Back in 2012, Hollywood legend, Dustin Hoffman, sat down with the American Film Institute to reflect on his character Dorothy Michaels from the classic comedy-drama “Tootsie“. In the 1982 flick, Hoffman plays an actor who switches gender roles in order to land the lead in a soap opera.
As seen in the segment below, the iconic actor becomes visibly upset recounting his experience preparing for the unconventional role and discusses how he unintentionally discovered his own distorted perception of beauty.
After coming to the disappointing realization that his character, Dorothy Michaels, would not live up to his visual expectations, Dennis explained, “It was at that moment I had an epiphany, and I went home and started crying, talking to my wife. And I said I have to make this picture, and she said, ‘Why?’ And I said, ‘Because I think I am an interesting woman when I look at myself on screen. And I know that if I met myself at a party, I would never talk to that character because she doesn’t fulfill physically the demands that we’re brought up to think women have to have in order for use to ask them out.”
Accompanied by a tearful breath Hoffman concluded, “I said, ‘There’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life because I have been brainwashed. That [‘Tootsie’] was never a comedy for me.”
Today, this viral clip still rakes in many views and comments from both men and women. As a viewer, this interview certainly leaves us with more questions than answers. How does the meaning of physical appearance differ between men and women? Who created this pedestal of beauty and why are we allowing them to enforce it? Is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder?
Feel free to share your opinion and continue the conversation in the comment section.