Think catcalls are compliments? A music video flips the script to show why that's not the case.

Some men say they'd love to get catcalled. Jamie Kilstein puts that to the test.

By age 17, 85% of U.S. women are likely to have experienced some form of street harassment.

This is just one of several disturbing findings in Cornell University's 2014 Hollaback International Street Harassment Survey Project study. Others include that 11.6% of respondents report their first encounter with harassment happening before age 11, and the fact that 77% of U.S. women under age 40 reported having been "followed by a man or group of men in a way that made them feel unsafe during the past year." Wow.


But one of the saddest (and most common) pieces of advice given to women? "It's just a compliment." (Seriously. Look at some of the comments from men featured in one of our past articles.)


In a new music video, Jamie Kilstein flips the street harassment script, imagining a world where men are "complimented."

"I think guys legit think, 'Well, I would like being called handsome or whatever,' so what's wrong with that?" he tells me via e-mail. "But the reality is the men who say those things don't realize that it's not just one guy who says, 'Sorry to bother you, but you're really pretty.' That might be one of eight dudes who go up to that one woman in one day. And they all don't sound like that. Most don't."


"So he takes a deep breath, and suddenly he hears her..." GIFs from Jamie Kilstein.

It'd be great if we lived in a world where people could just compliment strangers. But we don't, and it's complicated.

"In a perfect world we would live and respect each other, and every once in a while you might be struck by such beauty that you have to approach this stranger, tell them how awestruck you are, fall in love, and have 2.5 kids."

That does sound like a pretty awesome world. But reality is more like...

"I have friends who have been spit on for not saying 'hi,' who have been followed, who have been threatened. OH FUN! I'm sure guys want that. Live in constant terror? SEXY!"

"Maybe show a little skin? Show what the good Lord gave you."

And sometimes "compliments" turn deadly. Sadly, there's no way to distinguish until it's too late.

Last year, Mary "Unique" Spears, a 27-year-old mother of three, was shot and killed after declining a stranger's advances. And less than two months after promoting an editorial titled "Hey ladies! Catcalls are flattering — deal with it," the New York Post reported a story about a 26-year-old woman having her throat slashed after turning down a stranger's request for a date.

"Women aren't there to put on a show for us. Who wants to be told to smile as they're walking through NYC?" says Jamie. "It's such a creepy thing to go up to a stranger and request."

"You got some fat b*lls? Why don't you jiggle those fat b*lls over here to mommy."

Take a listen to Jamie's (very NSFW) trip into the a world where men get "complimented" below.

Seriously, though, this has some pretty explicit language, so if that's not your thing, you might want to pass on this video.

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Instagram / JLo

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Courtesy of Macy's

In many ways, 18-year-old Idaho native, Hank Cazier, is like any other teenager you've met. He loves chocolate, pop music, and playing games with his family. He has lofty dreams of modeling for a major clothing company one day. But one thing that sets him apart may also jeopardize his future is his recent battle against a brain tumor.

Cazier was diagnosed in 2015. When he had surgery to remove the tumor, he received trauma to his brain and lost some of his motor functionality. He's been in physical, occupational, and speech therapy ever since. The experience impacted Cazier's confidence and self-esteem, so he's been looking for a way to build himself back up again.

"I wanted to do something that helped me look forward to the future," he says.

Enter Make-A-Wish, a nonprofit organization that grants wishes for children battling critical illnesses, providing them a chance to make the impossible possible. The organization partnered with Macy's to raise awareness and help make those wishes a reality. The hope is that the "wish effect" will improve their quality of life and empower them with the strength they need to overcome these illnesses and look towards the future. That was a particularly big deal for Cazier, who had been feeling like so many of his wishes weren't going to be possible because of his critical illness.

"In the beginning, it was hard to accept that it would be improbable for me to accomplish my previous goals because my illness took away so many of my physical abilities," says Cazier. His wish of becoming a model also seemed out of reach.

But Macy's and Make-A-Wish didn't see it like that. Once they learned about Cazier's wish, they knew he had to make it come true by inviting him to be part of the magical Macy's holiday shoot in New York.

Courtesy of Macy's

Make-A-Wish can't fulfill children's wishes without the generosity of donors and partners like Macy's. In fact, since 2003, Macy's has given more than $122 million to Make-A-Wish and impacted the lives of more than 2.9 million people.

Cazier's wish experience was beyond what he could've imagined, and it filled him with so much joy and confidence. "It is like waking up and discovering that you have super powers. It feels amazing!" he exclaims.

One of the best parts about the day for him was the kindness everyone who helped make it happen showed him.

"The employees of Macy's and Make-A-Wish made me feel welcome, warm, and cared for," he says. "I am truly grateful that even though they were busy doing their jobs, they were able to show kindness and compassion towards me in all of the little details."

He also got to spend part of the shoot outdoors, which, as someone who loves climbing, hiking, and scuba-diving but has trouble doing those activities now, was very welcome.

Courtesy of Macy's

Overall, Cazier feels he grew a lot during his modeling wish and is now emboldened to work towards a better quality of life. "I want to acquire skills that help me continue to improve in these circumstances," he says.

You can change the lives of more kids like Cazier just by writing a letter to Santa and dropping it in the big red letterbox at Macy's (you can also write and submit one online). For every letter received before Dec. 24, 2019, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. By writing a letter to Santa, you can help a child replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope.

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