Learning lessons from those who came before us drives human progress in medicine, science, art and politics. Why should this be any different for class and charm?
Today there is a resurgence of discussion about classiness; women are looking for more than baggy pants, backward caps and too much hair gel. Why be a mess, when you can channel your inner legend by looking to the stars of yesterday for inspiration? These men left an impression in the hearts and minds of people across the globe, and their classic traits still ring true half a century(or more) later.
Let’s take a glance back at six of the great characters from a golden era of charisma.
- Swagger – Elvis Presley
Elvis’s signature leg shake came to represent a fundamental attitude of self-confidence and showmanship that few others can claim. Ironically enough, it’s said that this habit first started largely from his nervousness of playing in front of large crowds. After seeing the crowd’s reaction, Elvis parlayed this nervous tick into a trademark of swagger that drove the ladies wild.
Elvis brought a kind of raw energy to his performances that was undeniably captivating. Every man can learn a lot from Elvis’s energy, attitude and showmanship that brought him his amazing fame.
- Teaming-up – Dean Martin
As a leader of the Rat Pack, Dean Martin was about as cool and classy as they came. He was an enormously successful actor, comedian and singer. However, it wasn’t always that way. Martin seemed destined to remain just another nightclub singer/comedian until he teamed up with comic Jerry Lewis. Together, the two comic duo, “Martin and Lewis” gained a radio series on NBC that let Martin move from New York to LA, where he would shortly break into the world of film. Later in his career, Martin would team up with Frank Sinatra and others to form The Rat Pack.
By himself, Dean Martin may only have been a blip on the radar of American pop culture, instead of the classy icon he is known as today. Identifying and teaming up with other classy individuals is the way to go.
- Taking a Stand – Jackie Robinson
As the first African American man to play openly in the MLB, Jackie Robinson knew what it was like to face opposition. He was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball. Jackie Robinson actively pursued segregation issues off the field as well, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal for his efforts.
Standing up for what’s right not only shows strength of character, but also sets an example for others.
- Mystique – Jacques d’Azur
The life of the French Film Producer/Director, actor, tennis champ, water skiing pioneer and all-around playboy has always been shrouded in a certain ‘je ne sais quoi.’ D’Azur’s lavish annual parties at the Festival de Cannes contrasted sharply with occasional bouts of reclusiveness. His alleged three year stay with the Yamamena tribe of Venezuela is one such example.
While it is important to show a good face in public, one should also know when to step out of the spotlight. Maintaining a degree of mystique is an essential component of charm.
- The Right Gear – James Bond
Regardless of whether he’s battling with international crime lords or preparing a cocktail, 007 is never afraid to shake things up. This MI6 agent manages to never loose his cool, partly thanks to some fancy gadgetry. Outfitted with a tricked-out Aston Martin, rocket-powered belt, and laser beam Rolex, any average Joe can look like a super hero.
While you may not have Agent Q to stock you up with the latest spy gear, having the classiest accessories and gadgets around can help you look and feel like a certain international man of mystery.
- Heroism – John F. Kennedy
A young man from a wealthy and powerful family like the Kennedys could have easily avoided risking his life in the military during the second World War. In Fact, JFK volunteered for the U.S. Army, but was refused admission due to a back condition. Kennedy was eventually admitted to the Navy, where he would go on to earned the Navy and Marine Corps Medal while saving an injured sailor from drowning.
Going above and beyond the call of duty is truly a mark of class and charm, and is very rarely overlooked.
|Written on 4/21/2010 by Brian Remmel. Brian writes about new technologies and the ‘social economy’ for Bubblicious. By day, he is a New Media Specialist at Futureworks, an award-winning social and digital media agency.||Photo Credit: deanmartin.com|