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Why Does Southern Charm’s Craig Conover Paint One Nail?


‘Southern Charm’s’ Craig Conover paints one of his nails to support the charitable campaign, Polished Man. Learn more about the campaign here.

The Gist:

  • From 2019 to 2021, and then again in 2023, Southern Charm star Craig Conover painted one of his fingernails blue.
  • Fans grew quite curious about why, many assuming it was a style statement.
  • Turns out, Craig pained one of his fingernails to support a cause.

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Eagle-eyed fans of somewhat-conservative Charleston, S.C.-based reality series Southern Charm are no doubt curious about why Craig Conover paints one of his fingernails. Turns out, he doesn’t do it to make a style statement.

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You see, the Bravo star paints one fingernail to support Polished Man, a charitable campaign by ygap, an “international development organization that supports early-stage social impact ventures with locally-led solutions to local problems.”

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Craig Conover of 'Southern Charm' sporting a polished nail at BravoCon 2023.
Source: Getty Images

Craig Conover from ‘Southern Charm’ is one of countless people who participates in Polished Man.

Along with celebs like singer Vance Joy and model Ashley Joy, Craig sported one painted fingernail as part of Polished Man, a campaign to help “end violence against children for good.”

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On the Polished Man website, ygap reports that one billion children — half the children in the world — experienced violence in 2020 alone. “We believe in a world where no child suffers from violence, because it shouldn’t hurt to be a child, and we all have the power to change this,” the organization says.

So ygap came up with the idea to challenge Polished Man participants to paint one nail in October to bring attention to the issue, and Craig is “honored” to be a part of the campaign.

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“As you all know, I’ve been painting one of my nails for the past year as a commitment to helping children around the world,” he wrote on Instagram in October 2019. “Polished nails spark conversations, those conversations lead to donations, and those donations go to trauma recovery and prevention for children all over the world. If you’d like to join me this October, learn more, or would like to make a donation, click the link in my profile and check us out #polishedman.”

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One young girl inspired the Polished Man campaign.

Elliot Costello, a cofounder of ygap, imagined Polished Man after meeting a young girl named Thea who was staying at a Cambodian facility run by the global humanitarian nonprofit Hagar International. Elliot and Thea played Tic-Tac-Toe for hours, according to the Polished Man website, and then Thea drew a heart on his palm and painted his fingernails blue. Occasionally, the lone fingernail would be painted white.

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Later, Elliot found out Thea’s backstory: She had been physically and sexually assaulted by an orphanage director for two years. “Elliot made the decision then and there to paint one nail to remember Thea,” the site adds. “When he later learned of the extent of child violence, the Polished Man movement was born.”

Although Craig didn’t appear to be sporting the avant-garde nail in 2022, he showed up to BravoCon 2023 with one nail polished.

Craig is known for his philanthropic streak.

Craig also showed his charitable side — and impressed co-star Patricia Altshul — in September 2018 as he helped relief efforts in North Carolina after Hurricane Florence.

“Nothing can prepare someone for the destruction I witnessed yesterday,” he wrote on Instagram at the time. “And the property damage was the least of the darkness. Please help them. Help us help them. Do whatever you can because the person that gets whatever items you donate no matter how insignificant they seem to you, trust me, will put the biggest smile on their faces and warm their hearts a few degrees.”

New episodes of Southern Charm Season 9 air Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo.

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