Gumdrop LaneThe Most Unnecessary Movie Makeovers: Audrey Hepburn EditionLaura Kadner

What is one of everyone’s favorite things in movies and in real life? Makeovers.

When someone you like but who looks totally like a dumposaurus finally realizes it and classes it up, it makes you happy. Or even if someone you don’t like gets a makeover and maybe they used to look okay but then they get bangs and you  notice how fat their face is, it makes you happy.

Plus, makeovers are a sign that all is right with the world and we have the magical time to dwell on our appearances and physical expressions.  Try to find a dumptastic person to makeover (it might be you!), make them over and then just DANCE.

Dance until your feet bleed and the streets run stinky with sweat.

But sometimes movies just don’t get it. Yes, everyone is obviously clamoring for a makeover scene, nay, a montage! But sometimes it’s just so unnecessary. You’re already starting out with a gorgeous, perfect actor and then it’s decided they need a makeover. Who decides these things? Who is seeing these people as frumps? I love a makeover scene as much as the next sassy American, but Audrey Hepburn gets not one, or even two, but three makeovers in different movies. Possibly more!

I’m not sure because my brain exploded at the thought of someone thinking she needed a makeover. I understand she also transforms her personality in addition to looks, but that’s a whole other can of worms entirely. Let’s stick to the basics – face and body basics. As these are the building blocks of any makeover. So, unnecessary movie makeovers, we examine you:

Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face
 

Going from frump in a dump to regulation hottie in one easy costume change!

Audrey Hepburn goes from a supposed total frump who can’t sing at all to a glamourous woman of the world who can’t sing at all.  The problem was that Audrey was never not adorable in that film.  Nobody notices her because she’s wearing some tweed jumper that’s basically already fashionable. But she’s made over, because she has to be. Because if there’s one thing everybody loves it’s seeing beautiful people get made over to be more beautiful.  And then what’s better than seeing those made over people take to the dancefloor with fairly mediocre skill?  NOTHING.  That’s what’s better.  Nothing.

I think she could’ve used a singing makeover. Or maybe a dancing makeover. But not a face makeover. Because her face was not funny. It just wasn’t.Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina

Ew. Look how ugly Audrey is sitting in this tree. So gross. Nobody could ever see her as a romantic possibility. She’s like a sloth who’s been shaved and grotesquely dressed in another unpleasantly patterned jumper. Seriously. Someone in Hollywood thought this chick looked like nobody would notice her until she got a makeover. Like this.

Phew! Thank god. Now I can look at her without wanting to totally vom. I guess that someone in Hollywood was right! Put her in a ballgown and pixie cut that hair and blammo! Gentlemen City, USA! Such a vast difference. It’s like she was transformed from a swan into an even bigger swan with a shorter hair cut. God bless Paris.

Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady
Yes, she’s a bit crass. Yes, she may have dirt on her face. And, yes, maybe you can’t understand a word she’s saying. She’s Eliza Doolittle! And she was clearly in desperate need of a makeover by a flamboyant linguist.

Yikes and a half. She looks like a bedraggled female member of the Fagin’s gang from Oliver! She looks far too darling and much too pleased with herself and comfortable with who she is. She needs to be put in her place or she’ll never find a husband or sing a lover-ly song that’s not about wanting to stuff her face with chocolate and have hot feet.

That’s better. Wash that face, spangle that body, and coif that hair. Coif it! And blammo: Gentlemen City, UK! She’s fundamentally changed everything about herself and she looks fabulous. Brava! Another stunning transformation from beautiful flower girl to stunning embassy ball-attender.

Can’t we all just leave Audrey alone? Must she be made over again and again?! So unnecessary.

Images via Gumdrop Lane, biography.com, hollywoodphotostore.com, salon.com

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  1. In Sabrina she didn’t have a makeover, she matured into an actual woman. She went from a soft spoken, mousy girl to a confident woman who embraced the fashion in Paris. So in my opinion it was a necessary evolution to help her character develop.

    • I just think there are other ways you can achieve womanhood other than by way of a haircut and a trip to Paris where you get more body-conscious clothing. I just think it’s funny we’re ever expected to see Audrey Hepburn as a plain, mousy girl.

  2. I love Audrey Hepburn…!!!with a little bit of luck i gonna meet my fair lady :D

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  4. Audrey can vom on me anytime!

  5. Well really, in all honesty, Audrey looks gorgeous, no matter what. That’s just her beautifulness shining through. Although you did mention that there IS a personality change (but that’s a different can of worm) I actually think that’s at least 80% of the focus of her stunning makeovers. In Roman Holiday it was about becoming her own strong person and not just told who to be, in Sabrina it was time to grow up and let her young exhuberant spark blossom into womanhood, but she still has some sweet innocence shining through (chair spinning scene!), In Funny Face she learned that you can indeed be both an intellectual AND a woman as well. (Books and beauty CAN mix! ;-) ) And in My Fair Lady, it isn’t all about how ugly she is, she’s a poor Cockney flower seller, certainly a loooong ways from high class society, it was essentially class transformation, not clothing and makeup, for if you’ll notice the horserace scene, she looked amazing! (alas, that horse would just not go fast enough!). I’m not saying your arguement doesn’t have a point (Audrey in my opinion NEVER EVER NEEDS a makeover, shes stunning), but I think you’re missing the whole fundamental point of all the makeovers! (Yes, I skipped a couple makeovers I’m sure, Holly being a big one, but I’ve said too much already!)

    • Thanks Ashley…exactly what I was thinking. None of these are make-overs in the beauty sense. They are more about her growing into a different person, and one of the ways they translated that visually was by her hair and clothes.

      • Ew, Laura, this should be tagged NSFW. Especially the Eliza Doolittle picture, I’m trying to eat falafel here.

      • I’d say all movie makeovers are about the physical transformation only being representative of a more internal one. Obviously in film it’s show and don’t tell so a haircut and a new dress are the easiest way to do this – but in reality it’s unnecessary to change your appearance to have a transformation or gain confidence or learn a lesson. But, it’s definitely more fun.

        Also, I went for the looks department because it’s funny anyone would look at Audrey Hepburn and not notice her or not want to notice everything about her.

        And I feel in My Fair Lady and Funny Face, Audrey is forced and puppeted into changing her appearance and thus large parts of herself, when she’s really already happy with who she is. In Funny Face Audrey is content to be among her books and philosophers – even skipping a major fashion event once she’s been madeover to seek out an intellectual philosopher she thinks she admires. And in My Fair Lady all she really ever wanted was someone to love and who would love her. Did she benefit from being madeover? Sure, in some respects. But she could’ve learned her lessons by finding a mentor or good friend to talk to about her issues instead.

        But without the makeovers those wouldn’t have been very entertaining movies.

        In any event, I hear what you’re saying, but I was really just going at this from her physical appearance because that’s just funnier to look at in regards to a beautiful actress seemingly needing a makeover to achieve her goals. So I don’t particularly think I’m missing the point, I’m just looking at a different one.

        • Have you noticed any of the parallels between “Funny Face” and “The Devil Wears Prada” ? It’s pretty interesting, although they play up the makeover a bit more on Anne Hathaway.

  6. I totally agree with the Sabrina one, but the My Fair Lady makeover was sort of justified. Henry Higgins had to pass her off as a member of high society, and she’s definitely not: she’s a Cockney flower girl.

  7. Sandy/Olivia Newton John at the end of Grease when she went all bad girl for Danny/John Travolta

  8. And her haircut in Roman Holiday!

  9. You forgot the transformation from Lula Mae Barnes to Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”!! I know it’s not particularly shown on screen but O.J Berman does talk about it for a bit. Great piece though!!