Makeover - a fabulous change

How changing a heroine's appearance in movies affects real girls, and why it's not always a good thing
Author of the article: Tatiana Zhakova
Journalist, linguist, teacher of storytelling with 10 years of experience
In 2015, she created and promoted her project about Nizhny Novgorod, after which she created the author's course "Storytelling: How to Tell Your Story" on its basis. More than 4,000 students have taken the course.

A linguist by training, she is very quick to master new fields. Now she is actively studying screenwriting and storytelling in films/series, about which she writes in the blog of her project.
A makeover is a change in a character's appearance, usually in order to please a man and become more socially approved.

Examples include Pretty Woman (1990), The Princess Diaries (2001), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), the television series Once Upon a Time in a Fairy Tale (2011-2018), and so on. In each of these examples, makeover is a key element of the plot, allowing the characters to undergo personal transformations and evolve over the course of the story.
The makeover has a rather negative effect on the female half of the audience. First of all, as a rule, for such transformations choose the initially beautiful actress. And when during the first part of the movie all the characters only tell a beautiful woman like Anne Hathaway from "The Devil Wears Prada" or Rachel Leigh Cook from "It's All Her" how ugly she is, the average girl, watching this, thinks: "If she is ugly, then who am I?".

Secondly, makeover is presented to us as a process of improving the standard of living. As if you cut your hair, dress differently - and that's it, life has become a hundred times better. But in reality, changes do not follow a new haircut, they require something more than a fairy godmother (read: stylist).

This trend has its origins in classic stories such as George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, where a man uses makeover as a tool to create the perfect woman. Much of the use of makeovers follows Pygmalion in one form or another, where a man changes a woman and she has generally not consented to the change.
But unfortunately, makeovers are not magic. When we have such high hopes of changing our appearance, we only end up disappointed that it doesn't change what we really wanted. You may get rid of the glasses and ponytail, but to everyone you wanted to impress, you're still a loser.

We're used to going and getting a bob if we're having a bad day/month/year. But do we really want to change our hairstyle? And will anything other than the hairstyle change? Or is it all a pattern put into our heads by the movies?
In Russian TV series and movies, we also see makeovers
Let's remember at least our favorite heroine of the early 2000s, Katya Pushkareva! The series was called "Not Born Beautiful" and told about the misadventures of a very smart girl who wore old-fashioned glasses and braces, did not know how to dress and in general had very little understanding of the world of fashion, where she got a job.

All the viewers were promised a magical transformation at the end, but in the end Katya, having become really confident and important, didn't change so much in appearance, did she?
Or here, an even more archaic example - Lyudmila Prokofievna, who became the woman from "our mammy" in the movie "Service Romance".
Indeed, very often a makeover is a logical twist in a character's arc. It shows how the character changes as the action unfolds, gains new qualities and develops as a person. In such a case, when external changes accompany internal ones, the use of this technique is very justified.
But if the heroine is changed just to be beautiful because she was "not very beautiful" - that's a very bad scenario. After all, beauty is a very subjective concept, and if someone demands that you change for their sake, is that person really worth it?

After all, a happy ending in real life does not always depend on the smoothness of hair. And all 14-year-old girls who learn about the outside world through movies and TV series would like to convey this.