love a dramatic, life-altering makeover?
From these awesome 80's makeovers, we learned that we didn't have to,
like, learn stuff and change on the INSIDE. Changing our APPEARANCE
was the only requirement for a huge burst of personal improvement. Turns
out that a crimping iron, lots of Maybelline makeup, and the removal of
a layer of clothing or two were really all it took to go from drab to fab.
Let’s start with one that isn’t actually a movie, but is a perfect example
of the geek-to-glam genre. The shy, picked-on girl goes wild with
trendy, figure-hugging clothes, heavy makeup, and sky-high heels, and
earns appreciative ogles from the fellas. From 1983’s album
Eliminator, here’s ZZ Top and “Legs”:
In 1985, Rosanna Arquette’s way-conservative housewife Roberta gets bonked
on the head and suffers from amnesia in
Desperately Seeking Susan. When she wakes, her clothing options are
from the trunk belonging to Madonna’s Susan, and they are wildly hip and
edgy. With just a change of clothes (and a heaping helping of
forgetfulness) Roberta goes from square to rockin’. Too bad we didn’t
get to see Madonna transform from punky-cool to boring housewife, right?
The Breakfast Club also came out in
1985. In it, Molly Ringwald’s rich girl, Claire, persuades Ally Sheedy’s
goth Allison to submit to a makeover. Claire strips off “that black
shit” from Allison’s eyes and puts her in a girly tank top instead of
her heavy black puffer coat. Allison thereby ignites the interest of
jock Andrew, played by Emilio Estevez. Now, I LIKE a heavy black
eyeliner, personally, but it is nice to see Allison’s face look all
fresh after Claire’s ministrations.
We saw a guy makeover in 1987’s
Me Love. Uber-geek Ronald, played by
Patrick Dempsey, pays his popular neighbor Cindy to pretend to be his
girlfriend and teach him the Ways of Cool. All that power and popularity
go to Ronald’s head, and predictable problems ensue.
Student Exchange, a made-for-TV movie from 1987, is about two smart-yet-nerdy kids (why
was it ALL the nerds were smart, anyway?) who decide to impersonate
fashionable foreign exchange students for a year, since everyone loves a
French accent. Mais oui!
Okay, here’s another not-really-a-movie makeover scene, but I can’t
and the Holograms from a list of dramatic 80’s makeovers. “Jem” was a cartoon that ran
from 1985-1988. Businesswoman Jerrica had a computer named Synergy that
used fancy holographic technology to change her into Jem, fashionable
rock star, complete with pink hair and face paint. Truly outrageous!
Giving a paranormal spin to the whole makeover thing, 1989’s Teen Witch, like Jem,
bypassed the tedious and time-consuming parts of a makeover. Here Louise
casts a spell on herself to change herself from sweater-clad, ordinary
girl to lacy skirted, big haired high school popularity queen:
(Side note: I LOVE the lacy blue jean mini she wears at the end with the
ankle socks and heels! I totally had a skirt like that, except mine had
ruffles of white eyelet instead of lace.)
Tony Danza and Ami Dolenz (Monkee Mickey Dolenz’s daughter!) starred in
She’s Out of Control. While Danza’s Doug is out of town, his fifteen-year old daughter
Dolenz’s Ami gets a makeover and goes from nerd to knockout. Doug has
trouble adjusting to this change, to put it mildly. More than a little
corny, this one got chilly reviews, but is a fun and harmless 80’s teen
1988’s Earth Girls are Easy has a
girly musical makeover scene that is the essence of makeover fun. Julie
Brown (NOT MTV’s Downtown Julie Brown) plays the wildly fashionable
Candy, who helps her friend Valerie (Geena Davis) get late-80’s hot in
order to win her man back. In the Curl Up and Dye Salon, Valerie goes
from being a bashful brown-eyed brunette to a “Brand New Girl.”