Why I declined to share that viral Dustin Hoffman video from yesterday.

Via on Jul 10, 2013

dustin hoffman tootsie

Unattractive women are interesting, too? That’s your revelation? Slow clap.

Yesterday, everyone and her mother shared that touching Dustin Hoffman video, where he cries as he notes that he’d ignored unattractive women all this life and that’s why he wanted to make Tootsie, to show that unattractive women are interesting, too.

I watched it and, yes, it was moving. But it’s also the breaking-down of a man who self-admittedly worked his fame on attractive women in his day.

I watched it and loved it and then thought…ah, we’re a culture who feeds off momentary shares of momentary glimpses of heart. There’s so much more.

In today’s pop culture, we’re so affected by a moment of sincerity we mistake it for, you know, integrity.

That said, it’s a sweet video and a sweet message and I LOVE TOOTSIE.

Still, it’s crying on camera. Which is touching and meaningful–you know, the stuff viral is made of–but lacking in context and depth.

From a feminist friend of a friend:

“This is nice and it’s cool for a straight guy to talk about having a new perspective on the male gaze, good for him. but the fact that it’s gone so viral is a little upsetting to me. do we really expect so little of men that Dustin Hoffman recognizing that, you know, beauty doesn’t necessarily accompany substance (and vice versa) is inspirational?”

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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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50 Responses to “Why I declined to share that viral Dustin Hoffman video from yesterday.”

  1. Ashley says:

    I agree but I do respect the sincerity in his obvious shame for having neglected to see the beauty in ALL women in his life. I think it is a touching revelation that both women and men can relate to, having grown up in a world where physical beauty is placed in such esteem. I suppose because it's such a recent discovery for myself that I am worth so much more that what I look like, or even what I do, I can relate so closely to his sentiments, but the video did indeed touch my heart. I have compassion for the folks sharing this — I think we're all just trying to spread the love :)

  2. Shakti Ma says:

    I actually thought it was interesting he said he didn't want to be thought of as a cross-dresser or people to think he was a 'freak'. So to me it sounded like he had a breakthrough on "ugly women' but still holds onto social judgement. One step at a time Toots.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Any moment of tears, even from a middle-aged conventionally-unattractive famous person who decides at the age of 35 to realize that people are people. Someone cries on camera?! Where's the share button!?

    • Ashley says:

      I think his reference to 'freak' was about how audiences would see it, and how he wanted the part to be portrayed, not necessarily that he sees people pushing the gender roles as 'freaks' . . . not a mind reader, but thought I would share my perspective :)

  3. Brit Hanson says:

    Yes. The viral nature of one man's seeming revelation on the fact that media and patriarchy defined terms of attractive still rule our collective view of women signals the amount of progress left to be made. I was moved, too … but equally saddened.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Well said. Speaking personally, I was both moved, then…I thought twice. Many of my best friends, all my life, have not been conventionally attractive.

      • Brit Hanson says:

        It's interesting to observe how folks interact with the fact that some are unimpressed — or even saddened by — how this video has gone viral.

        Personally, it's not that I disregard or discount one man's revelation; we all have blind spots as a result of a whole bunch of factors — the race, gender, sexual orientation, nation, etc we were born to, the way our society and family raised us, the history that we were taught (or mistaught). But, we also have a responsibility to do our own work around unlearning prejudices. It seems like Mr. Hoffman had a revelation along those lines and I hope it was deeply personal and transformative for him. I send him love and support.

        But my frustration with the hype around the video doesn't really have anything to do with Mr. Hoffman. For me, it's that doing the active work of unlearning prejudice is so revelatory to the mass audience that is so upsetting.

        We've got to be critically thinking about the ways we interact with one another every day—our neighbors, our kids, the cable guy. It's a fallacy to believe that prejudice doesn't play a part in the way we treat each other on a daily basis … god knows my behavior and thinking patterns are no exception. I'm hoping for the day when this kind of clip is responded to with a "good … looks like Dustin Hoffman is doing his unlearning work too," rather than a exception that proves the rule that most of us are still 'brainwashed'.

