The Bliss Blog

Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie



One of my favorite movies  is Tootsie, that made a big splash when it was released in  1982,  as veteran actor Dustin Hoffman plays a dual role of a not-so-successful actor Michael Dorsey turned  sensational actress  Dorothy Michaels in order to land a big part in a popular soap opera. The object lesson of the film was about overcoming stereotypes, sexism and the way in which playing a woman made the main character a better man.

Just recently I watched a clip of an interview with Dustin Hoffman as he spoke about the creation of the character, the intention to play her, not as a parody of a woman, but the most attractive ‘real’ looking woman ‘she’ could be. His makeup artist did what was possible and yet he still felt that he wasn’t a gorgeous woman by society’s standards. It occurred to him that there were many average looking women that aren’t given the time of day by men in the culture who have a particular image in mind for classic beauty. He was chagrined to recognize that he too, contributed to that stigma. I gained a great deal of respect for him after viewing the interview, as he admitted to his own shortcomings with regard to the women he had missed out on getting to know by buying into the façade that may have masked their true beauty.

How do we measure beauty?  For some it is about body shape and size, for others a sense of symmetry of facial features, for still others, it is about appearing youthful. How both sexes miss out when it comes to limiting standards for appearance. Clip from Tootsie Interview with Dustin Hoffman

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