Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Attraction: Lindsay Caudill

(ed note: this article was originally written 9/11/16)

Lindsay Caudill

I said Friday that I was going to elaborate on partly why I had dubbed it “Simply Red Day” for me. It was not at all because I had become a redhead on that day two years earlier, but it was fun to find that out courtesy of Timehop. Of course it’s late but here goes.

--Bear in mind this is not really related to Simply Red, per se, although the bulk of it will use Mick Hucknall as a reference point. It’s more of what discussion(s) his music has prompted over the years but in the last few days in particular.--

If you know me or even if you just see my timeline you know that I breathe music and, as a result, have a handful of singers that I love above all others. Mick Hucknall is one of them (also something you learn quickly if you interact with me). I have been openly gushing about his voice, his lyrics, and his performances for many years. But I’ve also been equally open about how attractive I think he is. I save the borderline (and completely) inappropriate stuff for conversations not happening on my timeline but, without fitting some stereotypical “guy” manner of speaking, I think that he is absolutely delicious. Sexy, handsome, gorgeous, beautiful, nearly perfect. And I know that that makes many of you likely want to know what the hell is wrong with me.

This discussion has been had many times in my life since my Simply Red “fandom” dates back to when I was about seven years old. No one ever questions my fawning over Michael Hutchence, Prince, Don Johnson, Lenny Kravitz. With Mick, the eyebrows go up.

I usually have a type, albeit unintentional, but I tend to vary from it often. Still, redheads have never been my “thing”. Seth Green is cute. Ed Sheeran is gorgeous, talented, and we know I adore him. Yet they don’t quite fit. Mick is it for me with redheaded men. Historically I tend to lean toward men with very dark hair.

Personal preference aside, society as a whole is unkind to redheaded males. I don’t know why there is such a weird negativity toward naturally redheaded men or why that automatically makes them societally unattractive. Physical attractiveness may be based solely in the visual but there are plenty of desirable and undesirable features in all hair colors. Unfortunately it’s the redheaded male that gets the criticism (much like the blonde female being assumed dumb). As expected, Mick has been mocked for this - likely because his hair, in addition to being red, is a wild and curly mess not unlike my own currently. Insults have been slung. Articles that are meant to be positive toss in something negative about his appearance.

The beauty of it is that he’s had some very beautiful and high-profile girlfriends (Helena Christensen and Catherine Zeta-Jones for starters) and admitted to sleeping with over 1,000 women (to whom he apologized because he said he hurt a lot of very sweet girls who did not deserve it). He has had such great success, hung in entertainment and political circles, and left his mark on musical history. Frankly, he’s the epitome of “F*** You” to anyone who doubted his physical appeal and deemed him unsuitable for romantic relationships or sex symbol status simply because he was born with red hair.

Still, for me, what is it? I’ve actually never questioned it nor have I chalked it up to one of those weird and quirky attractions that no one understands (even though, again, I’m sure many of you have wondered it). I know the answer. But, for sake of argument...

Is it his voice? Surely it has to be. He isn’t a fan of the label “blue eyed soul” as his style, but he is definitely a white man in a category that is predominantly filled with amazingly talented men of color. He’s soulful. He’s powerful. And I, as someone who breathes music and lyrics must hear that voice and melt right?

Yes, but no.

His voice IS stunning. I have always been old before my time and loved music from varying eras and genres. The fact that he has his original music yet also covers some of the greatest songs in musical history (and does so so well that I don’t take issue as I normally do with cover versions) is appealing. Basically, he has a voice and talent many wish they had.

But, you know who else has a sexy voice? Lyle Lovett. Like I said during my conversation about this prior, God bless him. He doesn’t do it for me. His voice at times has, particularly when he teamed up with Al Green on the “Rhythm, Country, and Blues” album to cover “Funny How Time Slips Away”.

Mick Jagger. Women LOVE him. They think he oozes sexiness. Me? I like his voice and, as with Lyle, have found it sexy a time or ten. Physically though, no.

Rod Stewart. I could listen to him sing all day but there is nothing about him beyond that that would draw me to him.

Point being: it has nothing to do with Mick Hucknall’s voice. A sexy voice doesn’t automatically equal attraction. It can’t hurt, but it doesn’t guarantee it.

Is it that he's famous? No.

Is it the accent? No.

Is it the illusion of romance in his songs? No.

Is it because he must apparently be a great lover with 1000 belt notches? Um, no.

