Why I like manicures and pedicures

Saturday, March 31, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 4:30 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 14, 2008

MU student Bryan Okpala towers above most of us, and the muscles of his arms and chest bulge from hours at the gym. His dark features and serious visage give off a manly man’s vibe. Still, he loves his manicures and pedicures.

“I get very freaked out when I get dirt under my nails,” says Okpala.

To remedy this most grave offense, Okpala has been getting finger and foot treatments for the past three years. He finds the therapeutic lotions, soothing soaks and minimassages very relaxing. He also appreciates the aromas and the escape from harsh reality.

While he had been thinking about diving into the grooming world for some time, he didn’t truly feel comfortable with his urges until he saw one of his sports idols on ESPN commenting about his obsession with manis and pedis.

He was a little apprehensive, though, recognizing that many men view such practices as emasculating or feminine or even metrosexual.

But now Okpala feels no shame or embarrassment.

“I can still look good and be tough,” he says.

Forget the stereotypes. Okpala feels most guys place too much emphasis on what others think of them, especially in a culture where the alpha male and super masculinity are touted in every action movie, TV shows like “24” and all the hip-hop videos.

Men should be who they are and do what they want to do, he says.

“I want to keep myself well maintained and looking good,” he says.

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