The Perfect Woman

     Each man has his own idea of what his perfect woman should be like. Most of the time, it is not the way the woman already is. There is always something that she could change to make her more pleasing for the man. Society puts so much emphasis on outward appearance.

     My Fair Lady, directed by George Cukor in 1964 and based on George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play, Pygmalion, is one movie based on changing a woman to what she "needs" to be. Eliza Doolittle, played by Audrey Hepburn, is selling flowers on the street as the play opens. She is not proper. She does not know how to walk, talk, or be a lady. Henry Higgins, portrayed by Rex Harrison, makes a bet with Colonel Pickering, depicted by Wilfred Hyde-White, that he can change Eliza. Henry is successful in his attempt to teach Eliza how to be a lady. He teaches her how to talk, walk, and be proper.

     Another movie, She's All That, directed by Robert Iscove in 1990, is a modern-day "high school" My Fair Lady. Zach Siler, portrayed by Freddie Prinz, Jr., makes a bet with Dean Sampson, played by Paul Walker, that he can turn Laney Boggs into a prom queen. Laney, acted by Rachel Leigh Cook, is your average Plain Jane high-school girl. She wears plain clothes, wears her hair plain, wears no makeup and wears glasses. After putting different clothes on her, fixing her hair and makeup and getting rid of the glasses, Zach turns Laney into a prom queen.

     In My Fair Lady, Henry is glad when his bet with Colonel Pickering is over, and he does not have to be with Eliza anymore. Eliza overhears him tell Pickering that he was glad it is over. Eliza forgives Henry and goes back to him. In She's All That, Zach ends up falling in love with Laney. He is very sorry that he had made the bet. Laney is extremely hurt when she finds out about the bet. Laney also ends up forgiving Zach for having made the bet behind her back, and she goes back to him. Both situations came about as a bet, except that Eliza knew about hers from the beginning, whereas Laney did not. Both women were hurt. They were the same women before they were made over as they are after. They just looked different.

     People are made with feelings. It is a shame that so many people judge outside appearance before getting to know them on the inside. People do not realize just how bad their words and actions can hurt a person emotionally. If we would remember the golden rule from the Bible--"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" Luke 6:31--this world would be a better place.

Renée Lax

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