Movies in this mold seem popular (this genre of young woman gets a makeover and suddenly all is well) has spawned such hits as Princess Diaries and My Fair Lady, but confuse me. We have this young 'ugly' woman, although she's usually really attractive, she's never fat and her skin is clear. Someone shows up and magically changes her into the belle of the ball (i.e., she's changed into society's idea of a beautiful girl) usually less attractive than her offbeat former appearance.
I have several beefs with this style of film. First, the girl never changes herself,it is always someone else who comes in and makes the change. In this case, Freddy Prinze Jr's character. She's a passive object, being shaped to the will of society. Also, the change is wholly superficial. Rachael Leigh Cook's character gets a new hair style and a dress and suddenly, she's the prom queen. There's never any real change or struggle. Her family relations don't change, she doesn't become a better artist. It's like in Cinderella, some fairy comes in, does some magic and woop! you've got a man, obviously the only thing you need to be fulfilled.
I guess they are all Cinderella 'updates', but society has changed since Cinderella was written. A girl can achieve quite outside of whether she goes to the prom with a hot guy or not. In this example, the beauty of Laney Boggs' artwork is completely ignored except as a draw for the popular jock. It can't even aspire to a kind of Cathy or Bridget Jone's Diary status because we never see inside what it is like to be Laney Boggs.
I'm not a fan of making everyone try to be a positive role model, but they could at least try for a little realism sometime? I'm aware that political correctness has run rampant and girls want to be girly, but execution is everything.