Maybe it’s the soft southern drawl, that chimerical whistle at the end of his words. The fact that even in a suit strutting the red carpet he still looks like he belongs with the cowboys riding the plains of Texas, saddle free, Marlboro hanging from his mouth, leading the pack. Once dubbed the worlds sexiest man by People Magazine in 2005, Matthew McConaughey is without a doubt an attractive man. But I do not think its just this mans face or body that leaves women worldwide shaking at the knees. I think the McConaughey effect is much more than a handsome man in an exceptionally well fitted pair of Levis.
MM (lets abbreviate) possesses that perfect cocktail of attributes; he is what women want.
Featuring on this weeks Red Table Talk, the sheer presence of MM seemed to transcend the generations, the usually stoic Jada was clearly slightly flushed as she blushed under the MM influence, but so was Gammy, 20 years her senior, and Willow 20 years her junior. Each woman not only transfixed by this man, and what he had to say, but each on their own merit labelling him ‘a real man’. Jada enthusiastically elongating the word Mannnnnnnnnnn – that aint no little boy shit right there she proclaims – Gammy and Willow nodding in agreement.
In fact, most of my girlfriends, my elder and younger female relatives and even some of my male friends would agree with the Smiths. This is a REAL man. The chimes of Salt and Peppas, ‘what a man, what a man, what a man – what a mighty good man’ accompanying my thoughts as I type.
If he is what women want, then what is it that women want that he has?
What does MM Trigger in women that transcends age, sexual preference, race, faith – what is it that this man has that binds us women in agreement that he is the epitome, the essence, the incarnation of a real man?
I don’t speak for all women, but I do speak for myself, and this is it for me.
MM is the perfect balance. He is the rough with the smooth, carefree yet deep, spiritual yet practical, rooted yet free. His masculinity is so apparent because he is truly at one with himself.
When asked who his hero was, MM famously said it was himself in 10 years, 10 years later when asked again, he said it was himself in 10 years – he noted at the end of this speech he would never attain his heroes ending, but he would always have someone to chase. That’s commitment, that’s inner strength. That is what women want.
Some may say, this is vanity, even narcissism. I disagree, this is self-love, self-belief. If the adage of we can never find love until we love ourselves is true – then this is his own self for-filling prophecy.
That I believe is the MM effect in motion, this is a man who is at peace with who he is, it oozes out of him at every angle. That is the component, the secret ingredient. That is what women want. A man who has taken himself off into the wilderness – learnt a bunch of lessons, carries his own trauma and knows himself well enough to not project. Is it that inner strength that gives him that outer magnetism?
Does his inward strength seep into his outer being. I think it does. And I think, self-realisation and the confidence that brings, in truly knowing one’s self and being able to effectively communicate who we are, what we value and our needs and desires is what makes the man.
This inner glow is what creates his fire. It translates into strength, calmness, mastery, we see a father figure, a partner, a peaceful life. Someone brave enough to be vulnerable and take risks, someone knowing enough to own them. That is the McConaughey effect in a nutshell. Now how do we bottle that shit?
In his book, Greenlights MM writes:
This is not a traditional memoir. Yes, I tell stories from the past, but I have no interest in nostalgia, sentimentality, or the retirement most memoirs require. This is not an advice book, either. Although I like preachers, I’m not here to preach and tell you what to do.
This is an approach book. I am here to share stories, insights, and philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it.
This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life. Adventures that have been significant, enlightening, and funny, sometimes because they were meant to be but mostly because they didn’t try to be. I’m an optimist by nature, and humour has been one of my great teachers. It has helped me deal with pain, loss, and lack of trust. I’m not perfect; no, I step in shit all the time and recognize it when I do. I’ve just learned how to scrape it off my boots and carry on.
Do women just want a man who’s learned to scrape the shit off his boots and carry on?
In his book, Greenlights, Matthew explains his philosophy on life, his mantra, his perspective I think this little insight tells us a lot about his character, I also believe it helps us decipher the McConaughey effect further.
What is a Greenlight? I will let Matthew explain himself:
Greenlights mean go—advance, carry on, continue.
On the road, they are set up to give the flow of traffic the right of way, and when scheduled properly, more vehicles catch more greenlights in succession. They say proceed.
In our lives, they are an affirmation of our way. They’re approvals, support, praise, gifts, gas on our fire, attaboys, and appetites. They’re cash money, birth, springtime, health, success, joy, sustainability, innocence, and fresh starts. We love greenlights. They don’t interfere with our direction. They’re easy. They’re a shoeless summer. They say yes and give us what we want.
Greenlights can also be disguised as yellow and red lights. A caution, a detour, a thoughtful pause, an interruption, a disagreement, indigestion, sickness, and pain. A full stop, a jackknife, an intervention, failure, suffering, a slap in the face, death. We don’t like yellow and red lights. They slow us down or stop our flow. They’re hard. They’re a shoeless winter. They say no, but sometimes give us what we need.
Are we all just looking for a man, who can turn his own red lights into green?
That sounds Alright, Alright, Alright to me.