The Science Behind TikTok's Red Nails Theory

The science behind TikTok's Red Nails Theory
The science behind TikTok's Red Nails Theory

TikTok users are debating whether red manicures are the most attractive

TikTok user Robyn DelMonte suggested in January 2022 that men find nails painted red more attractive than any other. In her now-viral video, DelMonte speculated that the attraction arises because men equate red nails to their mothers' nails from the '90s, when a chic, red manicure was all the rage. 

But the science behind the Red Nails Theory make actually be more sound. In 2008, University of Rochester psychologists Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta determined that the color red makes men feel more amorous toward women. Their study, Romantic Red: Red Enhances Men’s Attraction to Women, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, concluded the following

A bold, red manicure never goes out of style.A bold, red manicure never goes out of style.Photo by Juliana Stein from Pexels

"Red, relative to other achromatic and chromatic colors, leads men to view women as more attractive and more sexually desirable. Men seem unaware of this red effect, and red does not influence women’s perceptions of the attractiveness of other women, nor men’s perceptions of women’s overall likeability, kindness, or intelligence."

Elliot and Niesta conducted five experiments to reach this conclusion, which you can read more about here.

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