        We've got a long way to go, folks. Let's keep going.

  4. samanthagbellerson says:

    I think you missed his point. He said he felt he had been brain washed. I also think this insight into the mind of a man. Whether we like it or not, men do see women in a sort of sex objective way. When I was younger and more naive, I had a lot of male friends. Sadly most of those friendships ended when they figured out that I was not interested in dating them

    . Maybe he could have said it better but we can all take a lesson from this video. Interesting people come in all shapes, sizes, ages and so forth. Even if you do not want to admit it, you have dismissed people because of the way they look and never took the time to dig deeper. I have, I know I have. I also think his tears come from the fact that he realized that not being beautiful by the standards in society can be extremely hard as these people often get made to feel bad for that. He made Tootsie to really set that realization home for himself.

    Your view is a little too on the surface in my opinion. You are hearing the words but not taking into account the meaning, almost insulted. Sort of what you have accused him of doing.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Whether you agree with the above, or not–clearly, not, in your case–we welcome this dialogue, and your criticism.

      elephant is about providing a space for disagreement and discussion, whether we agree with it or not. We feel it is more important to have open, respectful dialogue, than to agree with everything we post. That's why we encourage those of various points of view to share on elephant, not just one voice or one view or opinion. We're not about club, in a good or bad sense. We're about reaching beyond the choir, and engaging in thoughtful dialogue.

    • Ashley says:

      well said!

  5. @TristaCrass says:

    I find this take pretty frustrating. Yes, it's not news that unattractive women can be awesome. But it was NEWS to him, and it's obvious STILL NEWS to millions of people, because our society is SO skewed towards rewarding and regarding only attractive people. Maybe the message wasn't novel to you, or even most forward-thinking people, but it clearly resonated with many people. Let me blow your mind a sec–there are tons of people out there, in THIS country, that are judged everyday solely on the way they look–and they think that is NORMAL.

    It's not what we 'expect from men' but what we expect from people as a whole. If we were better than this, People Magazine, TMZ and craploads of other lame shallow publications wouldn't be some of the most lucrative in history.

    This white, upper-middle class stance on 'how things are/should be' is so idealized, it's infuriating.

    • elephantjournal says:

      The famous, not-himself-conventionally-attractive male perspective on having a middle-aged revelation that women who are not attractive are however interesting being rewarded by pop culture is equally frustrating.

      And, btw, upworthy (which paid FB big money to push said viral video) is largely white and upper-middle class.

  6. Megan says:

    I shared it and while I see there's a point to be made here. there's also something missed. I found the most authentic moment to be his use of the term "brainwashed". It wasn't just one man sharing a breakthrough moment– inside that moment was a much larger and profound comment against-wait for it- the very medium that he participates in. Where do you think the foundation for that kind of brainwashing takes root ? Obviously, it hasn't been extended ( for him) to those who dress in drag or are transsexual ( based upon his use of the word "freak")… but even baby steps leave tiny marks.

  7. Jessica says:

    I shared the video, not because it was news but because I feel there is a stirring, a movement and a desire for woman to be known for more than how they look. I agree it's not new information that conventionally attractive women are interesting and worthwhile but it is still not highlighted especially in Hollywood land so for an actor to so eloquently, so passionately and with total vulnerability admit his short coming in not recognizing this face previously it fuels this fire that has been steadily rising in woman, in mothers, in men and in fathers to be known, recognized and appreciated for more than their appearance and outside of the stereotypes we have lived in for so long.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Well said. I just find it sad that it's 2013 and we are so pop culturally inspired by a basic revelation that women are human. That said, any step toward equality is something.

