When Philippe Morgese, the now-famous single father behind the Daddy Daughter Hair Factory, heard of a special project that involved men and finger nail polish, he knew it was right up his alley.
The Polished Man project, founded by a nonprofit organization out of Australia, asks men to paint one of their fingernails. The entire project was started to raise awareness about the 1 in 5 children who are sexually assaulted before the age of 18. The majority of those sexual assaults are committed by men, so by joining men together against abuse, Polished Man hopes to reduce those sobering statistics with a month of awareness in October.
Celebrities around the world have participated in the #polishedman project, painting one fingernail with nail polish to join the movement. Actors like Zac Efron, James Marsden and Chris Hemsworth have all taken to social media to take a stand against child sexual abuse.
"Being a @PolishedMan isn't just about remembering to buy flowers, how many rounds you shout, or how much you lift," Hemsworth wrote on his Instagram post. "It's about saying no to violence against children. That's why this October I'm painting my nail and asking you to donate to help the 1 in 5 kids globally who are subjected to physical or sexual violence before they turn 18."
Morgese says that after reading an article about Hemsworth, he was inspired to move the moment to some local dads at one of his Daddy Daughter Hair factory classes. After discussing the #polishedman project with the dads at the beginning of the class, they all agreed it was a great idea. "These dads were all down for showing support," says Morgese.
So among a room full of giggles, dads took turns learning some new hairstyles, painting their daughter's nails and then getting the brush turned on them.
Although Morgese says the girls in the event were too young to understand why their dads were joining in on getting their nails painted, he notes that the important thing is that the fathers all knew.
Overall, the event was a great success for both the dads and their daughters. Morgese's daughter, Emma, especially enjoyed the pampering. "(She said), 'I could get use to this' while I was massaging her hands with lotion during the manicure," Morgese laughs.
Like all of Morgese's events, seeing the bond created between the dads and their daughters was the main event of the day. "This event was so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes," commented Dee Hardy, Daytona State College Cosmetology Director.
And throwing some manicures into the class threw some of the dads for a loop. Learning to braid and paint nails in the same day proved a little surprising. "Nearly every dad said they had no idea nail care was so involved," laughs Morgese.
Forging that bond between dads and daughter is important to Morgese and he hopes that by joining in the #polishedman project, he will help raise awareness and encourage men to get involved in positive ways, not ways that harm children.
"Watching all of these dads connect with their daughters is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen," says Suzette Cameron, from the Daytona State College Alumni board.
Photographs by Daddy Daughter Hair Factory