Here's Why The Makeover Montage Trope is Actually Really Awful
Start writing a post

Here's Why The Makeover Montage Trope is Actually Really Awful

Here's Why The Makeover Montage Trope is Actually Really Awful

Movies have been a staple in our culture for almost a full century now. They are not only influenced by generational changes, but they often serve as the catalysts for such change. Watch a movie from any decade and you’ll probably see a lot of common mentalities from that era. Some change by the year, yet some don’t.

One particular trope I’ve given a lot of thought to in the past few years is the well known “makeover” trope. This is where a guy or girl, usually considered conventionally unattractive, is taken under the wing of a friend or even a more popular “mentor” of sorts in order to be beautified. Usually a perky, cheerful pop song will play while showing snippets of eyebrows being trimmed, messy hair being brushed, and so on. Finally, the character will be revealed, and ta-da, they have become attractive!

It’s supposed to be a positive message, usually presented as someone who was previously not confident or secure in themselves to suddenly blossom into someone who is well liked both by others and themselves. The intentions are good. But really, what kind of a message is this sending out? That all you have to do to change your life is become beautiful? People will only like and pay attention to you if they consider you attractive? And beauty can only be narrowly attained by getting clear skin, sleek hair, and copious amounts of makeup? It’s a horrible message to send out to children.

I’m not saying that all movies featuring a makeover scene are harmful, and it may not bother everyone. But I do know that as a child, movies like "Princess Diaries" and "Miss Congeniality" caused me a lot of inner confusion. It felt like in every movie I saw, I looked more like the “before” picture of every makeover.

My hair has always been thick and curly, oftentimes bordering on frizzy. It takes at least an hour to straighten it. In a world where it feels like thin straight hair is a synonym for beautiful, I struggled a lot with self esteem issues growing up. Even now, it’s frustrating to see every other girl blessed with hair much easier to manage and much more conventionally beautiful than mine.

When I started having a hard time seeing in middle school, I began to panic and refused to get glasses because I was afraid of looking uglier than I already felt. I, like most middle school girls, had low self esteem that could not afford to sink any lower. Honestly, I blame TV and movies for that. Really, who wants to look like the media’s idea of ugly?

Sure, makeover scenes can be fun and empowering, but what about the girls who don’t look like the end result? What are we telling children about what we expect of them?

Movies are full of beautiful people, which I think we’re so used to until they remind us of how far from normal people they actually are. We take their beauty- which probably took hours to create- for granted. And then we think we’re abnormal when movies or shows present an “ugly” person as someone who in real life would look pretty normal!

I spent most of my life worrying way too much about external beauty and feeling inadequate until just a few years ago. I was actually watching a Youtube video by the Youtube personality known as Sprinkle of Glitter. She said something that changed the way I viewed beauty. Basically the idea was this:

When you die, and everyone comes to your funeral and speaks about the life you lived, no one is going to be talking about what you looked like. They’re going to talk about what you did, how you lived, the impact you made.

Even if the social constructs of beauty are awful, and I still kind of hate that, there’s really nothing I can do. But I can change the way I view the importance of physical beauty.

For the most part, I’ve stopped worrying so much about my appearance. I still enjoy trying to make an effort in looking pretty for special occasions, but I don’t panic as much as I used to if I don’t meet society’s expectations. There are so many things which are way more important than beauty! In the iconic words of Harris from "Freaks and Geeks" (my favorite show),

Anyway, I hope if anyone reading this is having a poor self-image day, this can help you remember that even if social standards of beauty really suck, it’s not the most important thing in the world. So be a good person, look how you want…have a good life.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments