I’m very sure that to many I will sound like an uptight prude, but I find nothing beautiful about strangers making out with each other for a film project.
Perhaps you’ve seen the video floating around Facebook; it’s black and white, a mellow coffee shop song plays mournfully, and very beautiful and hip individuals meet for the first time and kiss.
Apparently it’s beautiful. I found it weird, awkward, and only watched thirty seconds of it. Amanda Hess of Slate wrote a piece that sums up my feelings with just its title, “This video of strangers kissing is ‘beautiful’ because it stars models“.
“The video peddles the fantasy that beauty can spring from an unexpected connection between two random people, but what it’s really showing us is the beauty of models making out. It’s like the hipster Bachelor. I doubt that millions of viewers would be so quick to celebrate a video of randos kissing if they were all less thin, hip, stylish, charming, and well-manicured. “
Casey Chan from Sploid wrote in favor of the film saying:
“Um, wow. I don’t know if it’s the song selection or because it’s in black and white or the fact that everybody in this video is so attractive, but what started out as incredibly awkward—seeing two strangers meet each other and kiss—turned into something pretty damn beautiful.”
To which I replied, it IS because of the song selection and the black and white and the fact that everyone is beautiful that you find the whole thing beautiful.
The film maker, Tatia Pilieva, effectively dressed up the situation enough to make viewers believe it’s beautiful. If you take away, like Hess says, the glamor of the individuals, the moody music and Instagram filter, you have an incredibly awkward situation. And it should make us awkward.
The effect of the film is to shock us, surprise us, manipulate our emotions into…something, I don’t really even know. Am I supposed to feel like if I kiss strangers that is somehow more beautiful than kissing people I know? Am I supposed to just view it as a piece of art?
Mostly it just makes me want to have a sit down with my generation (Generation-X, or the Millennial or whatever dumb label we get) and politely ask us to stop doing whatever this is. Stop grasping for the cheap imitation of beauty, stop replicating what isn’t true nor good, to remember that we are so much more talented than we think we are.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. — Philippians 4:8