Much to do is being made about the recent video by Dustin Hoffman talking about his comedy, Tootsie, some years ago. Tears came to his eyes when he reminisces over the interesting women he didn’t talk to because their beauty standards weren’t quite up to snuff. Well, this is certainly something that women know and experience and perhaps explains why the beauty industry is so persuasive despite much criticism, what some call the brutality of beauty. Are we brainwashed to think you only have something to offer if you are beautiful. Hell, maybe all the blond jokes emanate from this idea. Here’s the video
Hoffman also talks about his preparation for the film and how he spent a lot of time in makeup to prove that he could walk the streets and be seen as a woman and not a man in a dress. Then he asks if he can be beautiful too and is told “that’s the best that it gets”
Alexandra Petri in her Washington Post article talks to the idea idea that women have to be beautiful in order for men to find out that they are interesting is ridiculous. But that’s what’s being sold in movies, in all those ads with moisturizer, in all those montage sequences. You were interesting all along, but until you do something to your nose, no one will notice.
What really got my interest was some of the responses to the article like this one:
That’s quite powerful.
But I’m not sure I understand what her point is, other than that Hoffman is right: women are judged unfairly on their looks first before anyone even wonders if they’re interesting. She doesn’t seem to disagree with Hoffman – just clarifying how we dismiss women until or unless they are attractive – which is sadly the truth. There are times I wonder if women know that women are people. Most days I don’t even hope men know as much, to be honest.
He gives me hope that maybe, maybe occasionally, there are men who can see women’s humanity.
All this is bringing me to a point. Many of us strive to be beautiful women but fall short: wrong figure, wrong features, wrong mannerisms. Of course I subscribe to the idea that beauty is within, but we can help ourselves on the external side as well and that’s where this blog is intended to go….as a resource and sounding board. You may not be beautiful, but you certainly can be feminine. Both here and in Sister House, we want to help you express that inner beauty on the outside so that regardless of your particular situation, you will be seen as a classy lady and one that is not ignored.