“The IT Girl, portrait of Clara Bow”

  • Portrait painting of Clara Bow
  • clara-bow

“The IT Girl, portrait of Clara Bow”

(oil on cardboard portrait. surrounding background created from recycled materials)

“IT” is that quality possessed by some which draws all others with its magnetic force. With “IT” you win all men if you are a woman—all women if you are a man. “IT” can be a quality of the mind as well as a physical attraction.
Elinor Glyn

Self-confidence and indifference whether you are pleasing or not—and something in you that gives the impression that you are not at all cold. That’s “IT”.
Elinor Glyn

I was working on the series of portraits of the Silent Era movie stars when I discovered that the ever-so-familiar term “The It Girl” was originally applied to the Hollywood’s Golden Age actress Clara Bow. People started calling Ms. Bow ‘the It Girl” after she starred in the 1927 film called ‘It’.

I didn’t know much about the actress, but having done a bit of research I understood why she was chosen for a role of a young woman who possessed ‘it’. Hardly a beauty Clara Bow displayed very appealing qualities. She looked like an innocent young lady and a temptress at the same time. Although, very different from the widely desired raw sex appeal of the contemporary starlets I found (as an artist) Clara Bow’s looks much more intriguing than those of a lot of her modern counterparts.

Beauty Vs. Having ‘It’

In my humble opinion Bow’s sex appeal is the perfect proof that one doesn’t need to be conventionally beautiful (read: skinny, tan and big-breasted) to be attractive. Unfortunately, it’s a concept that is falling into obscurity with our society obsessed with photo filters and surgical alterations.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m an artist or not, but I see everyone as beautiful in their own way. It makes me sad that so many attractive women are unaware of their attractiveness simply because their beauty differs from what they see online and on TV.

I’ve always liked the saying that a woman has one chance to be beautiful and 10,000 chances to be attractive. I wish more women would realize that each one of us has ‘it’ and that a symmetrical face, puffy lips and long legs have absolutely nothing to do with having ‘IT’!