It’s quite great and all for a good cause that men have been seen wandering about with just one fingernail painted on one hand. As there’s a much darker meaning behind it that others should know, although it’s easy to see this trend and assume that it’s just another ridiculous hipster fad.
This trend, for men only, began in Australia, but it has made its way to America through guys who also want to get in on this incredible idea. Men may opt to paint different fingernails on a single hand, as well as their chosen color. Some men may even go one step further and add some pattern on top of the color, but no matter how fancy it looks, the color conveys one meaning.
Elliot Costello, who met a young girl named Thea while traveling with a group called Hagar International, was the first man behind the initiative to paint his fingernail and spread the idea. To see how they may have an influence in this underdeveloped region, Elliot and the crew flew to Cambodia. The smallest villager, however, made the largest impression on Elliot, who understood that the problem goes far beyond Cambodia and affects children everywhere, particularly in America.
Elliot got to know Little Thea by being on her level and engaging in activities that she would find enjoyable.
That meant painting nails for this girly girl. As they conversed about her life and its challenges, he painted her portrait and she painted one of his. He discovered that she had experienced sexual assault.
“In that moment, as she put polish on one of my nails, I told her I would always leave that finger painted to remember her, which also meant I would remember her pain,” Elliot said.
Elliot left this pleasant exchange with new ideas for how to influence guys in order to protect children from sexual predators. The Polished Man project, which encourages men to become #PolishedMan by painting one fingernail for a week, was born at that time. One out of every five children will tragically become the victim of sexual assault at some point throughout their lives, as symbolized by the single nail on a hand of five nails.
According to the Polished Man’s website dedicated to awareness to stop sexual violence against kids, “being a Polished Man means challenging violent behavior and language, both locally and globally.”
Since 96% of this kind of violence against children globally is committed by men, Elliot discovered that men need to be the voice of change if we are to put an end to this abuse of helpless children.
The ultimate goal is to raise awareness of the fact that thousands of children are abused every day and endure lifelong effects as a result, not just by noticing a bright nail on a guy.
Instead, Elliot wants the fingernail to be the beginning of a discussion about this tragic reality, which might inspire more suggestions for how to stop it and perhaps donations to “support educational programs and resources for child survivors of abuse,” according to APlus.