‘It’ is a Fact by Trevor Plumbly
‘It’ is Difficult to Define
Nowadays ‘it’ has developed a new persona. ‘It’ was once something we all dreamed of having first or second hand. If a girl had basic ‘it’ she was guaranteed the constant pursuit of the opposite sex and the envy of her peers. Those with major ‘it’ were virtually assured of a place in the limelight. ‘It’ is indefinable; it’s just sort of there or not. Years ago, ‘it’ suggested some sort of deep seated sexual magnetism, but strong, outgoing personalities can also have ‘it’; sadly bluestockings, aggressive feminists and shrinking violets need not apply. The original ‘it’ girl was Clara Bow, a major movie star in the 1920s; oddly enough the bulk of her movies were ‘silents’ so it does appear that ‘it’ can flourish without verbal assistance, though personally I found her performances vapid rather than electrifying, but maybe nerve-ends were less demanding back then.
Charisma and Magnetism
As things moved on, ‘it’ became less specific, which I think was a bit of a loss. The new ‘it’ applied to just about anything, success in any form, money or power, as in ‘made it’ ‘got it’ or ‘holds it’ and, as a result, lost its appeal to those confined to not having it. With the communication bubble, the new ‘it’ (aka charisma) soon became an essential tool if you wanted to get on in life; ‘it’ set you apart in all manner of ways, interviewees with ‘it’ generally got the job, salespeople with ‘it’ produced the figures and so on. It’s all very unfair for those who haven’t got ‘it’; they’ll never work on TV and radio or stand much chance in the world of politics. Hell! I bet even lawyers with ‘it’ win more cases.
Who’s got ‘It’?
It would be impossible to compile a league table of people with ‘it’, it’s such a personal thing for those with or without it. But, for the record, let’s think about Margaret Thatcher: her ‘it’ was the ability to spray fear in any direction she chose; Winston Churchill’s lay in his staged hesitancy in speech, as if he expected a heavenly choir to chime in and support his argument; Dolly Parton’s in her expectations of total audience adoration; Muhammad Ali’s in his incredible displays of self-belief; Mick Jagger’s in his swaggering arrogance; Barak Obama’s in his slightly rushed gait, as if he’s always dashing off to do something important. Paul McCartney, the boy next door at 70 odd, is living proof that ‘it’ doesn’t age. Princess Diana had ‘it’; Prince Charles doesn’t. Bill Clinton had ‘it’, but George Bush didn’t. Outside the sporting and cultural arenas ‘it’ doesn’t travel well and rarely crosses the language barrier. ‘It’ can be enthusiastic or morose, comic or tragic, vocal or silent. Some people have clearly got a great deal more ‘it’ than others and speaking on behalf of those without, doesn’t ‘it’ p*ss you off!