McClay paints nails to accent outfits, style

April 20, 2020

Ever since his curiosity at Camp Mardela in Maryland, McClay has found a new daily habit. At this camp, one of McClay’s friends lost a bet and had to paint his nails. McClay, intrigued, asked to have his painted as well. Ever since, he has always painted his nails. To McClay, throughout the years of doing it, he feels like it is not a big deal. 

“Honestly, not at all. Like, I don’t think it’s a very big deal at all because it’s just the same thing as drawing on your skin. You’re just putting color there, which is why I do it because you’re just adding accent to something,” McClay said. “If anything, it’s fun because people notice it and if it’s something people notice, and yeah some people don’t like that, but I think it’s fine. The attention’s fun.”

In addition to painting his nails, McClay also gets manicures and pedicures. He does these rarely, but still loves doing them. 

“When I get a mani pedi, it’s the best feeling. Like you just look at them and be like, ‘wow, they did a good job.’ They had a massage chair and everything. I almost fell asleep in their chair. The best part is when they scrape your dead skin off, it’s like peeling a carrot. I think it’s such a great experience. Pedicures are an amazing, amazing experience,” McClay said. 

As a boy who paints his nails, McClay has been judged throughout the year with the common stigma that guys shouldn’t paint their nails. 

“I think [the stigma] is pretty stupid. It’s like ratting out someone for getting a pedicure because they are amazing. I think the stigma is stupid because anyone should be able to mess with their own bodies. If you can draw on your skin, you can paint your nails. I just think the stigma is stupid,” McClay said.

Even though some people have adverse opinions about him painting his nails, McClay’s family is not one of them. They have never questioned it, even since the first time he did it at home. The only thing his family judged him for was making a bit of a mess. 

“It was funny because the first time I did it, my whole mom wondered why the whole house smelled like acetone. When she found out, she just laughed because of how much of a mess I made,” McClay said. “[The first time I did it was] awful because I dripped sparkly nail polish on the bathroom carpet. It dripped like a big glob and I couldn’t get it out so I just smashed it in the best I could. It was actually really satisfying painting my nails. I just sat there and looked at my nails because I had no marks on my skin from my nail polish, which was really satisfying. I was so proud of myself because I got to the point where I could do it in a single stroke.” 

While painting his nails for so long, McClay has been judged by it. Primarily, it has been by friends who find it strange. However, despite people’s criticisms, McClay just ignores it because, to him, it is no big deal. 

“Of course people are gonna judge. I’m just like ‘okay.’ The only people who judge me are the people who knew me because whenever they’d see my nails, they would ask me about it and I just say ‘yeah,’ and they have no words after that, like thanks for letting me know,” McClay said. 

For McClay, painting his nails serves as a way of adding accents to his outfits. His favorite colors to paint are purple, black and white, especially if they have sparkles. McClay thinks that anyone who wants to do it, including guys, should take that leap. 

“I think if guys [want] to, they should. It’s a great way to add accents and a great way to draw attention, even if it’s clear nail polish, it’s the little things. If you added black nail polish, it’d make you a completely different look than no nails painted. I did it a lot because I like fashion and putting on clothes and looking at myself,” McClay said. I think that if you really want to paint your nails, you should, because there’s nothing wrong about it, unless you make a mess.”

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