Q: What is it then?

A: Him.

That's it. Just him. I think that wild curly mop is gorgeous, even when he's had some iffy haircuts. (For the inner circle members: "by the roots"). I think that the jewel in his tooth - which is either a diamond or ruby usually - is quirky and gives him character. He's affable. He is well-versed, well-spoken, and well-read. He's cultured. He's political. He has apple cheeks that I could reach through the TV screen and pinch. He has a childlike smile. He has that forearm/hand thing that we all know I melt over (and that Frank loudly calls me a weirdo for on an almost daily basis). His speaking voice is so soft. His eyes. His freckles.

I know, I know, I'm swooning like he's a teenage idol.

That’s the funny thing about attraction and who we find attractive. I’ve had more than few boyfriends that my friends (and mother) have looked at me questionably in regards to. To me, they were beautiful. In turn, my friends have had boyfriends or girlfriends that have made me question their eyesight. The end result is that we can only see with our own eyes. We don’t need an explanation for who we find attractive or why. It’s something we just feel. No justification needed. The world would be a very different place in terms of physical, romantic, and sexual relationships - albeit interestingly so - if we were all attracted to the same type.

Beyond that, what about personality? Even if we initially are drawn to someone on a strictly physical level - and can look over someone perfectly suited to us on a deeper level - personality is a key factor for a lot of people including myself. It is a “maker or breaker”. It reminds me of a line from The Mindy Project that made me giggle because it is similar to something that I have said more than once: “My body is very attracted to your body but when you speak my brain gets angry.” I’ve sat across the table from some beautiful humans and wanted them to rewind back to before they opened their mouths. Conversely, I’ve sat across the table from people who may not have first turned my head in a crowd but elicited a response in the present by their sense of humor, compassion, passion, knowledge, and so on. Personality can make a person beautiful or ugly, regardless of their outer shell.

It's always easier to discuss and question when you can use a real world example, something more feasible than discussing a celebrity. Take my last relationship (that is perhaps still somewhat current and in limbo, which is another post entirely). I said I was drawn to guys with very dark hair. He has that. He also has really dark eyes, which I love. (I also love blue eyes combined with dark hair.) Yet, he is also the polar opposite of my usual ‘type’ in so many ways.

A few years ago I had a male friend with ulterior motives attempt to insult me by vocally assuming I ONLY date older men. I don’t ONLY anything. It’s just that my theme - not even a type, really, more of a theme - is usually a somewhat older male with dark hair and an average weight but definitely not rail thin. I know people who will ONLY date within their race and those who will ONLY date outside of their race. ONLY this, ONLY that. Not me. If I think you are beautiful, I think you are beautiful. I don’t have a checklist handy to see if you fit.

I’ve always felt sad for the “ONLY” people, actually. Can you imagine the individuals they’ve not truly seen because of such strict parameters? I have long prided myself on being basically blind in that sense because it has allowed me to meet and become intimately involved with some amazing souls (and no, gutter minds, I don’t mean THAT intimately). Had I been an "ONLY" person, I may have avoided some terrible heartache but I would’ve missed out on the people in the world who keep my faith alive when I see how generally horrible humans are.

But, that draw...that has always been the biggest identifier for me, to be immediately drawn to someone. It isn’t always physical either, regardless of whether you know nothing about them other than just what you see. There’s just something nameless that draws you to certain people, romantically and friendly. At least that is how my life has played out thus far. It isn’t some romanticized version of the truth. It just is. Everyone I have ever been immediately drawn to has ended up becoming an integral part of my life in a closer fashion than others, either as a partner or a member of the close circle of people that are my non-blood family.

As we all well know by now, I’m fascinated with the brain and how it works. I’m amazed by how we are wired. For as much as I protest how we are the same, we are also so vastly different when it comes to these type of emotions. Even if our tastes change over time and even if people we used to find attractive may now make us question our own sanity, it’s curious how we just KNOW.

How do we, in a crowd of people, feel drawn toward a specific person?

How do we determine what beauty is, on the surface and beyond?

How is it different for others?

How is it that someone who isn’t some erroneous idea of universal sexiness can do far more for me than someone labeled as the sexiest man alive? Give me Mick Hucknall over Brad Pitt ANY DAY.

Most importantly, why do we question it - for ourselves and others?

I’m curious of your take on it. What drew you to your current or past relationships? What were your physical and/or emotional factors?

What say you?

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