WHY I POLISH: BLISS FOSTER



Bliss, tell us about yourself.

BLISS: Yeah. So I'm a fashion journalist. I guess technically I'm running my own publication. So I run a YouTube channel that does very deep dives into runway shows and I treat runway shows like the arts that they are. I spend a great deal of time analyzing the symbolism and the storytelling and the references that make up contemporary runway shows. So like a lot of looking into like Rick Owens, Garsoni and Craig Green, and Iris van Hairpin and just kind of diving into those things and kind of bringing out what you always kind of get a feeling when you watch those shows that there's a lot more to them and I spent a lot of time with those shows and then make a very detailed videos where I tell you about all of the extra things that go into them.

How’d you get into wearing nail polish?

BLISS: Probably when I was like in high-school yeah, not high school, probably when I was in middle school, there were like a couple of goth kids that went to my church and they were at like a summer camp thing and I was like, black nail polish is like the coolest thing. So what I want to do is I wanted to dye my hair and this is like middle school me, I wanted to dye my hair red, like a really puddy, matt kind of red. Dye my hair red, I wanted to have a lip ring and I really wanted to paint my nails black all the time and there was this kid at my church camp that had a bunch of like black nail polish because he liked just wore it every day and this is hardcore metal kind of like golf guy and I was like is this okay if I like take some of your nail polish? And he was like, yeah, dude and so I just like got his nail polish and uncapped it and was super nervous. I think I painted my nails and looked at them and then like chickened out and like rubbed it all off or something. But I remember thinking like, this is so cool, I don't think anybody's going to get it and so 13 year old man was like too scared to do it then.

Then in high school I did it a few times and then like when I was in college, I was just kind of like, I'm just going to do this occasionally and now, I was going to paint them earlier today on the stream but we ended up getting into some like fashion magazines and I had to turn pages. So I couldn't I couldn't go for it today, but I'll probably end up doing it later on. Goth kids in like the mid and late nineties were very sold out to that image and it was not like, oh, this is like Connor, he's like a cool guy and also like kind of has a goth thing. They were extremely pale, powder faced, black lips. Their eyes were like smeared, disgusting looking black and their nails were black and they had these epic, massive black outfits that were covered in chains and it was a very intense look back then and it was like this whole Marilyn Manson lifestyle thing. I remember being actively afraid of those guys as a child but thinking that that was kind of cool at the same time and in like a kind of a gentle distanced way.

But what I really like about it now is that that's kind of switched to where makeup is being sort of introduced kind of a little bit as like oh, this is a little bit edgy and kind of like sort of femme and stuff and kind of a cool way to set yourself apart. But that mostly it's just like makeup just makes sense, the vast majority of women in the world wear makeup not because it's like this cutesy, like time to look cute thing, it's because it makes your skin look better. It's a practical thing, so I mean, that's one thing where for years now, I've kind of wondered why there aren't more just like regular guys who are just like, I take care of my skin, I take care of my body. I go to the gym and I put on like a little bit of like foundation and then do a very small amount of contouring because I just care about how I look and I care about my body and nail polish is just fun. I like doing that and I don't have a lot of makeup skills myself, but to me, it's made so much sense and now, it feels like guys kind of finally have permission to go after that and again to me, it just makes sense.

What’s your favorite nail polish color to wear?

BLISS: I usually go with like an off white color. That's like not the brand, but like the actual color off-white. Usually something that's not like a brilliant Apple white, but like more of like just a, just kind of slightly offset from that, a little less brilliant and then I put a matte coat over top of it. Most colors that I go with, I usually put a matt coat over it. There's a few that I won't, but yeah, usually it's either like off-white with a matt or bright, bright blue or something.

How does wearing nail polish make you feel?

BLISS: I think so for nail polish specifically; we were talking about how for skincare and makeup stuff is a little more like practical. The nail polish stuff is by its nature it's impractical, but that plays very much into just kind of feeling cute. So there are a lot of dudes on my channel that hit me up in DMS and talk to me about this a whole bunch where they'll say; because I personally am a CIS straight guy but I do like feminine things a lot and that's a side of me, I think it's a side of most people and I like feeling cute sometimes. I like doing things that like sort of make me feel like, I don't know; I think that nail polish to me is mostly just kind of this is cute and like makes me feel like I'm, I don't know, it's hard to pick apart the feeling of cute, but I think that's mostly what it comes down to is one of the few things that I engage with where I'm just kind of like, this makes me feel cute.

What advice would you give someone who wants to wear nail polish, but isn’t comfortable with the idea just yet?

BLISS: It's cool because I get hit up by a lot of like high school aged guys who a lot of them sound like rather panicked when they reach out to me about this where they're like, okay, here's the deal, I'm straight, I'm pretty sure that I'm straight and I like nail polish and I have some dresses, but I never wear them because I'm pretty sure my parents would kind of freak out and I'm pretty sure that like all my friends, I don't know, is it okay if I just like do this stuff?

They're like, because you were dress occasionally, Bliss, and you were nail polish and stuff, but I think you're straight, right? There's like this like crisis about it that it's like, oh my gosh, if guys, I think for a lot of them, if they were being super blunt, if they were telling the whole truth, I think what they're saying is I'm straight and I'm scared if I do this, that it's going to make it where girls are not going to want to sleep with me anymore and that I at least have found to be like the opposite of true. I mean maybe that'll scare away lame girls, but I think there's something very attractive about guys who are; I mean, I mean like in real life, all the other guys that I know who like also will paint their nails, occasionally most of them are like my gay friends, but I feel like there's something that is very attractive sort of, regardless of like your sexual orientation or what your friend group is, there's something that is very magnetic and attractive about guys are just people who are like fully embracing things that they like and are kind of unselfconsciously just going for it and being the way that they want to be.

What's hilarious is that I usually end those conversations with some reaffirming things and like things like, oh, you should be yourself, that's actually really cool. I think cool girls will still like that, that's really cool. But then I usually end it with like, but honestly most people are not going to care the way you think they're going to, when I started like painting my nails for real, again, as an adult, I kind of took like maybe a four year break from it in my mid-twenties and then I was just like, I'm just going to start doing this again and I was like 27, 28. I was shocked because like I was like, again, not really like a kid anymore. I'm just like a grown man who's like painting his nails bright colors. I was really surprised at how few people even seem to take notice of it, even people who were like close to me, people that I worked with and stuff every day, most of them just didn't even comment about it. Most people really are not thinking about it the way that you think they're going to think about it. It's really a much lower stakes gamble than one thinks it is.