What began as a meeting between a man and a little girl has turned into an awareness campaign that involves one nail, polish and a whole lot of men. The movement is called Polished Man and it encourages men to paint one of their fingernails for a week to represent the 1 in 5 children who will be the victims of sexual violence in their lifetime.
It all began when YGAP's Elliot Costello of Australia visited Cambodia for a project with Hagar International. There he met a girl named Thea who had been abused. They painted their nails together and he promised her he'd always have one of his painted to remember her.
That one promise has turned into a movement as more guys become a #PolishedMan to stand up against sexual violence against kids. According to its website, "being a Polished Man means challenging violent behavior and language, both locally and globally."
With 96 percent of the this violence perpetrated by men, the initiative is calling on them to be the voice of change:
"By promoting positive male role models who support equality and child rights, we can create a community of male change-makers."
But the nails are just the beginning.
Multiple public figures such as Hugh Jackman, Richard Branson and Mario Batali have participated in the campaign, which has so far fundraised $169,087.
According to the press release, the fundraising aspect of the campaign aims to raise money to fund support, educational programs and resources for child survivors of abuse.
The hope is that the one painted nail men wear will start conversations that lead to donations and change. When the campaign first launched last year, it reached more than 91,000 people. This year, it hopes for the same, but per Costello, with even bigger goals.
“This year we are taking the campaign global to further extend this message. YGAP believes that men all over the world have a leading role to play in ensuring children feel safe and reach their full potential,” he said.
The campaign just took off Oct. 1, but men are already converting to become a #PolishedMan.
Check 'em out below, then get to painting.