Friday, April 5, 2013

Some thoughts on loveliness

I was recently asked about what I find physically attractive in a woman. The girl who was asking me boiled it down to a straightforward choice: “Are you an arse man, or a tits man?”

My response to this was so bumbling that Boris Johnson could have taken notes: “Er… well… it depends. Sometimes it’s arse. Sometimes it’s breasts. So… both, really. Well, either/or.” That last part I find particularly troubling. It seems to imply a choice that would necessitate a distressing degree of surgery, but this is beside the point.

The point was that my foppishly, flustered response was not so much to do with embarrassment as it was to do with the fact that I didn’t agree with the choice. Neither of the two options are what I look for. I’m neither an arse man, nor a tits man, so much as I am a face man.

Here, there is an oddity. There are countless, stunning women who actually do very little for me. For me, there is something ineffable that is crucial; something that makes a beauty irresistible. My father, charming rake that he is, would describe it as pizazz or je ne sais quoi. I would give it a slightly different name: loveliness.

Loveliness is the key. Sexiness is great. Sexiness is fantastic, and it can enthral you, right up until the chemical rush fades. Whereas, you can lose your heart to loveliness in an instant, and remain a hopeless goner for eternity. Furthermore, if someone is lovely, they will be sexy.

Part of loveliness is in the composition of the person. Loveliness is not perfection, but it surpasses it. Loveliness is made by the little imperfections. If ever you have been close with someone who doesn’t like their nose, or their ears, or their smile, I can guarantee you that the imperfection they loathe is the thing that you loved the most.

Part of it is in the manner of the person: in their personality, charm and wit. These become physically apparent in the eyes. There is no attraction in the dead-eyed because there is no soul. There is nothing to connect with. The eyes must be alive, and they can do many things. They can inspire, terrify, comfort and seduce. The eyes of the lovely person can betray all of these, but what sets them apart from all others, is a capacity that is only present in loveliness.

It is a look of total happiness: a momentary twinkle of utter delight that is the crowning glory of loveliness. When that is seen, it’s too late my friend: you’ve been caught hook, line and sinker. Once you see that bliss, it will become your deepest desire to see it again and again and again.

Attraction is never simple. It is a lawless and surprising thing, but, though I have been attracted to a great many, different women, I know that when I genuinely and sincerely think of someone as lovely, and when I see that glint in the eye, then I am in the most terrible, wonderful kind of trouble.

© Jack Blackburn, 5th April 2013


  1. Just reminds me so much of GCSE English and sonnet 130. That old Shakespeare, such a relevant chap!!