About that Hope Woodard video

If you have no idea who Hope Woodard is, don’t fret. I didn’t either until Courtney Ryan’s video on the matter showed up on my YouTube feed:

Now the original TikTok video is gone. From looking around other comments sections, Hope was apparently getting… rape and death threats for this video. Who knew this would be a touchy subject? Anyway…

First, let’s go over what Hope said:

I was with a friend of mine yesterday, and we were getting a piece of pizza. And one of the guys behind the counter, he was so cute. And we did have a little smile exchange.

And she goes, “Oh my gosh.” And then she goes “Hope, you have to teach me how to flirt.”

And I was like, “Well okay.” So I just wrote my number down on a napkin and I gave it to him.

And she was like, “I can’t believe you did that so easy. What if he has a girlfriend?”

And I said “What? I’ll probably never hear from that guy. I don’t care about him. I don’t know him. He might have a girlfriend. I hope he does. I bet she’s beautiful. And I think he treats her well. You don’t give your number away, you don’t flirt because you really, really want something. You just flirt because it’s fun. Who cares about that guy? You think I’d ever actually like him. No offense, he works at a pizza shop. All love, I’m sure he’s in a great band.”

But anyways, this is your sign. Give your number away today. But when you give it away, don’t expect anything. Because it’s not for them. It’s for you.

It seems everyone, including Courtney, got hung up on her words about the pizza guy, despite the fact she didn’t say much about him. She’s just not into guys who work at pizza parlors. And she just wasn’t that into this specific guy. Why is that such a big deal? And I mean that in all seriousness, why is this such a big deal?

And her message is completely lost (and now deleted) by people who got hung up on it. Do people think she was saying those things right in front of the pizza guy?

Or is her honesty the issue? Sure, she took a slight jab at his job with her honesty that she doesn’t think she’d ever like him because he works at a pizza shop, but otherwise hopes he has a good life and a beautiful girlfriend he treats very well. And I know there’s been a lot of backlash in recent years about women having unreasonable and unrealistic preferences. But what about not wanting to date a guy who works at a pizza parlor is unreasonable or unrealistic?

Did she denigrate pizza guys? No. She didn’t say anything degrading about the work or food service in general. She just said she wouldn’t date someone who works at a pizza shop.

So where exactly is the problem here?

Flirting and being a flirt

And it seems a lot of people have no idea what flirting is or what it genuinely looks like, since a lot of people have also taken issue with what Hope said about flirting despite her being absolutely right. Flirting is entirely about fun. Acting amorously without serious intent. I wrote an entire article about it.

It isn’t flirting if your intentions are for more than having a fun few moments with someone. Let me repeat that: it is NOT flirting if your intentions are for more than having a fun few moments with someone. And she had a fun few moments with him. Smile exchange, scrawling down her number without a care for whether he calls or texts.

And also having the confidence in herself to just… scrawl down her number and hand it to him. Note that word: confidence. It’s important.

I do still have some degree of social anxiety. Being a street photographer has allowed me to overcome that. Since I wouldn’t be getting the shots if I didn’t get over myself and take the risk in approaching people.

And much like Hope’s friend in the above video, there’ve been plenty of photographers who have flat out asked me how I get the shots. “How do you do it?” And I tell them… I just do it. Though I’ve yet to openly demonstrate that in front of another photographer in much the same way Hope did with her friend. It would absolutely be very interesting if that chance arose. Perhaps I need to start wearing a body camera and posting videos of that to YouTube and TikTok. And then watch all the hate come in about how I’m bothering women, and how they’re just agreeing because they’re afraid of how I’ll react if they say No, and bullshit like that. Anyway…

Her message

What was Hope’s overall message that got lost in the noise over the pizza guy? It’s the same as what I just said about my street photography, and it’s much the same message in other videos about dating on her TikTok channel: get over yourself. In her case, it’s get over yourself and give out your number, even if you aren’t serious about doing anything with the people you’re giving it to.

Since you miss every shot you don’t take. But you need to get over yourself and put yourself out there and take those risks to boost your self-confidence to get the partner you ultimately want. Not to tell yourself “I hope they call or text”, because then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Whereas if you keep your expectations low and don’t care whether they do call or text, there’s no risk of disappointment. Instead the risk is one of surprise if they do reach out.


And it’s wild the assumptions people are making about her. Just as you shouldn’t judge an entire relationship from one video on TikTok, something that is unfortunately extremely common, it’s equally unwise to judge an entire person based on one TikTok video. And in a rather telling fashion, everyone who is saying Hope is in the wrong for “judging” the pizza guy – despite there being no judgment or denigration at all – are judging her based on a few lines from one video.

Courtney in the video above even does much the same. She describes the video as “really… cruel?”, “disappointing”, and “unnecessarily mean”, and misinterprets the video as “essentially making fun of [the pizza shop worker]”. I’m pretty sure we were watching the same video, but her interpretation of it definitely makes it sound like we weren’t. It’s like summarizing a movie from a handful of scenes despite watching the entire thing.

Again, sticking to what Hope said about the pizza guy and largely ignoring everything else. All because she openly admitted to…. having a preference.

Give me a break.

Hope didn’t do or say anything wrong here. Everyone just needs to lighten the fuck up.