In celebration of Pride Month, Essie announced today that Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness is its first-ever non-female ambassador. Emphasizing that a manicure is a statement of self-expression no matter your gender, the TV personality’s new role marks a telling shift. It also serves as a reminder that for decades, trailblazing men in the spotlight have helped make way for this moment.

In the golden days of rock and roll, “man-icures” were everywhere. During his Ziggy Stardust era of the early ’70s, David Bowie’s teal nails were a cool contrast to his flamed-hair mullet, while Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler began sporting his now-signature nail art, accented by graphic black stripes. Setting the stage for style rebels of the decades that followed, chipped nail polish was a grunge mainstay for Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain in the ’90s. In the aughts, Johnny Depp began to take a page out of his idol Keith Richard’s book with haphazardly applied cobalt digits; “Kissed by a Rose” singer Seal offered up a pristine alternative with a glossy slime-green manicure.

Now, polished nails are becoming something of a red-carpet mainstay for men. At the 2019 Met Gala, co-chair Harry Styles sported a dark raven manicure punctuated by pops of teal. Then there’s Puerto Rican Latin-trap rapper Bad Bunny, who, throughout his rapid rise, has served up a dizzying array of vivid talons. “I’m not telling people, ‘Hey, paint your nails or color your hair, do this or do that,’” explains the musician. “I’m simply saying…do what makes you happy, and to never limit yourself.” Here, a retrospective of the famous men who have adorned themselves with coiffed and colorful nails.