  8. elephantjournal says:

    A comment:

    When I lived in Japan for a few years, I did an experiment: On one day I went shopping at the local department store grocery, but dressed in plain jeans and t-shirt, no makeup, no special hairstyle. I was often ignored in favor of more attractive girls, and the service I did receive was given with a stony face. Another day, I wore a nice dress, did my hair nicely, a bit of makeup, a little bit of jewelry and the difference was like night and day – male & female sales clerks (often the same ones as before) smiled at me, I wasn't rudely gestured to by them to step aside to let more attractive people ahead of me, and the service was attentive and cheerful.

    So even though it's sad that the video is getting all this notice for a man waking up and realizing he'd been shallow, sadly this kind of thing does need to be more in the media, because people (not just men) need role models even for the no-brainer things like treating all people with respect without regard to societal valuations of physical beauty.

    My reply:

    Amen. Well said. It is both inspiring and genuinely touching, and sad that this small first step is so rarely witnessed in mainstream media.

    • GBlue says:

      Wonderfully put. I had similar experiences in Japan and later tried to experiment. Before that experiment however I had to go some drastic and horrible changes when I got sick with cancer and went from thin, well endowed and cute to ugly. i had an extreme change in body shape due to steroids and hormone blocking meds, probably lifestyle and stress, gained over fifty percent of my original weight ( no not everyone on cancer meds looses weight, especially not if it is a hormone related med), broke out regularly in zits, and was so exhausted that I had little energy to do anything much less doll up my hair or face. The result: nasty nasty nasty treatment. I was even regularly pushed and bumped into. Before when I looked nice (never gorgeous but nice and well built, feminine shape, thin yet endowed in the "right" places, healthy skin, energetic…), I was we'll regarded and got excellent service. While I expect some of the treatment may be a result of the vibe given off from exhaustion, much of the exhaustion was caused by being pushed, shoved, walked into, and devalued repeatedly. Sad that people do that to each other and, mostly, they don't even realise how badly, unfairly, they are treating others. All human beings deserve respectful treatment.

  9. elephantjournal says:

    Missing the point. Too many "fish" have never realized what "water" is. This is a visceral, personal realization, not an cerebral one. Any man can give lip service to the idea but still not get it.

    elephantjournal.com You're giving a good deal of credit to a well-educated middle-aged and incredibly fundamental realization. That said, as the blog says, it was touching–it was a human moment.

    Whether you agree with the above, or not–clearly, not, in your case–we welcome this dialogue, and your criticism.

    elephant is about providing a space for disagreement and discussion, whether we agree with it or not. We feel it is more important to have open, respectful dialogue, than to agree with everything we post. That's why we encourage those of various points of view to share on elephant, not just one voice or one view or opinion.

    We're not about club, in a good or bad sense. We're about reaching beyond the choir, and engaging in thoughtful dialogue.
    Like · about a minute ago
    Write a reply…

    Meghan Carlson Just my opinion… I feel Dustin Hoffman had a moment of clarity, where he realized standing there in all his humble & unattractive drag glory, that he himself had discriminated against people/women based on looks alone and realized how many opportunitie…

    Jolene Cheryl Simko bahahahha. i agree that it is lame, but at the same time we can't shame people for having their revelations either. and Keep in Mind Dustin had that revelation back in the 80s…

    Jason A: yeah, how AWFUL of him to share this revelation and despicable of others for also sharing it online. At least we're so very lucky to have you to tell us when a show of emotion is real and worthy of sharing or not. (end sarcasm) WOW! For real: You need to climb off your arrogant high horse and appreciate that not everyone is on your journey. This moment could be very real for him (btw, that's not for you to decide) and certainly very important for other men to see. But it seems more important to you that you demonstrate to your readers how superior you are. How enlightened you are when you decide NOT to pass the message along. Shame on you.

    Dawn Wesselby I'm with you Jason. Perhaps it highlights EJ for the frequent posts of fabulously beautiful women they seem to have to use to illustrate practically every article they post – perhaps if he'd had a semi-naked model in the background they would have been more supportive of his confession? Maybe, Dustin is too ugly for them.. rolls eyes.

