If you're under the age of 50, chances are you received most of your life guidance from teen movies. By the time you even entered a high school, you had probably learned enough to recognize the vital importance of prom, high school football and avoiding girls in whipped-cream bikinis. And then there were the lessons that teen movies taught us that seemed to be aimed specifically at landing us in a gutter somewhere.
5Undergoing a Physical and Mental Transformation is the Way to Lasting Happiness
As seen in: Grease, The Breakfast Club, She's All That, American Pie
Can't get a date? The person you love doesn't love you back? Well, according to teen movies, it's probably because you dress in clothing that reflects your individuality, background and personal style. The solution couldn't be any simpler: Just completely erase any external evidence of your personality, and physically transform yourself into whatever you think your crush will like.
The greasier, the better.
In Grease, innocent Sandy breaks up with John Travolta after he tries to pressure her into sex. For some reason, she immediately regrets this rash decision and sets about remaking herself in the image of the slutty women he seems to prefer. The change includes taking up smoking, changing her mannerisms and even getting rid of her accent.
Is Sandy in love or the witness protection program?
It's not just women who are encouraged to erase their personalities, though. In American Pie, Chris Klein can't lose his virginity until he totally transforms himself from a douchey jock into a douche bag who wears sweaters. And of course, in Grease, John Travolta can't make his car fly until he undergoes a personality wipe that takes him from greaser to ... greaser in a sweater?
"Yeah she risked getting pregnant and took up a life threatening habit, but I'm wearing a fucking sweater over here."
In The Breakfast Club, the mysterious, silent Allison gets a makeover that transforms her from standard "cute goth" to "hip and sexy," which in the 80s meant that all of her clothes look like they're made out of pillowcases.
"Huge improvement." - Guy who's not to be trusted around children.
Popular jock Andrew, who up until this point has regarded Allison as an unusually talkative piece of furniture, is immediately enamored, rewarding the former outcast by holding hands and kissing her. It's the beginning of what we're sure turned out to be a happy and long-lasting relationship.
None of these, however, is as brutal as the 1999 film She's All That, in which a popular student named Zach spends the film remaking the brooding, artistic classmate Laney to better fit the tastes of him and his friends. He gets her to wear contacts instead of glasses, has his sister cut most of her hair off, gets her to wear makeup and dresses her in heels and the exact same skimpy dress that his ex-girlfriend wore.
The message being that women are interchangeable.
Zach ultimately ends up winning Laney's love, making the message pretty clear: If you can't find a girl you like right away, you can pretty much just create one to suit you from scratch.