Chris Hemsworth joins Polished Man 2016 campaign

If you thought nail polish was only for women try telling that to the god of thunder, Chris Hemsworth.

The Avengers star and father-of-three recently shared a picture of himself sporting a single painted fingernail as a sign of support for Polished Man – a campaign raising funds for children affected by violence which asks men to wear nail polish on one finger for the first 15 days of October.

Hemsworth joins a growing number of 'polished men', including NRL star Braith Anasta, swimming legend Michael Klim, ex-bachelor Sam Wood and comedian Tommy Little.

Founder of Polished Man, Elliot Costello, says he had no idea how successful the campaign would become since launching in 2014.

"People commonly told us that men simply would not wear nail polish; 'it's just not a masculine thing to do'," he says. "But, we were blown away from the response; first hundreds, then thousands, now tens of thousands of men who have joined the movement to end violence against children."

A global movement

The charity has raised more than $600,000 which has been channelled into trauma recovery and prevention programs for children around the world.

"[Since launching] our passion for ending violence against children has only grown stronger," says Costello. "Our approach and philosophy is becoming more sophisticated. We have successfully inspired tens of thousands of men to take action and respond. Children who are denied their childhood due to violence is something that cuts to the heart of all humans. Polished Man is a way to stand up and respond."

The statistics of the instances of child abuse around the world are sobering to say the least.

According to a 2014 World Health Organisation report, "1 in 5 children globally will experience physical and/or sexual violence before the age of 18."

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And in 2015, the Australian Institute of Family Studies stated that one in 26 children are affected by violence in Australia, equates to "one child in every classroom" who has suffered some form of abuse.

Burgers on board

It's these staggering numbers that inspired Aussie entrepreneur and founder of Simon Crowe to take part in this year's campaign, offering one free burger every day to customers who have signed up to the campaign starting on October 4.

"You can't open the newspaper without seeing a story about our most vulnerable being affected by violence, and when it comes to kids," says Crowe.

"We need to encourage and empower men to unite and lead by example to create safe and happy environments for our kids to grow up in."

What makes a polished man?

We asked some of the gents taking part in this year's campaign who was the most polished men they know.

While the responses were a far cry from the usual "cut of his suit" explanations, they highlighted the pivotal role men can play in creating a safer future for children – even when it's just by painting a fingernail.

For recent Australian Survivor contestant Rohan MacLaren, it's his former boss and honorary consular general of the Government of Rwanda, Michael Roux.

"A polished man is a supporter of equality and empowerment," he says. "Michael passionately speaks of the empowerment of women and its importance in creating a strong society."

Model and host Didier Cohen named his father, who fled the streets of Morocco to raise a family in the US: "He was always there, never turned his back on his kids and taught me what it is to be a real man. A polished man is someone who raises up and inspires the youth not abuses them and that is him to a tee."

Campions of the cause

Melbourne-based DJ, Andy Murphy described the way his grandfather helped shaped him into the man he is today. "My Pa Adrian Murphy ... passed a couple of years ago. From serving the country in the Navy to raising a huge family with six children, he was a positive role model to our family not only for my dad, uncles and aunts but for all of the grandchildren. Who my Pa was makes me who I am today."

Comedian Tommy Little nominated his brother, Scotty: "It's partly because he's a hilarious, lovely human but mainly because he's looking over my shoulder as I type this and I'd feel bad if I wrote someone else."

But for Underbelly star Gyton Grantley, it was fellow "polished man" and swimming legend, Michael Klim. "An original ambassador and father of three, he's a true champion of the cause."