Sayville Pastor's Unique 'Stop Bullying' Message: Blue Nail Polish

Rev. Gary Brinn hopes everyone will jump on the symbolic bandwagon.

Rev. Gary Brinn gets his nails done in blue as anti-bullying message. Photo by Judy Mottl/Patch.
Rev. Gary Brinn gets his nails done in blue as anti-bullying message. Photo by Judy Mottl/Patch.

A Sayville pastor is taking a unique stance to stop bullying and is hoping everyone in his parish and the local communities will join in on the symbolic effort:  wearing blue nail polish in September.

Yes, you read that right. Rev. Gary Brinn, of the Sayville Congregational United Church of Christ, went for a manicure Labor Day weekend at City Nails salon in Sayville and had all 10 fingers painted with blue nail polish.

Why nail polish? According to Brinn, in the summer of 2012 there was a media firestorm as a fashion editor made public the fact that she allowed her young son to wear polish on his toes. That same year, a pop star encouraged girls to paint pinkies blue to stand against bullying.

This year, pop icon Gwen Steffani was criticized for allowing her son, Kingston, to paint his nails and ABC Family ran a summer series focusing on a non-traditional foster family. In the series, a seventh grade boy goes to school wearing blue nail polish. He is bullied until the next day, when his best friend, perceived as popular and masculine, appears at school wearing matching blue nail polish.

“I’m hoping everyone, from young kids to teens to parents, does this in September to stop bullying whether it’s in the school environment, on the playground or at home,” Brinn told Patch.

Initially Brinn considered doing a rainbow scarf effort which was done in July by the United Church of Christ in California as a way to support, promote and create anti-bullying initiatives in local communities.

The idea was rejected because it was both labor intensive and too closely tied to one population, explained Brinn, children targeted because they are identified or suspected of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

“While this group is indeed vulnerable, children are bullied for many reasons, including weight, disability, family composition and race,” explained Brinn in an email to Patch.

Instead, Brinn, who is a disabled Army veteran, settled on the idea of blue nail polish, to be worn in September and January, as a visible sign that the wearer has pledged to stand against bullying.

And if you're wondering if there's any particular shade of blue to be worn, there isn't. Though Brinn shied away from the neon options and went with a deep blue shade.


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