Look past the Hollywood façade of The Princess Diaries and She’s All That. Behind the glamour of transitioning from duck to swan, is the true underlying pain that a style transformation is not so romantic after all.
The famous opera singer Maria Callas had an older sister considered far more attractive, while she felt an ugly duckling who struggled with weight issues. After hearing enough comments and criticism regarding her appearance, Maria chose to transform and returned back to the media with a slimmer physique; so much so, that people declared that she had made herself beautiful.
I don’t need the money, dear. I work for art – Maria Callas
Instead of the expectations of her confidence rising and ego boosting, Maria spent the rest of her life consumed by her looks, concerned that her glamour, makeup and jewellery was the true admiration, and that she was simply an awkward girl secretly hiding.
This research was helped by this article: Does Appearance Matter?
From Old Hollywood, to Disney stars wanting to break away from their squeaky-clean persona, society has witnessed many a style transformation and delighted in stars like Rihanna gradually putting their fashion at the fore-front.
We all know the concept of a geeky-girl turning sexy and landing a date; makeover shows like Plain Jane promise beauty as the golden-ticket to men and happiness.
It is women who embark on these changes and all for the wishful thinking of love. The two films that do stand-out where women altered themselves for popularity or career, soon faced numerous issues in their personal lives.
I myself underweight major changes both through my body and beauty. I was seeking the fairy-tale story and felt determined to prove my doubters wrong. Similarly, to an adult shredding its skin, I unstitched all my labelled adjectives and boarded the train to reinvention.
I have no regrets and I feel confident in that I am taking care of my health and looking how I want. But I also cannot pretend that there are no side-effects to my overall style transformation.
I don’t think the thing is to be well-known, but being worth knowing – Robert Fulghum
The antidote to perfectionism
If your mind is consistently trained to place your life on a step that you will never reach, your modifications can make you feel worse.
Because you get a new haircut, tone up your body, buy a new wardrobe and update your makeup colours, to then question – what else can I do?
My brain gets greedy; “wouldn’t you look even better if you then re-did your hair again”, or “imagine if you did get those abs”.
So, you end up sitting on a merry-go-round hoping to finally jump off and yet knowing deep-down that you will always stay. Hardly the anti-dote and Hollywood dream that the movies portray.
The fixation on your looks
Just like Maria, the obsession to attain what you’ve mustered is draining. When the compliments roll through and you’re told how improved you now are, how much better; what happens if that goes?
And what do you do if you’ve spent your whole life being an awkward caterpillar, to crawl into a butterfly and worry that deep-down you still proceed to only crawl on the ground?
The reality that your mind is the same
Because how amazing would are lives be if we matched the bodies of Victoria Secret models?
There are plenty of gorgeous women in the media and every day, who bathe in adoration only to arrive back home and gawk at their flaws.
Confidence is a mix of factors and a style transformation does not guarantee that you will walk with your head held high and your happiness flourishing, it doesn’t promise a date.
How I pictured my ‘revenge body’, my chic updates creating a temptation for my ex to rush back and realise how perfect I am. Left realising that a diet and shopping does not impact significantly in a man wanting you.
What’s the answer?
I believe in style and I do think that your look is important. We are a mix of both insides and out. Embrace what you love and what you perhaps don’t.
And when it relates to style transformations – again I fully embrace, but be realistic in what it entails. There’s no Tinsel Town magic, there’s no sexy/sophisticated/chic pill that vanishes away your insecure mindset.
It may help your career and you may find strength to ask a person out and take new endeavours; you may also spend your life in a state of not being satisfied. My understanding is not to expect miracles.
Have you undergone a huge style transformation before?
If you loved this, read: My Fitness and Health Transformation