Young Boys with Polished Nails

It wasn’t the first time I’ve seen a little boy with painted nails. Tween girls are notorious for engaging the little brother or a friend’s little brother in their nail polishing party. This is an informal gathering of giggling girls and revenge on the little boy who is always lurking around trying to see what it is that’s going on.

Through the years, when visiting at my brother’s house, I’ve come to find nephew’s with painted nails. Each of the three boys have had their turn being included in the polishing party of revenge. I’ve even heard at times this going far beyond the finger nails to a complete mani and pedi, compliments of the pre-adolescent girls.

Younger boys, have even sat for the full head to be curled with an iron and a full beauty treatment including eye shadow, lipstick, and rouge, ready for the beauty pageant with mom’s stolen sling back heels, an over-sized shirt, bloused and belted at the waist. It is a good time had by all.

One might expect a little boy showing up for school the next day, scrubbed up the night before, yet with nail polish remains to be made fun of by their peers, little boys and girls pointing and giggling. But this is such a popular pass-time that they become the envied, having been included in a Tween Party of giggling girls.

When Joe arrived on Sunday to spend the day with me, his dad, and big brother, he got a different reaction. “Ali’s gonna get that nail polish off of you.” Fred announced soon after they walked in. It appeared to have been painted on him days ago with failed efforts of removal. I knew what had happened.  I knew Joe didn’t get into his sister’s nail polish supplies. I knew he experienced his right of passage into the group of giggling girls.

So, I began the conversation accordingly, “Hey Joe, I see the girls got ya!”

“Yeah.” he said.

“Time to take that nail polish off?” I asked.


“Was it fun.”

“Yeah. I tried to get it off but I couldn’t find those.” he said pointing at the cotton balls. “I used paper towel and it didn’t work.” holding out his hands, showing me the evidence, the remaining blue on his nails.

I got him all cleaned up. Nails clipped, (did I go too far)? That night, I sent him off with his personal supply of cotton balls ready for the next party. I didn’t ask him about the make-up, I didn’t think Dad could handle it. It will be our secret.

Have you had this party at your house? What was your man’s reaction?


About Aligaeta

I am a life time resident of NY State. A graduate of Nassau Community College, AA in Liberal Arts and Queens College, BA in English and Sociology. I am the mother of four children, the survivor of divorce, and I love to write in prose. This blog will be a record of my journey... destination unknown. Read more...
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4 Responses to Young Boys with Polished Nails

  1. Southern Man says:

    I can recall years ago when my son, now 20, announced he wanted to get an earring. As a boy has gone to Catholic scholl his entire life I was amused by the request knowing school would not allow it. So I asked him why and he said “because Michael Jordan has one and since Michael Jordan had one, it should be okay with me.”

    I took him upstairs and into his sister’s room where I removed several dresses from her closet and asked him to choose one. As an 11 year old boy he was confused with my request. Seeing the bewilderment on his face I explained where I came from, people who wore earrings, wore dresses. His response was that he bet a boy had to be tough to survive where I came from and he quickly left the room so he didn’t have to choose a dress.

    I don’t know if I was correct in how I handled it but I do know I would not have survived without being tough, regardless of generational differences.

  2. Aligaeta says:

    Sounds like you did just fine under the circumstances. When he was old enough to know you weren’t going to make him wear a dress, I’m sure the phase had passed and he continued to go without an earring, being your son.

  3. jannatwrites says:

    Cute story. Gotta watch out for the ones who can’t undo the makeovers.

    When my older son was around 4, he watched intently as I painted my toenails a nice fuscia color. He asked me to paint his nails. I made a compromise and painted one toenail. Little did I know he would take his sock off at daycare to show the class his “pretty pink toenail.” My husband handled the obsession with Disney princesses, Tinkerbell and Barbie dolls very well, but he was a little miffed at me for that one 🙂

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