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Nail polishes are the new frontier of gender neutral beauty

Even Tyler, The Creator has launched a nail polish collection, becoming the latest star to support the trend

Nail polishes are the new frontier of gender neutral beauty Even Tyler, The Creator has launched a nail polish collection, becoming the latest star to support the trend

Tyler, The Creator is just the latest in a series of male celebrities who in recent months have decided to make their entry into the cosmetics industry starting with nail polishes. During 2021 to do so were Machine Gun Kelly with UN/DN  in partnership with Unlisted Brand LabFedez who launched a line of nail polishes in collaboration with Layla Cosmetics called Noon by Fedez and Harry Styles who with his Pleasing has decided to focus on human imperfection and empathy, approaching the world of beauty with a new mindfulness approach.  

I feel like men should be able to do nail art without feeling feminine.

Declared back in 2019 A$AP Rocky to Vogue, proudly showing his painted nails and emphasizing how manicure, or "menicure" as Esquire called it, is a kind of statement that goes beyond our gender identity. An idea that Gen Z fully shares, at least looking at the popularity on Tik tok of hashtags like #guyswithnailpolish or #boyswithnailpolish that exceed one million views or the effect of the launch of Pleasing, after which, according to LookFantastic caused a 457% spike in online searches for men's manicure.

After presenting his first perfume, French Waltz, the eclectic artist has launched a small line of nail polishes with his brand GOLF le FLEUR. It consists of two pastel colors: "Geneva Blue" and "Georgia Peach", a sort of hybrid between yellow and soft orange. To which is added "Glitter", a transparent glitter gel that looks like it could have come out of a 90s Cioè gadget. You can find them on the GOLF le FLEUR website for $55 for the complete set and $20 for each nail polish.

Male make-up is no longer taboo and it is easy to understand why nail polish is an ideal starting point for men's beauty lines and represents a first step towards an idea of beauty that is unisex, genderless and, as can be seen by looking at the images of the new GOLF le FLEUR products, even age-related diktats. The boundaries of norms and gender identity are dissolving and the world of cosmetics is adapting by becoming more open and fluid. So, unlike in the past, in the new society shaped by Millennials and Zoomers, the male makeup industry is so cool that it has not only entered our daily lives, but it has become a multi-billion dollar industry that appeals to big brands and stars who are no longer showing off their nail art only on the red carpet. 

As Suzanne E. Shapiro, fashion historian and author of Nails: the Story of the Modern Manicure, to the Washington Post as early as the late 1800s, after a woman named Mary Cobb opened America's first nail salon in New York City, manicures were genderless and customers lining up to file and polish their nails were both women and men. The real rise of fashion, however, came in the 20th century thanks to rock icons such as David Bowie, Lou Reed and Steven Tyler, the best-known example of countercultures that have always made unisex use of make-up such as glam rockers, goths, new romantics, skateboarders and punks. For those who grew up in the '90s, then, seeing male stars with painted nails or make-up is certainly nothing new, but the phenomenon at the time was reserved for a few brave people like Dennis Rodman and Johnny Depp or rock stars like Kurt Cobain, Dave Gahan or Billie Joe Armstrong. And how can we forget the whole emo trend of the early 2000s? In 2021, however, male nail polish, thanks to its many fans such as Pete Davidson, Damiano DavidLil Nas X or Ezra Miller, is no longer reserved only for rulebreakers and alternatives, but takes on a new meaning, a message of inclusiveness that goes beyond the mere idea of subverting the status quo to embrace a concept of total freedom of expression.