Women are no longer the only ones painting their nails yellow, red or black, or getting a stylish French manicure. In fact, manicures are now something men enjoy too -- just like facials, waxing or haircare routines -- further blurring gender boundaries.
For a while now, makeup for men has no longer been considered a niche trend, even though it's more common on social networks than on the street. But the movement has been growing steadily for a few weeks now, with a real craze for manicures. And if rappers, singers and other famous actors seem to have set the trend, it's now a whole generation of men who are stepping up to show that colored and manicured nails are no longer (only) a thing for women.
Self-expression and self-affirmation
Gone are the rules, restrictions and other stereotypes... Beauty, like fashion, is progressively becoming a form of self-expression, which interests women as much as men. You could even say that it is once again becoming a means of expression -- as it already was in ancient times -- one which gradually transformed into a practice considered feminine, more or less exclusively, despite the best efforts of artists and celebrities from David Bowie to Johnny Depp, who dabbled with more androgynous looks. But 2022 appears to be a turning point, with a real blurring of the boundaries between genders, especially in the cosmetics industry.
Last March, the online beauty booking platform Treatwell unveiled a survey that reflected these changes. The survey showed that three in 10 French men were willing to get a manicure and pedicure, and that manicures were one of the most popular services for men. The specialist site also noted a 23% increase in nail care before the holiday season. All in all, these figures suggest that such services are indeed meeting men's new demands.
Harry Styles, Lil Nas X, and Co.
From the catwalks to the red carpets, via the music industry, or even street styles, men's manicures have recently become part of the routine for some celebrities, helping to make male nail care more popular worldwide -- or almost. And we're not talking about black nails -- often the standard of the punk or grunge look -- but colored nails or nails decorated with patterns of all kinds. As often, Harry Styles appears as one of the leaders in this field, often posing or stepping out with perfectly groomed and painted nails.
But he is not alone. ASAP Rocky, Lil Nas X, J. Balvin, Bad Bunny, Pete Davidson, Jared Leto, Marc Jacobs and Machine Gun Kelly are among the many men who have taken the plunge, making numerous appearances with nails painted in various colors. The latter has even launched his own brand of unisex nail polish, UN/DN LAQR, reflecting the popularity of this trend, which is not about to fade away -- quite the contrary. A development that serves as a reminder that gender stereotypes are slowly but surely breaking down.