Recently I have seen some really wonderful portrait-like photographs of some movie stars of the past. Men like Rock Hudson, Robert Taylor, Robert Mitchum, Cary Grant, Tyrone Power and more recently Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Rod Taylor … the list is very impressive, look-wise. These men were very, very, good looking but if you think about it they also had something else, that you can’t quite put into words. What is it? I’m not sure.
There are a lot of beautiful women from the past and some in the near past and yes, some even now, that have incredible beauty. Some are born with this beauty and some grow into beauties. If you look at photos of Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh, Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamar, Loretta Young, and Grace Kelly, you will see nearly perfect beauty in each woman’s facial features, and yet, there is something more. Just their beauty alone doesn’t do it. What is the, it? What is the “IT FACTOR”?
There is something about these men and woman that shines through the photos. Something about them that makes them not only beautiful and handsome, but that certain something that makes them interesting. Take Grace Kelly. If you just stare at a photo of her when she was a very young woman and modeling in New York, you will see a nice attractive woman with very even features. If you take her features apart you will see they are all nice and even and yes, pretty, but what is it about her that places her on a separate level? There are really hundreds of models now and in the past with perfect even features. Most of them you will admit are nearly perfect looking, however, this week I saw one of these younger models on a television interview show. As she spoke one was aware of her beauty but there wasn’t any spark there and I soon found her boring and turned off the set. She was nice and pleasant but something was missing, something that shines through, the outer perfection. You either have it or you don’t.
Looks can be important. If you are in the process of hiring someone for a position you would like the person to have a neat, clean, appearance that would fit into your idea of someone who might be able to handle the job in an efficient manner. I would say in many or most cases one’s outer appearance could get you the job or you might lose the job merely on looks alone.
If you are judged on your looks alone and rejected at one glance this can be devastating at any age. Once in my late 50’s I went on a blind date. A friend of mine had set us up and we spoke a few times on the phone. This was one of the first dates I had after I had been separated from my “was-band.” We had a few flirty conversations. He had a nice European accent and he liked my voice. I guess this was before Face Time. I was to meet him after work at his apartment and we would be going to dinner. Thinking back I was so unprepared for dating that I didn’t even change my clothes after work and I wore my unattractive uniform that was required dress at my company. I’m not sure I even looked in a mirror before our meeting. I can’t imagine what I must have looked like after waking up at 6:30 A.M. and working all day and even working out during my lunch hour. When I knocked on his door and he opened the door, his face dropped. I wasn’t prepared for this. I was older but actually almost everyday a man or two would flirt with me even at the grand old age of 57. I was surprised by his disappointment. My self-esteem did take a slight hit. We did go out to dinner and he did ask me back to his apartment. I didn’t go.
Now, are looks important? I have dated many different types of men. My first crush in college was very slim, with even features, glasses, and thinning hair. I adored him. Was it his looks, I doubt it. I fell for him. He had a twinkle in his big blue eyes. He was funny, popular and he seemed, caring, deep and he was interested in me, which is very appealing.
After college I fell for an older man. He had silver hair, also blue eyes, and straight features. He was a few inches taller and maybe slightly over weight. He also appreciated my opinion.
My heartbreaker was tall, handsome, yep, also sparkling blue eyes. What I found irresistible was his sincerity; his humor and his interest in everything. He was always learning.
My “was-band” is only about 5’ 8” and he has brown eyes and a long, strong nose. He is slim but not skinny. He actually chased me and he chased me very persistently. I knew that I would always like his looks and that I would never find his looks boring. I never did. I still find him attractive.
There have been men in my life that I liked and was attracted to, at, ”Hello”. Were they handsome? Some were traditionally handsome, some weren’t. One thing they all had in common. They were all smart, clever, they were interested in life and each person had a spark and a twinkle behind their eyes, as if they knew something exciting was right around the corner.
Of course, we know in our hearts what this extra “thing” really is, do we not? The term we humans have put into our language is called “soul”. It’s that certain something that doesn’t die. It’s really unexplainable. It makes a pretty woman, prettier and a nice looking man handsome. It is cliché but true. It comes from inside and shines through.
“Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” Kahlil Gibran
“Beauty is the illumination of your soul.” John O’Donohue
Until Next Week…