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From geek to chic: Movie makeovers

A popular movie trope we see and (sometimes) love in every movie is a makeover montage. Remove your glasses, straighten your hair, change your clothes, and voila! our main character is now attractive. Her personality has changed- she's loved by everyone and her life has completely transformed. These "ugly duckling" transformations can be found in popular movies like My Fair Lady, The Princess Diaries, or Miss Congeniality where these "ugly ducklings" need to change the way they dress, wear makeup, and look conventionally attractive to ever be worthy of being the protagonist of the movie. Ordinary or oftentimes attractive women are made to look "ugly" through costumes and cosmetics and then "fixed" to reinforce the strict ideals of beauty. All very superficial stuff. That being said, makeover montages provide a sense of fantasy to the viewer. A quick fix that gives a sense of reverie. There is a love-hate relationship when it comes to makeover montages and I personally cannot decide whether it's fun or slightly problematic. What's your opinion on it?

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The most disheartening makeover was the one in “Mein Hoon Na!” I loved Sanju’s punk-rock character which was completely RUINED with her polished nails and straightened hair all to attain the attention of a boy! :(


Eman Rashid
Eman Rashid
Nov 06, 2020

yess I totally agree with you. The same message is portrayed in ‘Clueless’ when the protagonist Cher sees the “potential” in the new girl and ‘adopts’ her. She gives her a makeover, telling her how to dress and act in order to get male attention. And (surprise surprise) her glow up features changing from jeans and a t shirt to short, girly dresses, permed hair, and makeup, after which she is the object of everyone’s desire to the point that Cher actually feels threatened by her.


I totally agree with you!! Another thing to note is how a girl who wears t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers- dress tom-boyish generally, does not get any male "attention". But the minute, she conforms into the "acceptable" beauty standards of the society - cute tops, dresses and girly in general, she is the centre of attention. Kind of reminds me of the movie DUFF.

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