Colin Firth has made me cry eleven times in the past week; once while gazing with melancholic resolution toward Elizabeth Bennett, once while strolling with her through the grounds of Longbourn, once on the occasion of his wedding day and eight times as vexed and sensitive King, battling with a speech impediment.
It’s the rare interaction of eyes and jaw that does it for me. When the subtly determined curl of his lips is softened by his lost, intelligent eyes I become an emotional wreck. In these instances, he brings to life Ezra Pound’s definition of the ‘image’ as that which presents “an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time”.Charm twirls itself about you like a ribbon; its intellectual appeal lies in its emotional reserve; it is a tease. Natalie Portman has it as does the German political interviewer Sandra Maischberger. Bryan Dobson possesses it and so too does Alexis Bliedl, but only when she is Rory Gilmore.
Charm, though extremely useful as a sexual tool need not take a seductive route. It’s interesting to note that when a brash young man accosts a lady at a bar with a chat-up line below her dignity she will often remark saractically “… charming” to her girlfriends after he has departed. Furthermore, it is customary for members of the general population to find scantily- clad women parading in stillettos and clutching bottles of Corrs Light as lacking in charm.
The perception of charm requires a little effort and as such the fruits of its identification carry an emotional value: we place worth on that in which we invest our energies. This is not to reduce charm to a mere self-serving bias but rather to highlight that intellect and emotion or “head and heart” are not always as far removed as we believe them to be.
To be charmed is one matter; to be charming another. Countless pamphlets have been penned on the latter so I thought it time to thrust open the question to the blogosphere: what charms you?