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An Unerring Image of Self

 

We remembered this season Clint Eastwood and how he became an enduring cultural icon of masculinity, being a man of few words. The words he did say, he delivered through his teeth.

It is with this sentiment in mind that we once agian recall the words of Clint Eastwood; 

"There's a rebel lying deep in my soul. I hate the idea of trends. I hate imitation; I have a reverence for individuality."

For those who have experienced Clint Eastwood on screen, it is not surprising, that his steely, anti-hero persona digs into the modern trappings of entitlement and nepotism like a spur in a horse's abdomen.

His bearded, cigar-smoking, suede vest-wearing on-screen presence extrapolated to his personal life, including multiple refusals to publicly acknowledge how many children he has sired. Eastwood's enduring lesson is that authenticity is the only thing in modern life that you can't buy.

 

Two Idols Are Better Than One!

This idea of an unerring self-image also conjures thoughts of another like-minded silver screen icon, Gary Cooper. Like Eastwood, Cooper - known to his friends (and foes) as Coop - was often depicted against the backdrop of the rugged American West. Its mountainous terrain and dusty plains were brutal on the one hand, yet beautiful on the other. 

Exposed to the harsh elements, appropriate clothing was required. Hard-wearing denim jeans, leather boots that were made for walking, utilitarian leather jackets and brimmed hats to shield the sun were Coop's on-screen uniform.

 

As comfortable as he was donning a shearling coat and Stetson hat atop a horse, he is equally renowned for his sartorial splendour and gentlemanly disposition. 

Imagery of Coop clad in perfectly proportioned tailored suits litters the internet to this day, while those of him wearing a cable knit jumper and flannel shirt amidst the mountainous terrain of Aspen (where he enjoyed holidaying in his luxurious mountain hideaway) remind us of the man’s sartorial aplomb.

Cooper shared admiration of Rudyard Kipling's poetry with Ernest Hemingway, prompting the two men to become lifelong friends. Together they hunted ducks and pheasants and blazed the trails of Sun Valley. Hemingway, a sartorial and literary icon and bastion of masculinity icon in his own right, said of Cooper, 'If you made up a character like Coop, nobody would believe it.'

 

One More Thing..

While modern life is not a Spaghetti Western nor an endless holiday conquering the slopes of Jackson Hole, Wyoming - the town in which the iconic American brand, Rocky Mountain Featherbed was born - the lesson we can learn from Eastwood and Cooper is the value of authenticity and remaining true to oneself. 

There is no perfect mould or framework within which we should fit. We are all imperfectly perfect.

 

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