What is "It"? Who has "It"? How do you get "It?"

You may have heard the term "It" or "The 'It' Girl." Back in my day, "It" was a sort of attractive quality that didn't rely on beauty. People in later decades might call it "sex appeal." I suppose some today might call it "hotness," although I must say, that's a vulgar term to a lady's ears. "It" was more light and flirtatious, more about personality than physical attributes.
Way back in 1904, Rudyard Kipling, in his short story "Mrs. Bathhurst," introduced the concept: "It isn't beauty, so to speak, nor good talk. necessarily. It's just 'It'." 

But it wasn't until the 1920s that the author Elinor Glyn used the term and made it a household word (at least among the young people. In the Corrigan household, my fifteen-year-old sister Helen would use it; our parents most emphatically would not). Glyn wrote, "'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 and all women if you are a man." 

In 1927 Clara Bow starred in a movie called "It," and from then on she was known as "the 'It' Girl." That's Clara, pictured at the top of this post. Pretty, yes? But, alas, not always a very pretty life. We'll talk more about Clara later on.

One thing the concept of "It" makes clear that by the 1920s, people are focusing less on developing good character and more on developing a good personality. Earlier generations might have worried about being a good person; my generation started worrying about being a popular, well-liked person. There's a big difference, and it's not necessarily a good thing.

My roommate Dot has "It." Her personality sparkles like champagne in a glass. Me, not so much. That doesn't stop me from wanting it. I'm just not the natural "It" type. However, I have something that's much more important. 

But more about that later. Right now, I've got to scram or I'll miss the streetcar, and Very Famous Department Store doesn't look kindly on girls who are late!

What about you. Do you think you have 'It'? Why or why not?

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