Friday, October 24, 2008

“The Look”

I don’t know about you, but if there’s anything I can’t resist, it’s The Look. You ladies know what I mean. Even the most boring-looking guy gets a hotness boost when he employs The Look. And when a sexy guy does it, well, there’s nothing better.

I was made mindful of The Look this week when my daughters and I made our annual trek to see “So You Think You Can Dance Live.” I’m pretty fond of all the dancers from the show, but among my faves is Hawaiian native Mark Kanemura. And let me tell you, this guy knows how to do The Look. The choreographers recognized it too, and gave him a lot of chances to show it off. Here’s Mark from two angles doing The Look in his inimitable way:

Kill me now.

The Look involves, basically, a guy tucking his chin and looking out the tops of his eyes. And men have been doing it to us for centuries. From days of yore, check out 1920’s heartthrob Rudolph Valentino doing The Look:

Does a guy have to be Valentino-handsome to pull off The Look? Hells, no. One of the most classic examples of all time is the famous shot of Malcolm McDowell in “A Clockwork Orange.” Malcolm, by nature, is more quirky-looking than hot, but when he does The Look, well, who can handle it?

And then, there’s the alternative of a really good-looking guy performing The Look; say, Ewan McGregor. You get improvement every time, people, just check it out:

Now you may have noticed already that the specific emotion conveyed by The Look can vary. Ewan, in our example, is sort of wistful, or pensive, or perhaps even simply casting his attention with no particular intent. The emotive content of The Look is not so important as the two key elements of it: (1) whites of the eyes showing under the irises, and (2) tucked chin.

Let’s check out another Champion of Successful Look Usage, Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker. The Look is equally effective when the emotion is:

sadness, or...

anger, or...

pure evil.

Fascinating, isn’t it? [Sidebar: You know what’s fascinating? While I am writing this post, on my XM 80s station they are playing Roxette’s “The Look.” My life can be so weird.]

I honestly think that certain archetypes of males are deemed more sexy simply because they make regular use of The Look. For example, take magicians. Nothing conveys “I’m mysterious and powerful and in control of you” like this facial expression. Here’s Criss Angel, who does it so well and often:

Meanwhile, same story with vampires, and you know I’m right. For a contemporary example, here’s Robert Pattinson, who will be starring in the new “Twilight” movie:

Truly savvy men understand this whole thing and make the most of it. I’m convinced, for example, that Hugh Laurie uses it as much as possible in his portrayal of House. I triple-dog-dare you to count the number of “Looks” in any given episode. I mean, doesn’t this expression look familiar, House fans?

Oh yeah, that’s the stuff. If only I had him in my closet to pull out whenever I’m in the mood...oh, what?...sorry! Where was I? Anyway, CC Rogers, the talented illustrator who is currently working on a Bloodchained comic book with me, is just as savvy as Hugh. Check out her portrayal of the comic’s protagonist, Jonas:

As the kids say, [dies].

Well, I only wish I understood how this works exactly. What does The Look, that particular pose of face and cast of eyes, say to us that translates to “unbearably sexy”? If any kind of emotional content works, what is it about that facial expression that holds the power? Darned if I know. All you Erotica with Soul readers who are psychologists who specialize in body language, please enlighten us!

And men, please don’t stop.


CC said...

It's true, there is something about "the Look" - I wonder if it's dangerous to let guys know they can do this to us! :-)

BTW, I got a chuckle that you referred to Robert Pattinson by his character name (Edward Cullen). Did you know he played Cedric Diggory in the Harry Potter movies? I'm going to go see the Twilight movie just to see him.

Diana Laurence said...

Yes, it may be unwise to give the males yet another tip...

And thanks for the correction, I'm going to fix that right now! This is what comes from I myself not being overly familiar with the actor, or the book, and relying rather on the ambiguities of Google images. All I know is, he is a pop culture craze right now!

bainst said...

I know "the look" and it scares the crap out of me. I have always had this seed of doubt about my attractiveness. So if a man, or God forbid a seriously hot man gives me "the look", it makes this twelve year Army and Iraqi War veteran want to run for the hills.

Diana Laurence said...

If a seriously hot man gives you the Look, bainst, there must be a reason! Take it as a compliment my dear. It's funny, though, the fine line between sexual response and terror, hey? :-)

bainst said...

You're right. With that look, he's become a predator not just some guy, and my fight or flight response kicks in. I have been in an operating room while mortars were coming in and I didn't bat an eye. However, as I've stated before, I get "the look" I turn into a little girl agin.

Miss Organizized said...

It's crazy how often the appropriate song starts playing on your radio when you write these things!!

The Look has been getting women into trouble ever since the devil told Eve to eat that apple. They say he took on a snake form, but I The Look had to have been involved.

Diana Laurence said...

THAT IS SO TRUE!!! What a great concept THAT is!

Diana Laurence said...

My friend Elizabeth sent me a comment on this post by email that I just had to share. Great stuff! She said, "The head is bent. Act of submission. Eyes are raised. Dominance. What a combination- submission and dominance. - Message, 'I won't hurt you, but I WILL have you.' CALGON!!!!!!"