Is it possible to step into another person’s shoes? Perhaps not entirely, but Dustin Hoffman described the epiphany he had when preparing for his role in “Tootsie,” the 1982 film in which he played a man pretending to be a woman.
Even with the finest makeup artists, Hoffman was less than enthusiastic about his physical transformation. Going beyond what it would feel like to dress as a woman — you know, the whole wearing a dress and high heels thing that always gets a laugh — Hoffman wanted to answer the question, “If you were born a woman, how would you be different?”
“I think I’m an interesting woman when I look at myself on the screen,” says Hoffman, “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 us to ask them out [...] There’s too many interesting women I have not had the experience to know in this life…”
Hoffman delivers a valuable lesson about physical beauty and deeply ingrained prejudices against females in our society. This video, courtesy of the American Film Institute, is definitely worth three minutes and 11 seconds of your time — and it’s worth passing along to the men and women in your life.
Worshipping Physical Beauty