What is IT?

Monday, March 14, 2011 - Posted by Amanda Bast
Gordon Ramsay is not a good looking person. You may describe him as someone with a "face like a half chewed caramel*". He's just not a handsome guy. He is also rude, obnoxious and vulgar. He does not appear to be a very tenderhearted individual. He tells people they suck and makes them angry on a daily basis. That's his job.


Gordon Ramsay is an exceptionally attractive individual.

Contradiction? I don't think so. There is something about this man that is oddly compelling. Magnetic, even. Think about it. He has multiple TV shows and books, he is highly regarded in his profession, he is married, he has children, he's extremely successful. Yet, he generally carries himself as a complete jerk. How is a jerk so successful? Why do people value his opinion? Why do others in his field look up to him? It's not his looks, it's not his demeanor, it's certainly not his politeness that attracts people to him. I would say it's not even his raw talent that got him to where he is. Before he started cooking he played professional soccer and would have made a name for himself if it weren't for a knee injury. Talent is not the answer here. It is none of these things.

Internets, Gordon Ramsay has what I like to call "IT".

"IT" is extremely difficult to define. People with "IT" are usually well liked. Or they could be despised. They could be nice, sweet, charming and lovely. They could also be mean, manipulative and obnoxious. People who have "IT" know people. They easily build relationships. They can just as easily tear them down. They make connections. They're usually leaders. They get things done. Or they could totally slack off. When someone who has "IT" talks, people listen. It's nearly impossible to describe what exactly is "IT", but it's always easy to point out someone who has "IT".

Here is a list of people who have "IT":

Oprah. You might not enjoy her, but she's successful for a reason. Because she has a good show? No, sometimes it's terrible. Because she asks good questions? Someone else writes those for her. Because she's selfless? Mmm maybe not so much. Because she's friends with Dr. Phil? No. Definitely not. She has "IT".

Jeff Winger. Have you ever watched Community? This character is the definition of "IT". He doesn't try very hard, but people notice him. He's not a go-getter but he gets things done. He can be a giant sarcastic jerk, but people stop to listen to him. He's the leader of the pack. He has "IT".

Charlie Parker. He was a jazz musician who got into fights, did drugs and frequently showed up to gigs without an instrument. He did everything wrong and was probably horribly frustrating to work with. But when he was doing his thing, you better believe people took note**. I can almost guarantee he had "IT".

Tommy Pickles. His shirt is too small for him. He can't walk very well. He has no hair. Phil and Lil are clearly the cute ones. But Tommy most certainly has "IT".

Rob Bell. Have you ever seen the man speak live? You can't take your eyes off of him. But waaaaait a second here! Rob is stirring up so much controversy in the Christian world. People are accusing him of all sorts of really horrible things and condemning him. I know all of these things. But he certainly has our attention, doesn't he? I never said he was right, I never said he was wrong. I just said he has our attention. That's because he has "IT".

I've only given you six examples of people who have "IT". For the purpose of this blog, these examples  are celebrities of sorts, but I bet you're thinking of someone you know that has "IT".

Your turn. Who else has "IT"? And what is "IT", exactly?

*I adopted this phrase from a guy I worked with. Fairly descriptive. Kind of gross.
**It's a pun, you idiot. (That's for you, Chap.)