    Dana Claire If the ElephantJournal continues to post negative thoughts on matters that effect us all, then I may find myself clicking the "un-like" button. Dig deeper into the message and you may find your own sort revelation.

    Eva Pronoun Not that "unattractive women are interesting, too" but that up until that point he actually disregarded the women he deemed unattractive. Those are two very different things.

    Sharon Lewis I do not understand why anyone would be contemptuous of any revelation at any time. we all grow up when we grow up and there are plenty of teen aged boys out there right now who might be in the exact same place Dustin was in thirty years ago. Hurrah for viral videos! That Dustin is still tearing up over it says to me that he's still judging himself for ever having had the perspective he did. Your contempt will not ease that. IF EJ wants enlightenment and kindness on the plane perhaps you could open your hearts a teensy bit wider and dish a little out?

    Jenifer Wheeler Walsh Always easy for everyone to criticize something. I think anyone "on the road" to enlightenment deserves better than a slow clap. Have you seen many of the people out there???

    Hilary Kaufman Ben-Ami Sharing the vulnerability of shame is oddly attractive and inspiring.

    Zach Simon-Alexander Oh, but you did not decline to share that viral Dustin Hoffman video from yesterday…You just shared it. You're trying to ride the "like" bandwagon of that viral video without taking responsibility for your desperate desire to be noticed, while trying to put Dustin down for a vulnerable moment he offered up. Sure, it wasn't the most mind bending revelation, but we can only hope that anyone who was blind to something like that for a long time can then see it clearer after their mistakes. Isn't EJ about the positive, growing process of life? Not about judging people because you disagree with them…which is what you're passive aggressively doing, it seems to me at least.

    Melinda Gonzalez Way to infer what he was crying for…..slow clap for you. Awesome you found something to write about. He spoke about having his revelation 30 years ago and sharing it with his wife then. I also cry at the ridiculousness of social norms. And I get upset when there is a moment of heart and people who are so jaded can't see hope criticize it. I also shared it not for him, but for the young chaps who might need some help coming to that revelation.

  10. elephantjournal says:

    Shelly Griska I really don't think slamming someone for honestly revealing a failure of empathy he was able to overcome by literally stepping into another's shoes is very dharmic. We should rejoice in all efforts towards wisdom and compassion.

    David Christopher Marino Wow! You didnt share because you are so enlightened!? Congratulations in letting us all know that you learned something before the rest of us. It's 2013 and America is still struggling to embrace people… so maybe the remedy is MORE sharing rather than proudly boasting that you knew all along how to be… I mean seriously…can't wait to NOT share this piece of self congratulating… rather than realizing that when people have moments of clarity, we should embrace them – not diminish them… so sad…

    Stephanie Bianca There are many invisible people in society… ugly people, disabled people, poor people. I thought Dustin had an honest moment of realizing that we all have so much more to offer underneath our marred exteriors.

    Ginny Helmic Kelling What Trista said in the comments. Of course it's news. And yes, we do expect that little of men and women. Many many – maybe even most people really are exactly as shallow as he was when he had that epiphany. And he HAD the epiphany, and told us about it. I'm glad he did. It might me nice for you that you hang out with people who really aren't that shallow. But most people heavily marinated in pop culture simply have never evolved that much so maybe it's sort of inspiring to hear about someone who did.

    Alex England It might be obvious to us, but it clearly wasn't to him and so it's quite likely it wasn't to a lot of other people either. I also think that in this clip he manages to make clear the difference between men imagining what life is like for us and their imagining themselves living a woman's life – that might well change a few guys' perspectives. So maybe it's only small steps, but ..what, we shoot his feet off for making small steps? I think his honesty is very much worthwhile.

    Cristyn Chandler I'm 'liking' this for the 'slow clap' comment. Genius.

    Amber Woodward Gravitt My answer to your friend's question would be yes, unfortunately, we do expect that little out of men.

