One of the coolest things about society today – or at least one of the cool things that a majority of us are moving toward – is allowing people to express themselves how they want to and not judging them for it.

That said, we can be curious about why people make certain choices without judging them, but we just might not know exactly how to ask questions without coming off as rude.

That’s where the internet comes in, so if you’ve seen men walking around with a single painted nail and wondered why, now’s your chance to get some answers.

It turns out, it’s probably not just about fashion. There’s a campaign called the Polished Man, created by an organization that strives to raise awareness about children who have been sexually abused.

Image Credit: The Polished Man

It was started by Elliot Costello, who was inspired after meeting a Cambodian child named Thea with a sad story. After spending a good amount of time with her and her family, he found out that she had been struggling with sexual abuse since the age of eight–two full years at that point.


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Elliot promised to keep one of his nails painted to remember her and her struggle, and upon returning home, he wanted to continue to raise awareness for Thea and everyone like her.

If you think those numbers are small, think again – nearly one in five children worldwide have suffered, are suffering, or will suffer sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted person in their life (or, more rarely, a stranger).


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If you’re a parent, make sure you educate yourself on the signs of sexual abuse in kids, have frank conversations with your kids about what’s ok and what’s not, and do your best to foster relationships with them that make them comfortable coming to you with any and all problems.

Be vigilant out there; too many people are not at all what they seem.