Every time a beauty brand comes out with products marketed to anyone other than women and women alone, the same conversation comes to the forefront: Do we really need separate makeup for men, women, and non-binary people? Are we moving towards a society that accepts people of all genders and sexualities making themselves up in whichever way they choose? We hope so.
One Instagram account celebrating those wearing whatever the hell they want is Boys in Polish, run by London-based freelance nail artist Jess Young. The account, which shows — you guessed it — men rocking nail polish, from the acrylic to the bejeweled, seeks to break down gender stereotypes while celebrating the universal joy of a damn good manicure.
"The idea started when I was doing my art foundation, and one of my guy friends wore nail polish which I really admired," Young explains. "I started shooting others and posting photos on my personal account, but I thought, 'Why not start a movement?'" Each subject directs his own shoot, from styling to location, while Young does the nails and shoots on her Fujifilm camera.
"Times are definitely changing and men are starting to reconstruct masculinity with the help of the creative industry, which is helping to subvert the perceptions of what it is," Young says. "I love seeing men embrace their femininity, and it's so refreshing seeing them in beauty campaigns — it's about time. I definitely aim to break the barriers to traditional masculinity, because when it comes to self-expression, women have more freedom to fashion the body as they so choose. I want men to have the same, regardless of their sexuality."
Click through to see some of our favorite Boys in Polish — and read what they have to say about it, in their own words.