    Ashley Smith listen more carefully, he's sharing a lot – let's not bash men for coming out and saying what we want them to say!!!!!! bummer EJ, shame on you!!!!

    Trudi Young Taylor Maybe this does say something about how unusual it is for a "straight guy" to admit to the not unusual dismissal and devaluing of women who do not fit the stereotypical "beautiful' female.

    Nancy Sigerseth White Even snarky backlash like this shows that the video really touched a chord in many people, and made them think. Why judge, EJ? Seems counter-productive to me.

    Geraldine Maynes I think the Ej piece is considered and thoughtful.. But the slightly sarcastic (slow-clap) comments made me wince a little.. I saw the video yesterday, didn't share and it's been lurking at the back of my brain since.. What I saw was a) a human being b) a human being admitting he made a mistake c) a human being admitting he made a mistake *so much* that it moved him to tears. That was raw emotion right there, I think we can agree. Dustin did not make the video go viral. We humans did that. But the EJ post is valuable as it's made us all think that wee bit deeper about an important subject. If we're on a biblical tip, let's none of us throw stones, unless we're pretty sure we're secure in our glass houses x

  11. elephantjournal says:

    Kimberly Mahan "expecting so little" ~
    how about, instead recognizing that an "aha" moment
    for ANYONE has value in any realm and that's a
    great thing for all living beings! why are you dissing someone
    who's "getting it?"
    who cares how long it takes someone to "get it" ~
    the value isn't in when, but that there is a new understanding…
    and any flash of that is sad to disregard. xo.

    Ashley Smith his revelation was not about ugly women being interesting . . . it was about how hard it is to be a woman. period. How many men do you hear willing to speak to that?????

    Madison Maze One day Jesus looked upon his disciple who had finally touched the Kingdom of God, a true miracle. Jesus turned away…clapping slowly…"talk to me when you start watering walk noob", he muttered. That is the true story of the 13th disciple.

    Joyce Mahony Livingston elephantjournal.com, you're ignorance is showing!

    Marian Pickett Difficult to imagine why you'd be negative about this. No clap for elephantjournal. Just a boo -hiss.

    Shelly Griska I don't think heaping resentments for the things that remain wrong in the world on the shoulders of people making whatever degree of progress in overcoming it inside themselves helps anybody or anything.

    Nicole Weinberger agreed.

    Jessica Kuiken I shared the video, not because it was news but because I feel there is a stirring, a movement and a desire for woman to be known for more than how they look. I agree it's not new information that conventionally attractive women are interesting and worthwhile but it is still not highlighted especially in Hollywood land so for an actor to so eloquently, so passionately and with total vulnerability admit his short coming in not recognizing this face previously it fuels this fire that has been steadily rising in woman, in mothers, in men and in fathers to be known, recognized and appreciated for more than their appearance and outside of the stereotypes we have lived in for so long.

    Debbie Wilton So let me understand this. Instead of sharing it yesterday, you're sharing it today under the guise of being repelled by it?

    Ashley Smith did a female staffer at EJ post this criticism???? just curious . . . . if it was a man, you should have checked in with how this actually made a woman feel – lesson learned.

    Anna Lunaria We spend WAY too much time caring about and talking about what celebrities think, do and say!!!

    Sarah Scott It goes for both sexes – attractive men get more attention (get to be known) more than less-attractive men. His revelation should just be that we are *all* superficial. It is what it is.

    Lauren Sheeley Thank you. I mean, good for him, I hate to shame a positive breakthrough, but really…

    Erica Mooney "unattractive"

    Gary Maxwell what drugs is his taking?

    Lyndsey Durning You do realize that you shared that viral video by posting it in your article, right? <slow clap.>

    elephant: We shared the video itself, yesterday, too. elephant is not one voice–we are many authors, readers, each with their own perspective. And that's beautiful, even if it's confusing.

