So much for equal rights. I happen to be a straight male with a nail obsession, who thinks that clean, well looked after and real long nails (no longer than an inch ideally) are just incredibly beautiful, aesthetically pleasing and fun to polish/flaunt. I think my obsession nust have started at a young age, because I remember watching my grandmothers and mother filing, manicuring and polishing their beautiful long natural nails. Ever since that first memory, I can always remember dreaming of one day having beautiful long natural nails like theirs, which I could call my own. Unfurtunately, being a (straight) male, this has proven to be difficult, due to a myriad of societal pressures. I am now 30 and for the last 15 years now I have continued to dream about growing my own beautiful, long nails. For a man, I have quite feminine hands (due to working at a computer for years), and fairly long nailbeds (although I am 100% straight, and am only sexually attracted to women). In my teens, I attempted growing my nails discreetly, but always got found out by my mother eventually, who guilt trip me (by calling me "gay" or something) into cutting my nails immediately. I always found it torturous to do so, when all I really wanted was to keep growing them into the beautiful, long, perfectly manicured nails my mother and grandmothers always had. I know it's out of the ordinary for a guy to want (and have) beautiful long, manicured, polished nails, but eventually, after a few extensive bouts of depression, I decided to just go for it and take whatever consequences would arise from it would be worth fulfilling my lifelong dream for. I moved to Thailand on my own for a year. What better place to make a start (lots of Thai men and women have immaculate, very long, beautiful nails). I began applying nail strengthener, pushing my cuticles back as far as possible, and after about 5 or 6 weeks all ten of my nails were starting to get longer. I continued filing them regularly (oval shape) and once they had gotten to about 3/4 inch long, I began applying polish on a regular basis (mostly baby pink, clear or French manicures). Whilst roaming Thailand, as was to be expected, I began to get stared at, mocked and ridiculed (with names like "faggot", "poofter", "gayboy", etc) on a fairly regular basis, mostly by Western tourists and expats. Eventually I learned to just ignore the abuse and hold my head up high, on occasion even going out of my way to show off my beautiful long natural nails, by folding my arms so they could clearly be seen, or by tapping my nails against any solid surface I could find (I still can't kick this habit now, much to the annoyance of people nearby). Despite everything, my nails became a great source of pride for me; I was totally in love with them, especially as they started to grow extremely strong and long. For the most part, Thais wouldn't even look twice at my nails. Very long nails on a man is not at all uncommon in Thailand, but tourists still seemed to treat it like a huge deal, even though my (by now over an inch long, and usually baby or fuschia pink polished) nails had caused to harm to anybody else in any way. What intrigues me is the following: Why is it considered perfectly "normal" and "acceptable" for a woman to polish/grow her nails long, and then flaunt them proudly and openly in public without anybody so much as batting an eyelid (and in fact, giving compliments); yet, when a man does exactly the same thing, all of a sudden he's the devil incarnate and deserves to be shunned, ridiculed and stared at with utter contempt? What happened to equal rights? Gender equality has to be a two way street. Some females like to dress up and act in ways which would have been considered "manly" only a couple of decades ago, but as a society we've learned to grow out of that idiotic nonsense for the most part. By the way token, I don't see why a man doing something which has traditionally been deemed "feminine" or "girly" should be given hassle over it, especially when he is causing no harm whatsoever to anybody else. If I was committing a crime with a victim by choosing to grow, file, look after and polish my nails, maybe they'd have a point, but what I do with my own body doesn't concern anybody else so long as I don't harm anybody else in the process. To the people who don't like long nails (especially on guys, even if they are well looked after), the answer is simple: don't grow your nails. I, on the other hand, derive hours of pleasure from growing and caring for my nails, and after years of being deprived of this desire, I don't intend to stop any time soon because I'm having far too much fun. If other people don't like it, that's their problem, not mine.
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