Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Good Wife: Good Bye, Handsome

Will Gardner was one of the sexiest characters on television.

This is important because the character was played by Josh Charles.

That is important because Josh Charles is not one of the most conventionally attractive male actors. He doesn't have a movie star face a la Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Josh Charles has a prominent nose and thin, thin lips.

But I'd take him, any day, over Pitt or Clooney. I never understood the whole George Clooney thing anyway.

But I digress.

What I'm trying to say is that an actor with a prominent nose and thin lips, features which are stereotypically deemed less attractive in our current society, successfully portrayed some real, and I mean some real sexy shit on television. If you haven't watched this show, put an extra layer of panties on and go watch any scene he's in.

This is important because Josh Charles arrived at sexy by portraying sheer, unadulterated, I-think-the-television-is-overheating confidence.

Confidence.

The character of Will Gardner was nothing if not confident. Sometimes he bordered on arrogant, but the show did an excellent, careful job of stepping up to that line but not crossing it because they showed how much the character cared about the people around him, how dedicated he was to doing the right thing, even if the right thing was really, really messy and complex and a little (a lot) shady.

Cheers to Josh Charles for portraying this character, this confidence, so well.

Cheers to Josh Charles for his nose and his lips and his sexy.

It's a LOT easier for men to pull off sexy with a wider variety of facial features than it is for women. We don't allow women as much wiggle room in those areas as we do men, not nearly as much, not by a long shot.

Still, I think we ought to recognize any actor, male or female, who doesn't maybe have the Most Highly Praised features our society demands, but instead perhaps has the Most Platic Surgery Augmented type of features, yet still manages to play the hell out of some real (did I say real? like, really real) sexy shit.

When an actor like Josh Charles successfully portrays a character like Will Gardner, it makes us all reevaluate what is sexy. It makes us widen our reach to include things like confidence and personal power and bravery and humor, instead of the more narrowly defined terms which seem to always and only include a certain set of facial features and body types.

Thank you and brava to whoever at CBS made the decision to have Josh Charles play this role. You've helped people with prominent noses and thin lips.

As you might have guessed, I have a bit of a prominent nose, and thin lips. Also, small eyes with flappy eyelid flaps, and low eyebrows.

Not conventionally attractive features.

I'm not talking bad about myself, or complaining, or fishing for compliments.

I'm simply stating the facts of my face. I've come to accept my features, and look at them with honesty, even appreciation.

But that took me a long time.

It took me a long time because the media doesn't often put my features in magazines, or on television, or certainly not the movie screen.

Or, wait.  Unless, that is, those features are portraying a villian.

I remember the first time I looked at a picture of Disney's evil queen from Snow White when she had aged herself to an old hag and thought: I think this is maybe what I'm going to look like when I'm older because I kinda look like that now.

There was a resemblance. Something about the nose, and lips, and eyes of the old hag evil queen resonated with what I know about my own features.

When I weighed over 230 lbs., all it would've taken would have been some dark lipstick and shorter hair to turn me into Disney's Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

Just go ahead and line up for yourself an afternoon of Disney princess movies. Notice how all the princesses, all the sweet and innocent and heroic and attractive characters we're meant to root for have the soft, round, plump, subtle features of a perpetual infant. Kind of like Jennifer Lopez with her child-nose.

Now notice how all the villains that we would really rather prefer melt in a vat of hot, plague-riddled lava all have the sharp, hard, prominent, angular features -  perhaps a nose bridge bump from hell.

So again, thank you to CBS for having Josh Charles play a character that we liked and lusted after and did not want to see shot and killed.

By no means is Josh Charles ugly. Josh Charles, if you're reading this (yeah right), please don't think I'm saying you're ugly. I'm just saying that the world doesn't easily recognize our sexy until a major network makes it happen.

Also, Josh Charles, I'm on Facebook. Get in touch.

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