5 [Living] Men with Swagger
Swagger is not a new word, but it’s being used like it’s going out of style. So what is it, who’s got it, and why do they have it? More importantly, how can you maintain your own swagger? Here’s a list of the top 5 gents who've got a certain swag that is uniquely their own. Follow their lead, but make it your own— the worst thing you can do to gain swagger is to be a me too.
This guy is so smooth. We don’t even need to mention his last name to know who we’re talking about. Training Day. Swagger. American Gangster. Swagger. Malcolm X. Swagger. He’s got that “Just try to put one past me, and see what happens” attitude. Try to pull off being Denzel for a day and see how far you get.
#4 Jay-Z (a.k.a Hova).
Without a doubt the hip hop artist with the most depth and the most global recognition of any living rapper today. A CEO, an artist, and a family man, Jay-Z has achieved what he set out to achieve and keeps doing it...and, unlike many recording artists, he knows his limitations, which is why we’ve never seen him appear in a motion picture just because he could. That’s swagger.
#3 Bono (U2).
Yeah, he’s over 50, and still selling out stadiums across the globe. That’s cool and all, but why does Bono get put on this list? Because when he had the option to sit back, relax and soak up the limelight, he didn’t. He used his fame to actually lead a movement that has had an impact that shifted the course of human history for millions of people. A lot of people are better off and have a chance at life because one person decided not to sail off into the sunset when it would have been so easy to do. That’s respect. See http://act.one.org
#2 David Beckham.
The envy of men, and the object of desire for women everywhere. What a life. Gazillions in the bank. Check. Model wife. Check. Insane athletic ability. Check. Check. Check. Not to mention, Beckham’s also got a mantra to never be seen anywhere without looking fresh-to-death. Check.
#1 The President of the United States of America.
Set your political views aside for just a moment, and you can’t avoid the fact that Barack has swagger. C’mon, he’s the President of the Free World (which means he's kind of a big deal) and he sang spot-on the intro to Al Greene’s Let’s Stay Together (one of the coolest songs ever, by the way) at a public event. That’s swagger. His opponent sang a tone-def rendition of America the Beautiful. That’s not swagger. The current President's got the voice, the walk, and the threads to achieve a high rank on the swagger list. Plus, at the end of the day, he’s the boss.
Some notables that got edged out of the top 5, but are knocking at the door:
- Brad Pitt—Yes, he’s cool. Great actor, kids from every corner of the world, and just edged out by the top 5 above.
- Leonardo DiCaprio—The best movie selection skills of any actor of our time. Only top shelf, which commands respect. He protects his swagger, and so close to being in the Top 5.
- Pitbull—He raps wearing a suit…and he’s so international.
- Kanye West—he’s got swag, but he’s just too much of a loose cannon. To make this list, you got to keep it tight.
- Al Pacino—just because Tony Montana had SO much swagger.
- Mick Jagger—a legend in his own right, but he looks like he’s about 30 years older than his 68 years. He should have been following The Tao of Healthy Skin.
- Mark Wahlberg—He makes it look easy. He takes himself lightly, but still maintains a man’s seriousness. He’d likely make the top 10.
Here are some tips to help you maintain your swagger:
- Keep it tight: These guys mentioned above always keep it together. Rarely do you see them get bent out of shape (that doesn't mean that they can't get riled up for a valid reason or cry at a funeral). This means that they maintain an image of cool that the public expects of them.
- Be a man of action: These are not men that have created something and now they sit back and relax. They are always searching for the next hurdle to jump and mountain to conquer. The #1 reason that you lose your swagger is by sitting back, while others pass you by. Men of swagger don't settle.
- Don't be a slob: Ok, Brad Pitt sported a homeless man's beard for a year of his life. If you think you can pull it off and still maintain your swagger, go for it. If you're rocking facial hair, keep it neat. If your chest hair is flying out of your crew neck collar, it's time to trim. If you are prone to unsightly shaving irritation, use a natural aftershave for men that counteracts it. Visible nose and ear hairs are like a 550 credit rating - you know you've hit rock bottom. Present yourself like a man who is ready to take on the world when you walk out of your front door.
So, take cues from the guys on this list, and become a master of your image and live it. As long as you are confident living in your skin a few levels of awareness above the rest, you will maintain that swagger in your step.