of a phisical structure is not my, problem, neither is a too rough hand or appearence, luckily, even if I don't think it must be a boundary if a boy want to give the paint a try, taking car of his hands is more than enough.
    I happen to think about Ville Valo he pulls off the look, complete with makup (varying from eyeliner to reddish or violet eyeshadow) with a very simple way of dressing, a mid-to tight black t shirt with prints, a mid to tight jeans, but never excessively tight, for example. cont.d

  114. Hey I wrote a comment, I'm antome, you closed your comments?

  115. Thank YOU, Scrangie! Last summer I lost a bet & had to wear pink polish on my toes for a week. That week, I found this post - and it helped me think about the prejudices I had been living under. Since I first wore polish last July, my toes have not been naked or more than half an hour at a time! Thanks again!

  116. Scrangie, so cool to find this post. I love finding other guys who are open minded about fashion like painted nails. I've been promoting the idea for years on places like Flickr and just recently started my own blog to add to the support that seems to be growing pretty quickly right now.

    My blog is called 'It's OK for Men to Have Painted Nails in Public' at: http://menwithpaintednails.blogspot.com/ if anyone wants to check it out and follow me. (same name as my flickr group) Like I said I've been encouraging other guys to just Try It if you want to, for years under the handle of barefootguyinco, so you might have seen my posts elsewhere. I figure if I can get enough people following my blog I can help change even more minds about men with painted nails.

    Anyway, glad to find you and I'll be following your blog and hope you'll find mine interesting enough to do the same.

    Oh, and I know Steve and TheKirk above from our facebook page on the same subject, lol.

  117. Scrangie - I know you have a rule about unsolicited advertizing, which I'll take to include link spam. I'm sorry if you find the link I'm about to post to be in that category. I don't believe it is, because:
    1) it's not a link to my blog,
    2) I'm not the man interviewed in the linked article,
    3) it IS directly relevant to your original question, "Why don't men wear nail polish?"

    The link points to one nail blogger's interview with another, male nail blogger, and it shows that the answer to your question is becoming "Men are not only wearing nail color with increasing frequency, we're even beginning to blog about it." Here's the link. http://berrypolished.com/blogger-bio-series-4-one-gents-ten/

    And, again I thank you SO MUCH for this, your blog post - and all the supportive comments people have posted here since 2008 - YOU ARE JUST AWESOME!!

  118. I m a 14 yr straight boy and I Have Just started to wear nail polish on my Feet. I have really enjoyed doin it. I think that it is unfair that people think that it is gay to paint ur nails. Why would it b gay the only thing that u do is put color on ur nails. What's so bad about that? I have always loved nail polish. Wen I was young I used makers as a soft of nail polish. I don't think that their is and think wrong. I believe all men should be about to paint their nails with out being teased. I love to paint my nails red and blue. My girlfriend doesn't care that I paint my nails she even said I paint them better them her. So I just hope that everyone will just accept men for painting their nail because its not gay or weird.

  119. Yeah, you're a real liberal girl Scrangie (the ones I really like!)

    On a side note, do you have any opinion against guys wearing anything else feminine? I remember a girl telling me "So, do you just want your nails done? Or do you want to wear anything else feminine?" Do you like that as well?

    It seems the girls were the real ones with balls (guess ovaries in this case!) You've stolen so many fashions from guys. Just think about how hard it is now to make a girl look like a guy, now, at least just with clothes. Drag Kings have to focus on short hair and beards to do it.

    Things which used to be considered exclusively feminine, like shirts and ties (bow or regular) Pants- like girls started wearing after world war 2. I'm sure they had to endure adversity. Actually there's a line in to kill a mockingbird where an elderly woman yells at Scout for wearing overalls "You should be wearing a dress!"

    Do you ever like guys dressed totally like girls as well? Heh :)

    1. I'm a firm believer that clothes are just... clothes. Pieces of cloth you put on your body. Gendered products are bizarre to me.

      My opinions and preferences are really not important in the grand scheme of things... But I do very much appreciate people who dress in ways that make them happy without trying to please others.

      So, you like it? Wear it. The decorations you put on your body aren't what defines you as a man or a woman or otherwise. They're just... things. Pointless material things. Your mind and your heart are what matter. Life's too short to worry about that shit.

    2. Guys wanting to wear it is fine for them, that's fine but I think it would "de-genderize" it if guys and girls wore it, it like pants were no longer considered feminine, I'd like it to remain feminine personally. So girls don't lose their spice.

  120. Great article completely agree! I hope I find a man that is open minded & secure enough to wear polish or what ever he chooses. I am a woman that wears bow ties with corsets & skirts so who am I to judge. Rock what ever style you wish & always fearlessly be you!

  121. I'm a gay guy and I love wearing nail polish, and growing my nails.


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