Mani-Pedis Have Broken the Gender Barrier

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Thursday's New York Post offers an important cultural follow-up to early April's groundbreaking New York Times story: Nail polish is a fashion accessory. Not only are nail polishes and lacquers reaching new heights in fashion, there are gender breakthroughs happening as we write: Men are going to nail salons. Men! Kristen Fleming explains this trend in the Post, using the example of 23-year-old waiter Steve Brady, who resides in Sunset Park and gets a mani-pedi every five weeks to keep his worn-out feet "healthy." Lest you think less of Brady, or other men, for this, hear Brady out: "It’s the same thing as a man having a great suit and shoes. You’re showing pride in how you carry yourself. Details are everything," he tells The Post.

Beyond Brady, there are the buddies he's turned on to getting their nails did, too. Of course, there are celebrities like Tim Tebow, recent mani-pedi procurer, and former Mr. Kardashian, Kris Humphries, and the Rangers' Brandon Prust. This makes it mainstream, say spa executives, who are presumably thrilled with this boost to their clientele numbers and are offering new products to suit the burgeoning male market. Bliss Spa, for example, offers a dude manicure that's so popular, customers have  "increased by 10 percent this quarter over last year," according to Susan Grey, vice president of Bliss. What's a dude manicure? From the website, it's $25 (not including tip) and it is described so compellingly that surely lots of women will want to purchase it for the men in their lives:

the manly-cure™

Guy grooming just got groovy with our detail driven manicure for men. A hot cream hand massage, followed by a cuticle curtailing soak, clipping and pushing, nail buffing and perfecting. Manly-cure maketh the man.

With offerings like these, it's no wonder the glass ceiling is finally shattering, and thank goodness— women have not been able to look at male hands or feet for decades. All that is changing: It's gotten to the point where at one Tribeca nail salon, guys relax in the lounge looking at iPads and watching ESPN! One married dad, Michael Ruff, used to be so embarrassed of his mani-pedi ways that he'd have someone come to the house to rejuvenate his soles under cover of night (or whenever, really), now shows his actual face at an actual salon in midtown, "where he spies oodles of corporate bigwigs doing the same."

Gender barriers, you are officially bent. When dudes start pinning their favorite nail lacquers on Pinterest, we'll know the nail war on men is finally over. Or, maybe, it's over when the breathless stories about dudes getting mani-pedis simply cease. 

Image via Shutterstock by Bezikus.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.