Country Life, the weekly magazine and bible to the well heeled set outside the confines of the concrete jungle, have released their Gentleman of the Year list. Well, I thought it would be worth a peruse and a comment. We started ours in 2012, though we didn’t get as much coverage as their has, ah well.
A previous article, in Country Life, listed the traits of their ideal ‘Gentleman’ some of which were comical and some non-sensical, indeed a list with it’s tongue firmly placed in it’s cheek. It was an interesting piece, so we waited for the list to come out before we would comment.
One thing that immediately struck me was that of all the people on the list not one is under the age of 30, though we do know that finding one of those is like the proverbial needle in the haystack. We struggle every year, and Andy Murray was the only under-30 on this year’s list.
Talking of age, two thirds of the men on the Country Life list are over 40, indeed they are well over 40. This is the generation that we say was touched by the Gentlemanly generation of yesterday, whether that be Father’s, Grandfather’s or the like. They had those influences of a more Gentlemanly time.
Which set me to wondering… where are the younger gentleman role models? Are they all wrapped up in SWAG and bling and uninterested in becoming a Gentlemen? Well, that’s not true as I have certainly come across some young men that are Gentlemen, though they are not famous. They find their role models elsewhere, rather than modern youth culture. We have asked and they don’t know where to start and what to do or who to hold in esteem.
One of the reasons The Perfect Gentleman came into existence is to become that starting point for young men and to give them a portal to access information, to give them role models both living and historical.
Whilst I admire Country Life’s list and the intentions, their descriptions of a Gentleman should not do, and what the press takes out of it is jokes and poking fun, such as obligatory aspects of being a Gentleman is to have a tattoo and be called David. This plays into the stereotypical view of a gentleman as silly and outdated, which we know is not true. The Gentleman has a very large part to play in the future of male identity and making a success in life across the globe.
Strangely, our list for 2013, which we released in January, does not have one crossover with the Country Life list. Though they did have several from our 2012 list. We shall have to see who makes our list for 2014 in December, I am not sure our winner will be called David, though he might have a tattoo.