Earlier this year, Robyn Delmonte, known as @girlbosstown on TikTok, posted a video reply to a user comment which complimented her red nails. Delmonte used the opportunity to explain what she called the “red nails theory.” The TikTok star believes that men find red nails most attractive because she receives the most compliments when she sports this color.
Thanks to the viral video, the “red nails theory” is taking social media by storm. But is this theory based on fact or fiction? We’ll take a look at the history of nail polish color to find out.
‘Guys Are Attracted To Red Nails Because It Reminds Them Of Their Moms’
The video is a viral sensation, with a whopping 1.1 million views. In it, Delmonte theorizes that men who grew up in the ’90s were surrounded by women wearing red nail polish.
“I weirdly think that guys are attracted to red nails because it reminds them of their moms when they were growing up taking care of them,” Delmonte says in the video. “Or some type of mommy issues.”
If you scroll through the video’s comments, you’ll see that many people share this view. As one TikTok user said, “Older men at my job comment on it the ABSOLUTE MOST.”
Another user even said, “I had red nails and then got engaged.” One TikTok user commented, “My ex was obsessed [with] red nails and had SERIOUS mommy issues so this is a fact.”
Is Red Nails Theory Fact?
But is it a fact? Were men who grew up in the ’90s surrounded by women in red nail polish? Probably not. According to Orly Beauty, red was certainly a popular color in the 1930s-1960s.
However, when more women began entering the workforce in the ’70s, muted nail polish colors began to trend. Going for a French manicure was seen as more appropriate for a professional setting.
In the ’80s, red nails became even less popular. More people began wearing bolder, neon colors.
In the ’90s, more muted shades of red and purple were popular. The grunge era was underway, which meant that black, plum, and even oxblood were often worn—so candy red wasn’t exactly en vogue.
Although red nail polish has never completely gone out of style, it does seem to be coming back with a vengeance in the 21st century. However, can we safely assume that men today are attracted to red nail polish because their mothers wore the color?
It depends on the age range of the men. If Delmonte, 28, is dating men in her age range, their moms would have most likely worn more muted or darker colors. For people dating men that are in their 50s or older, though, perhaps there is some validity to the “red nails theory.”
Regardless if the “red nails theory” is fact, fiction, or something in between, red has always signified power, excitement, love, and passion. Even so, everyone should choose whichever shade of nail polish makes them feel comfortable and confident.