oh, Patrick Swayze
I’d never really thought of Dirty Dancing as a film about Jewishness, and Jewish girls in particular, but this post on the Jewesses with Attitude blog (the blog of the America-based Jewish Women’s Archive) makes the link. And I like it.
“It wasn’t just his amazing, glistening body in those tight tank tops and dance pants, or his sexy moves. It wasn’t just his deep, longing voice in “She’s Like the Wind,” one of the great, cheesy love songs of the 1980s. No, he represented something more than just a Hollywood object of desire, tantalizingly out of reach. What made the character of Johnny so long-lasting in the fantasy life of Jewish women of a certain age is that the unattainable, sexy non-Jewish boy became (in the movie, at least, briefly) attainable. Baby’s love for Johnny isn’t unrequited. Johnny loves Baby back. He recognizes what’s sexy about her, loves her despite — or perhaps because of — her Jewish nose and frizzy hair and tendency to blurt things out awkwardly. (“I carried a watermelon?!?”)”
There are definitely weird things going on here to do with Jewish women wanting to appeal to non-Jewish men, but I think that this will be one of those rare moments when I don’t critique the article… But only because I love Dirty Dancing so much. sigh.