JORDAN Boyd was pretty occupied with other things when articles and comments started hitting social media at the end of last year.

At the end of the preliminary final against Brisbane, a photo of Boyd was expertly captured by Michael Willson and captioned ‘the pain of defeat’. It showed a despondent Boyd, head in hands, nails painted.

When the comments started to come through, Boyd had no idea. After all, his team had just lost a shot at an improbable run to the Grand Final.

It wasn’t until partner Grace passed it on that the news came across Boyd’s desk.


“I didn’t know that it had happened. We’d lost the game to Brisbane and I was pretty tired and flat, so I didn’t really get to see much of that negative commentary or the articles,” Boyd told Carlton Media’s first episode of Breaking Boundaries.

“It wasn’t until my girlfriend showed me all these articles about it all, and I just thought it was quite funny. It also took two or three years to pick up on the fact that I was painting my nails, because I’d done it for a while.

“I couldn’t really care to be honest! It’s literally just fingernail paint. I’m just being myself.”

While it could’ve opened up an avenue for negativity, Boyd was instead taken aback by the support he received directly. What it did do was prompt the headband-wearing, long-sleeved defender to “double down” on what he was already doing.

Crucially, he also knew he had the support of those inside the four walls at IKON Park.

“I didn’t really receive too much negativity myself, it was actually more positivity. A lot of people messaged saying ‘we love it’. 

“My cousin said his song, who’s five years old, paints his nails and it’s great to see someone in the mainstream painting their nails and being themselves. Receiving messages like that was pretty cool.

“I was only doing a couple at that point, now it’s all of them.”

Boyd harkens back to a conversation he had with former Carlton Reserves coach Daniel O’Keefe in the early days of his tenure at the Blues as a poignant one, as well as crediting AFL Senior Coach Michael Voss for constantly encouraging players to tell their own story.


Never at any point when walking into IKON Park did Boyd feel like he had to hold back from, simply, being him.

“[O’Keefe] said he really loved the fact that I’d done it and really got around me.

“Everyone at the Club probably looked at me and said ‘yep, that makes sense, that’s something you’d do. We’re encouraged to be ourselves: we’re all unique, and that’s what makes us a good team and a good club to be a part of.

“’Vossy’ is big on embracing that uniqueness and being different.”

In fact, there’s only one thing Boyd would change.

“I’ve got to find some more patterns I think, the colours are starting to get a bit boring. At the best and fairest, I saw a photo of A$AP Rocky and he had eyeballs on his fingers, so I did that which was pretty cool.”