There’s something about seeing an ‘ugly’ heroine that catches the attention of the audience. Is it because the character feels more relatable for not being seen as ‘perfect’? Is there some sort of thrill in seeing the transformation from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan that connects with viewers on a personal level?
Curly hair seems to be the common denominator when it comes to Chinese dramas or even Korean dramas and their attempts to portray the ugly duckling. I’m not sure if it’s because having straight silky hair has become the common “standard of beauty” in Asia.
Oblivious to fashion or a proper dress code. While it is quite relatable to have someone who has little to no knowledge about fashion start to develop their sense of style, dramas have a tendency to go for extremes where the types who don’t fit into the mold are downright clueless and often seen in clothes that are cringeworthy to say the least.
Before everything else, she is also painfully naive. These characters are often innocent to a fault or worse, immature and borderline stupid (sorry for the term). I mean, is it necessary? Watching Dilraba Dilmurat having to exhibit childlike behaviors in Pretty Li Huizhen, the Chinese remake of the K-drama She Was Pretty starring Hwang Jung Eum, had me questioning if it was even possible for a person of that age to be that naive.
With A Little Thing Called First Love – a drama adaptation of the hit Thai film Crazy Little Thing Called Love about a young girl’s process in changing her appearance in order to be noticed by her crush, it seems that we’re seeing many of the same things. Angel Zhao Jinmai’s character is a very raw, teenage girl with natural perms and crooked teeth; not to mention her tanned skin. It’s like a throwback to my high school pre-makeup years. Although I don’t think that having a curly hair constitutes to being ugly at all. Why must it always be the perms.
The trajectory of the downtrodden heroine often follows the same path. All of her efforts are in vain no matter how hard she tries. Then there’s the change in mindset to finally get her sh*t together and fight for it. And in order to do that, she has to look the part. And the first step she knew she needed was a change in her wardrobe and looks aka the MAKEOVER.
That said, I’m glad that in this day and age, with the evolution of style and the advocacy for self love, girls are slowly starting to embrace their naturally curly hair and learning that beauty isn’t limited to one thing. It’s in embracing your real self, all tanned with crooked teeth in a society that screams for perfection is where true beauty lies.