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Ryan Gosling: Why Do We All Think He's The Perfect Man?

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Ryan Gosling Irresistible You

At the mention of his name, a huge grin forms on my face. Show me a photo of him, and I can't help but let out a loaded sigh between a bitten lip. Play one of his movies for me, and the skin on my arms tightens, the soft hair on the back of my neck perks up, and a sharp tingle shoots down my spine, through my stomach and on to a place I cannot mention. That's the effect Ryan Gosling has on me – and I know I'm not alone.

In fact, in our recent Irresistible You survey, Gosling was voted the "Most Irresistible Male Celebrity." When we divided the votes up by gender, he was the top pick for women (tied with Channing Tatum) and the third top pick for men. That's right – the 31-year-old actor is hitting home runs on both sides of the field. You Voted: And The Most Irresistible Celebrities Are...

As the one YourTango editor who makes her love for Ryan very loud and clear (and annoyingly so on a weekly basis), I felt it was my duty to try to explain why everyone is so enraptured by this man. Now, we all know he's sexy just because of that defined jaw line, those "Photoshopped-looking" abs and the way he can rock the hell out of a suit. But, my hypothesis is that it's not only his insufferable good looks and raw talent that make him irresistible, but also his intangible and overpowering confidence in himself and his ability to woo just about anyone on the planet.

I didn't know it at the time, but I've been collecting research for this theory since 1998, when I was just a young, fair-haired 11-year-old watching Young Hercules after school. (Yes, I realize Ryan was on The Mickey Mouse Club long before he was ever donning tights and a sword, but I didn't watch that crap.) The show lasted one measly season of 50 episodes on Fox Kids, but it was enough to make me fall hard for the overly faux-tanned boy whose long, blonde locks swayed in the wind as he was taught how to wield a sword by his headmaster, Chiron the Centaur, Yes, I said centaur. Even to an 11-year-old, Young Hercules was absolutely ridiculous, but I kept watching to see Ryan.

I forgot about him when the series ended – that is, until he popped up in Remember The Titans and Murder By Numbers. Here he was now, a 22-year-old guy seducing the pants off of Sandra Bullock, even though he'd just committed a murder and left the body in the woods to rot. Boy, had he blossomed. It was exciting to see how my prepubuscent crush was growing up to be such a devilishly handsome man.

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Then, Ryan chose the role of a lifetime in a movie (gosh, do I even need to say it?) called The Notebook that catapulted him from a relative unknown to a swoon-worthy, A-list heartthrob. Now every girl with a pulse was fawning over him. It was the deadly combination of his character's adorable persistence to go on a date with Rachel McAdams' character, his romantic, "If you're a bird, I'm a bird" one-liners and rain-soaked declaration of "It's not over… it's still not over!" that changed the ideal of what the perfect man should be.

Men have (hopefully) been taking notes ever since.

In every film Ryan's been in after that classic—Half NelsonBlue Valentine, Drive, The Ides of March, Crazy, Stupid, Love—his suave demeanor is undeniable. He's just as believable shooting guns and racing ridiculously fast cars (which made men fall in love with him) as he is shamelessly picking up chicks in a bar (which made us fall in love with him). He's just that versatile.

However, his abilities on the big screen aren't what make Ryan Gosling, the man, completely irresistible. It's his personality beyond the movie cameras—which I absolutely love watching in clips like this and this—that explain why he has one of the most popular Tumblr's ever dedicated to his swagger. It's also why grown women make pancakes in the shape of his face and an unknown twentysomething rose to fame over night just because he looks kind of like him. 

Ryan has no problem making fun of himself or letting his nerd flag fly with that high-pitched laugh, because he can turn around the next minute and confidently break up a street fight or save a woman from getting hit by a speeding cab like the real man he is. He's not afraid to look stupid. He's not afraid to confess his love for Disneyland or wear footie pajamas. He's not afraid to stand up in the face of danger or cheesily kiss his girlfriend Eva Mendes in front of the Eiffel tower. Exclusive! Ryan Gosling: "I Think I'm A Pretty Weird-Looking Guy"

This, my friends, is what makes Ryan Gosling the perfect man. He is equal parts tender and strong – a little bit feminine, but it doesn't detract from his undeniable masculinity. He's the type of man that will let you cry on his shoulder one night and then push you against the wall and ravage you Christian Grey-style the next. He's as confident as hell in every quirk, quality and feeling he has, and it's utterly irresistible.

This rare and killer combination is something Ryan was born with (as evidenced in this dance performance when he was just 10-years-old – check out those hip thrusts...), but that doesn't mean we all can't take a page from his very sexy "Notebook."

Tell us: why do you think Ryan Gosling is so irresistible to both men and women?