Why Women in Movies Get Makeovers

Shopping sprees, upbeat soundtracks, and the discovery that an actress was always beautiful beneath those glasses: the makeover is one of our most enduring movie tropes. On-screen, transforming a character’s appearance is often about changing their lives. But the makeover is also steeped in harmful expectations about how we “should” be presenting ourselves. By breaking down what these movie makeovers have in common, we can get a better picture of when they help—and when they hurt. Here’s our Take on how the makeover can be both empowering and damaging, and why superficial changes alone can’t always help our deeper issues.