This man has been applauded for not 'harassing' model Barbara Gambatesa
You might not think that a man ogling a woman is particularly news or praise-worthy, but tens of millions of people disagree.
A TikTok posted by an Italian influencer has gone stratospherically viral, not because of anything she’s doing, but because of the apparently laudable restraint shown by an admirer.
In the video, model and dancer Barbara Gambatesa is trying on a skin-tight suit in a tailor’s shop, right by a door leading onto the street.
A passer-by spots her and stops to have a look, shamelessly lingering and seemingly overwhelmed by her curvaceous beauty.
Puffing on a cigarette while tilting his head to soak her up from different angles, he eventually turns around, walks away and carries on with his life.
But rather than criticise the man for such blatant gawking, social media users have been gushing in their praise for his “perfect” behaviour.
“He looked. He admired. He stole one more look, then simply went about his business. That's how you look at a beautiful person,” one X/Twitter user commented.
perfect. he looked. he admired. he stole one more look, then simply went about his business. that's how you look at a beautiful person.
This particular post was viewed more than 33.8 million times in three days, as fellow commentators shared their appreciation for the man’s response.
“I know someone is going to ruin the moment and call him a perv when truly he did everything right,” one wrote. “[Admiring] without violating something so beautiful.”
Another agreed, applauding him for not taking things too far: “He just looked at her with admiration, without disturbing or harassing her.”
A third admitted: “Every man has been in this position before,” before implying that the man would come to regret not “shooting his shot.”
Meanwhile, others shared how they would have reacted in the moment, with one boasting: “I’m the type that would’ve respectfully told her how gorgeous she is, and then went about my day.”
Viewers described Barbara as a 'work of art' and said the man was 'only human' for staring at her(@barbaragambatesa02/TikTok)
So, to be clear, this man is being celebrated for not “harassing” or “violating” a woman who was a total stranger to him.
Yeah, bravo, man. And bravo, the internet.
Fortunately, some viewers haven’t totally lost the plot, with one pointing out: “He creepily paced and stared at her debating if he should harass her or not, let’s not get it twisted.”
Meanwhile, a psychologist fumed: “Praising a man for looking at a woman’s butt and not harassing her? When has society’s standards become this low?"
Carly Dober, who specialises in the emotional wellbeing of young women, stressed that condoning such behaviour fuels the idea that women owe men something, according to the New York Post.
“While restraint or holding back might be being celebrated by some men, that attitude might reinforce the belief that women are solely there to be accessed for pleasure by men, or to get attention from men and that they are being the ‘bigger person’ in not going out of their way to hit on women,” she said.
“Culturally, some men still also think that women wearing particular clothes or presenting themselves in certain ways still demands attention from the opposite sex. This is still something that needs to change.”