Gender Rules Be Damned! Men are Having Their Nails Painted & We’re Here For it

Jaden Smith in Vogue Korea

Everyone has had that “aha” at some point in their lives. You know that moment when just like a character from a young adult dystopian novel like the Hunger Games or Divergent, you simply realize that being true to yourself and fighting the power, trumps most of the rules laid down by society? Well my very first experience with this was when a boy named Aidan, joined my high school in year four.

For the longest time I had been brought up with a set of rules that didn’t require vocalization for me to simply know, and accept them as facts. Men were not supposed to dress a certain way, speak a certain way, or simply exist in a certain way. Imagine my shock at 14 when I met Aidan who simply threw a middle finger to these gender rules and did everything from using foundation, to painting his nails. This was the moment when I realized that these gender rules aren’t infallible, as long as you decide to do you.

Bad Bunny

Things have changed alot since then, and while alot of people never had an Aidan to show them the way earlier on, we’ve had Adam Lambert, Denrele Edun, Kanye West (remember when he made men in skirts cool?) and Harry Styles to show us the way.

Zac Efron

According to an article by, men have actually been painting their nails since 3,200 B.C! I mean, these men were getting mani-pedis before making their way to the battlefield. If that isn’t manly enough for you, then tell what is?

It’s almost as if the term “rugged good looks” automatically translates into “ashy and ungroomed”. Style, fashion and grooming for men is slowly evolving in Nigeria, thanks to the likes of Uche Uba, Denola Grey and Adebayo Oke-Lawal, who constantly remind us that there’s more than one way to look and exist, as a man.

While some people like twitter influencer @jajaphd got his nails painted for a cause, some simply do it for fun. There’s an imperative need for us to look beyond what society has labelled as “manly” or appropraite for a particular sex, in order to truly discover who we really are. It doesn’t matter if you’re getting your nails done in solidarity with a cause, or simply getting it done to match your look, as long as it’s your decision, everyone else doesn’t matter.


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