    Nancy Liddle That seemed like fake crying to me. And why bring it up now? Are you having the same feelings of invisibility as you age? Happens to all of us.

    Lj Ratliff I didn't find this touching or moving, either. I was annoyed that so much attention was being given this video. Men can do the least little thing and be praised like they are God's gift to the world. Good on you, Dustin (backslap)….and yawn…..

    Ingrid Aria right on! (to the post)

    Christa Teston EXACTLY.

    Amy Haberland agreed

    Kate Borland I shared it I loved it because I had never particularly liked Dustin, it was honest, his tears were honest….

    Beth Sykes This author is a hater and does not fit in with Ej's values. altho she probably looks good in a revealing yoga pose, which ej loves: hot young women shoving their delicate flower in the camera.

    Beth Sykes THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME HE KNEW IT INTELLECTUALLY. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME HE FELT IT VISCERALLY. DO NOT KNOCK THAT! HE IS FURTHER ENLIGHTENED AND CAN ENLIGHTEN OTHERS. IS IT VERY UNLIKE ELEPHANT TO KNOCK PEOPLE FOR BEING BETTER AND HELPING OTHERS.

    Brook Bernier alternately, attractive women are more than just tits and a hole or two. they also, can be interesting, intelligent, funny…..

    Barbara Marshall Thanks for articulating my problem with sharing this. However, for the record, most men never ever "get" this.

  12. elephantjournal says:

    The (wow) 50 comments below seem to be generally missing a fundamental point, whether in agreement with the blog or in disagreement. Elephant is not one voice. We are a community, that invites dialogue AND disagreement, as long as respectful, within itself. We are not a club. So if you agree, great. If you disagree, skip saying "Shame on you, EJ." It's the opinion of one author.

    Also, we did share this video, which is touching, yesterday. Another author did. We are not about agreeing, but about conversation. We are about keeping open minds and learning. We are, too, about discriminating awareness wisdom, prajna, or as some of you call it dismissively, "judging." We are not about pre-judging, or prejudice. ~ The ed.

    • Ashley says:

      The way your article was written served to communicate a message discouraging conversation and that is why I responded – in service of calling that process out, if you want to be heard and you want dialogue and flow of ideas, start from a positive place, not from a place which shames the individual brave enough to start the conversation.

  13. Stephanie says:

    I disagree with this post. Hoffman's self-reflection and sadness at HIS loss of not experiencing many amazing women throughout his life is touching, heartwarming and deserving of respect. Were all men this honest, sensitive and reflective we'd have a different planet. Kudos to DH.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Oh, I agree with that. That said, the men I know (perhaps I'm lucky) view women as humans, and would find it insulting that such a basic revelation from such a well-educated, savvy gentleman would be regarded as a banner moment. Let's not mistake genuine sincerity and touching heart (which DH shows) for progress worth shouting about.

  14. elephantjournal says:

    And, from the gents' side…

    "Do you love burly climbers? Rakish photographers? Modern day Indiana Jones? Whhhyyy I'd remind you that we boring workaholics can be awwwfully innerestin': that our lack of a life is mere window dressing over a deeply fascinatin' soul that deserves your loverly attention just as much as those pretty boys adventuring around the world…" http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/05/date-a-boy

  15. I'm with you on this one Waylon.
    Dustin Hoffman appears to being candid with us. The whole thing is sweet enough to a point. Tears tend to lead us in the direction that he is coming from his heart. Yes, that is a good thing.
    On my Facebook page I share 99.9% positive and inspirational stories and photos. As many times as I saw this fly through my news feed I didn't find it inspiring or positive. It rather saddened me that it was newsworthy/share worthy.
    On Twitter I didn't see it a lot and I was happy to see people not focusing on it.
    I guess I just find it disheartening that we have to even be inspired by it. Doesn't the majority already believe this way?
    I can see the good and the bad. I just decided for me that it wasn't inspiring or truly positive for me to share. I guess it was probably the comment of "I didn't want people to look at me like a freak…" That took the positive of it out. I didn't see this part as he truly got the whole picture. More like he felt oh poor me, people don't find me attractive.
    Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and when you allow your LIGHT to shine through you are beautiful. See it, own it, be it.
    Shine on.
    Why oh why did Upworthy do such a push for this on FB?

