Cory Asbury is known for many things. “Reckless Love.” “The Father’s House.” But his real fans know him for another, slightly less musical bit of trivia: the man has an enviable fingernail game. Yes, whenever you talk to Cory Asbury (as we have done many times), you’ll note that he’s usually sporting the most beautiful nails this side of a Pinterest page. And because it’s 2022 and there aren’t enough troubling things to be mad about, a contingent of fans is mad at Asbury.
“It is remarkable to me how many times I get asked this question,” Asbury said in a recent Q&A on Instagram Live. “Number one, I have three daughters. It’s one of their favorite things to do: paint daddy’s nails. They love it. They think it’s amazing.”
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Then Asbury wandered into deeper waters, saying nail painting was his own choice, so what? “That is a societal construct,” he said. “That is a social norm that we have accepted that men don’t paint their nails. That is cultural. It has zero to do with the Bible, Jesus, Christianity, moral code at all. It doesn’t make any sense to question the idea unless you’ve grown up in a culture that says it’s not OK to do something. Jesus could care less what color your frickin’ nails are.
“As He says about King David in the Old Testament,” he continues. “I’m not concerned with the outward appearance – man looks at the outward appearance. God looks at the heart. And my heart is definitely painted.”
Well, that settles that. Or it would settle it, if these were normal times. But these are very strange times, people need a reason to be angry and Asbury’s manicure is as good a reason as any.
“Being that I have little boys… this is a hard pass… like… HARD pass,” wrote one commenter. “Just as I wouldn’t allow them to wear a dress, they are absolutely not painting their nails. I see the point you’re trying to make, but I’m definitely gonna have to agree to disagree.”
Christian Headlines notes that Christian Youtubers Paul and Morgan Olliges also put the idea of guys painting their nails on blast. “As believers, should we be feeding into society’s norms?” asked Morgan. “Should we be feeding into this gender confusion? Should we be feeding into this idea that you can be any type of gender? … I just think we need to be careful.”
Oh, good grief. Not nail polish discourse in 2022. Obviously we’re all capable of being mad about more than one thing at the same time, but surely serious people can table nail polish discourse for now. The planet is on fire, for crying out loud. Every ten years or so, there’s some other new fashion trend that people swear is gonna be the stake through the heart of modern civilization and despite the fact that this exhausting prediction never manifests, people never get tired of shooting their shot with it.
And, yeah, some men are painting their nails these days. Harry Styles, of course. A$AP Rocky, sure. Even Brad Pitt got in on it. None of these guys are exactly pillars of moral uprightness, sure, but it doesn’t seem like their nail painting ways have done any appreciable damage to the young minds of America. Asbury’s nails won’t either.
Tyler Huckabee is RELEVANT's senior editor. He lives in Nashville with his wife, dog and Twitter account.