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Giving the (polished) finger: Male celebrities paint their nails in new campaign against child abuse

| September 1, 2014 at 07:39 am

  • The Polished Man campaign runs from September 1 until the 15th
  • It aims to raise awareness for the one in five children globally who experience violence
  • In Australia, one in 29 children (or one in every class) experiences violence
  • People participating in the event are encouraged to paint one finger with nail polish to encourage people to talk about the issue

Men across the country will be sporting a colourful look on their fingernails for the first two weeks of September as the the Polished Man campaign kicks off to raise awareness of violence against children.
Participants, who will wear nail polish on one of their fingers, include AFL player Chris Judd, Logie award winner Gyton Grantley from Underbelly, Aria award winner Dan Sultan and Tripple M’s Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann.

Grantley, who began to show his support a little earlier than required, told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I’m already sporting a nice kind of pink with blue sparkles on top’.

‘I’ve been wearing it everyday and that’s the great thing about the campaign – you don’t often see nail polish on a man and it definitely prompts the question of why you’re wearing it from others and that results in the exclamation of why and really brings the campaign to life.’

The campaign is largely focused on getting men to participate as approximately 90 per cent of all violence committed against children is perpetrated by men.

As a result, the campaign aims to encourage men to challenge their mates on ‘what it means to be a man’ and to not accept violence, as well as painting one fingernail to represent the one-in-five children globally who experience violence.

The idea sprung from the founder and CEO of social change advocacy group YGAP, Elliot Costello, who met 10-year-old Thea while in Phnom Penh, Cambodia last year.

Thea suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of a paedophile for two years while at a ‘safe house’ where she was taken after her father passed away.

She was eventually rescued by Hagar International and upon meeting Mr Costello who was working alongside the organisation, built a strong relationship with him.

The inspiration for the Polished Man campaign came the day before Elliot left Cambodia, when Thea drew a love heart on his hand and painted his fingernails.

Grantley revealed that his decision to become an ambassador for the campaign came from his exposure to similar experiences.

‘I’ve done charity work in Thailand for World Vision and I’ve also worked in the slums of Nairobi in Kenya for Oasis Africa, so I’ve done work for children over there and seen quite in depth some of the experiences they’ve been through,’ Grantley said.

‘More importantly it’s in our own backyard and basically one in 29 children, or one kid in every class is being abused and we might not be aware of it or know it.

‘What’s important is to raise more awareness and encourage more conversations amongst ourselves, to bring the subject more light.’

One group of men who are proud to be displaying their colourful fingernails over the next fortnight are the mechanics from Heritage Motors in Maitland.

The Service Operations Manager, Rob Reeve, told Daily Mail Australia that everyone from the salesmen to the tow-truck drivers have painted their nails bright pink and purple.

‘Matt the tow-truck driver came up with the idea to get involved and it just snowballed from there and everyone got involved – the salesmen, all the service staff, the whole dealership got behind it,’ he said.

‘They are all young fellas and they just want to say not to that sort of behaviour.’

The Motor group kicked off the event by throwing a barbecue for staff and clients in which the proceeds were donated to the charity.

‘I think once they started to do it everyone was egging each other on and they seemed to enjoy it actually, I’m a bit worried,’ Mr Reeve jested.

He added: ‘I was serving on the front counter and I’ve only got one nail done and someone noticed and said “did you bruise it?”

‘ I tell them the reason why and they get involved. It becomes a focus and talking point for people and it has certainly boosted the awareness around people so far because they’ve asked a lot of questions.’

Funds raised during the Polished Man campaign will contribute to preventative measures to address violence against children.

Source: Daily Mail

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