    • elephantjournal says:

      Upworthy is great, generally, but it's built to push stuff viral. That's in its very name. There aren't blogs or articles on upworthy–there are half sentences and videos and millions of dollars pushing millions of dollars. I admire upworthy for their success, but this video, for one, I found to be more about business than representative of progress. I found it a cynical use of a heartfelt moment.

  16. Ionaeubanks says:

    Yes, we do expect so little of men. The bar is incredibly low. Deal with it.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Excuse me, I'm a man, and I know many men who would be offended by the notion that that video represents any kind of bar for equality. Perhaps it's because I was raised by a strong single mother. Perhaps it's because its' 2013. But I won't "deal with it"—I won't judge society off pop culture sharing of viral videos. I'll look around me, at women, and men, and see what I see. And I don't see the above as the bar, or as more than momentarily inspiring.

  17. Jennifer S. White Jennifer White says:

    I have to say that sometimes the reader feedback never ceases to shock me, and this particular article is no exception.
    I hadn't originally seen this clip in this manner, but after the slow clap (hahaha!), there was no going back. Truthfully, I almost felt ashamed by being moved by a 60-second viral message that really wasn't all that deep as far as profound revelations go. (Which, I think, was the entire point of this take on it.)
    Seriously, the way that people are able to attack and turn nasty—let's just say I wish I had thought to include that in my latest article about internet interactions: how people feel it's okay to be a total jerk in commentary because it's not a person-to-person interaction. (Because, I'm curious, how many of these readers would act this way in real life?) Come to think about it, maybe I'll just write a new blog on it.

    And, also, dear readers (and I'm being sincere here not sarcastic), that elephant journal truly is comprised of various authors and opinions, but from the writer's standpoint, even when we disagree, we're in this as a community filled with (not to be terribly cheesy) love and respect and our larger goals are the same, which is why even disharmonious communication can still be productive, if it's done correctly that is.

    • elephantjournal says:

      Whew. Thank you. I think folks just forget that there are humans behind these articles, that said humans have diverse experiences and views, but that we all have feeling, vulnerable hearts that hurt when attacked unfairly. Fair criticism is welcome and helpful, of course, if shared respectfully. Invective is good for nobody.

      • Jennifer S. White Jennifer White says:

        I actually submitted an article on how to give worthwhile feedback because of some of the commenting from this piece.
        Let's look at it this way: I hadn't seen this viral sensation this way at all, buuuut you presented a very well articulated and thoughtful response to an, ultimately, not that thoughtful video and you changed my mind. Soooo if people would spend more time thinking about the comments they leave, they might actually make a purposeful interaction rather than just a blood pressure changer. (and your point in your above reply is noted in that article submission)

  18. Jaka says:

    Good god the reactions to this video are ridiculous. Why are people picking it apart and over analyzing and judging him so harshly? Dustin Hoffman shared a personal human moment that he had of self discovery. He realized that he, just like ALL OF YOU, ME, AND EVERYONE ELSE, had immediately judged a person based on their looks. THAT'S THE MESSAGE PEOPLE. He discovered this in his own way, on his own time, based on his own experience. Take it for its beautiful simple message and maybe, just maybe, notice your own behavior and you just might get something out of it.

  19. katie says:

    Tootsie was a movie made over 15 years ago. Cut him slack for having that revelation THEN and not NOW!!!!

    • Jonna Ivin says:

      Thank you! I keep saying the same thing. He's having an emotional response to a memory of something he felt 30 years ago. Something that stuck with him. Everyone is acting like he just realized this yesterday.

