July 10, 2013

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

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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