Chain Reaction

The ‘90s were a time of dreams, a time when anything could happen, when social hierarchies could be torn apart… if you were in a high school movie. In which case, you have probably had or will have a ‘makeover’ before your time is up.

Congratulations! Becoming Queen Bee of your school and usurping the provider of your salvation a la Clueless, getting the hot guy who made a bet he could turn you into prom queen like in She’s All That – all this and more could be yours! Things are looking up for ugly girls everywhere…

There are, of course, some caveats to this statement – I’d rather we didn’t mention my namesake (the nicknames, the ugliness) who didn’t get a makeover at school; she even had to return to high school to banish her demons, oh, and bag the hot teacher. There’s also the possibility you might stumble into a non-makeover teen film like Bring It On.

Oh yes, and one final point – you can’t actually be ugly. Applicants for ‘ugly girl’ parts in teen films should still be at least twice as attractive as the average person. In some cases you might be required to be better in every way than your ‘hot girl’ counterpart. Come on, was anyone fooled in 10 Things I Hate About You? Bianca was like Pizza Hut to Julia Stiles’ cleverer, funnier, prettier Pizza Express.

So really the ‘90s teen film gave awkward teens hopes of romance and fulfilment before shattering them to pieces. So, got that? No ugly chicks allowed. Even in Coyote Ugly. Especially in Coyote Ugly.