  20. Gail D says:

    If the article had been from anyone but Waylon, I think the comments would have been directed to the author, rather than EJ.

  21. Eric Moffat says:

    It's all very noisy.
    For me, Mr. Hoffman's interview wasn't about gender issues or attractiveness or conventions or societal injustice or even brainwashing – it had all that in it for sure, don't get me wrong, and I really liked the brainwashing part – but what stuck with me, upon reflection, was that I got to witness a moment where some major assumptions upon which Mr. Hoffman built his identity and even his reality evaporated in a moment of basic and visceral revelation. He was able to experience actual reality for a moment – a fluid, wonderful, reference-less reality – which is really powerful and often emotional. And in the wake of such a moment or a moment’s witness, it's generally easy and even attractive to make claims about some point or assumption being what it was all about. But then those points, good, bad and otherwise, feel very unsatisfactory because the revelation, the experience itself, relied specifically on the absence of those assumptions and points. I guess it’s hard to just sit with a moment and let it be.

  22. samitee says:

    Well said, Waylon. Not to mention he's an actor and who knows if his "emotion" is real anyways.

  23. The fact that this clip went viral says more about what the masses are craving than it does about Dustin Hoffman.

  24. Mary says:

    To me, this feels like someone is placing himself above me for not being like "everyone and her mother". Someone can make the choice to not share the clip, without broadcasting his choice. But he has a point to make that society is bad for liking it. That doesn't feel so good either. I am the bad part of society that liked it and apparently I "feed" off it? I can understand why there are negative comments. People feel belittled for being touched by the clip, and for sharing it themselves. I shared it too. I loved it. Still do.

  25. Hanish says:

    You included the video in this post, thereby joining in the viral spread of the video you say you declined to share.

  26. I believe this is one of the such a lot significant info for me. And i’m glad studying your article. But want to remark on some general issues, The web site style is perfect, the articles is actually excellent : D. Good activity, cheers

  27. Sarah Lou says:

    This perspective feels forced and cynical when openheartedness would be much more appropriate. You give DH the slow clap, but it's our cultural mindset, not his direct biases that promote the 'beauty = substance' standard. Any public figure admitting this programming has broken apart for them is worth sharing. You did share it By the way! That video is One thousand times more worth sharing than this cynical article. We have two choices: love or fear. This does not feel like love.

  28. Ashley says:

    I appreciate your feedback Waylon/EJ – and it is your page (or rather your commitee's page) . . . but I follow this page because I see it as feeding into my perspective and speaking to my experience – a resource influenced by spirituality and community mindedness, that does seem to be your primary marketing strategy at least . . . the negative tone of the headline and the sarcastic 'slow clap' serves to discourage men (or anyone) from thinking about and possibly sharing their own experiences around breaking free from stereotypes and the pressures that are assigned with gender roles.

  29. Ashley says:

    Hoffman was breaking the mold by owning and openly communicating his process in identifying the female experience. As the less than attractive, but really interesting girl who always knew which females would get the attention . . . I am really appreciative of ANY time ANYONE contributes to this discussion in a fair and honoring way but especially a MAN. I really did not like that there was a critical tone in the headline – say what you want, let's have an open dialogue – but please do not discourage discourse because the speaker is not as enlightened as you are. Or, remove the spiritual and feminist components from your marketing so we know to go somewhere else. thanks.

  30. karen says:

    Do we have to dissect and critique everything, always? What was important about this video was the depth of WAKE UP that he obviously experienced, and that he chose to share it. If everyone had a WAKE UP CALL, about women or ANYTHING that needs WAKING UP about, AND chose to share it, who knows what might happen? The fact that it went 'viral' (what a strange choice of language) simply says we all need and want to hear these kinds of stories. Stories that open the heart are good for us.

  31. Myrna McCoy says:

    I believe I remember a TV program I saw a few years back about, how, since back in the cave man days, humans have chosen more attractice mates. So, we are biologically programmed for this.

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