20 Life Lessons We Learned from Clueless, 20 Years Later

17 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

15 Beauty Lessons We Learned From Watching ‘Clueless’.

At first glance, Cher Horowitz might seem too perfect. “Clueless” is easily one of the most quotable movies from the ’90s, but it didn’t merely introduce us to the concept of a “total Betty”—it taught close observers how to actually be one.

From perfecting the art of the hair flip to executing makeovers like a pro, Cher Horowitz and her friends (or dare we say frenemies?) taught us some valuable beauty lessons. But Clueless, which opened in theaters 20 years ago this week, is a story about realizing you have growing up to do, even if you’re the most put-together girl in school. Between her love of plaid, thigh-high socks, and the occasional hat, Tay often fits right in with the movie’s too-cool high school crew — and we mean that in a very, very good way. Despite exterior appearances, there’s a lot in the film that real-life teenagers could relate to – and there still is, even two decades later. 5. ” ‘Tis a far, far better thing to do stuff for other people,” even if that altruism means giving a makeover to the girl sporting a Troll T-shirt and a Kool-Aid dye job. 14.

When you’re a high school virgin – er, that is, “hymenally challenged” – there’s a difference between being a prude and waiting for the right guy. There are times when the unvarnished truth is just the most brutal thing you can tell someone. (But as long as you’re being way harsh, that raised eyebrow at the end makes the burn hurt all the worse.)

She seems, on the surface, to be enemy of social justice-focused bloggers everywhere: the epitome of white feminism, a conventionally beautiful, able-bodied, and privileged woman who does good for others only, in the words of her step-brother Josh, because it serves her interests more than theirs. Even though Clueless had its share of Betties, Baldwins, burn outs, skaters, full-on Monets, and young dudes that want to make you shriek, “As if!” the characters were so rich and colorful on their own. It’s not just the outlandish outfits and totally ’90s slang that makes them stand out — it’s the fact that these are high schoolers who are starting to discover their true selves and what really matters to them.

You sometimes struggle with the battle between head and heart, but you always follow your heart in the end…and use that smart head of yours to negotiate life’s prickliest situations. The way she demands every teacher change her grade, either by lying to her lesbian PE coach that her performance slipped because of a broken heart (appealing to her man-hating sensibilities) or promising to devote time and effort into raising funds for charities? The very premise of the movie revolves around her efforts to make the lives of those around her better — better in the most superficial sense, at least — solely to prove her own depth.

In no way were we to walk away from the film — a movie about a sixteen-year-old girl, by the way, so let’s be kind of empathetic here — feeling like Cher was a selfless human being. Take, for example, how much she truly cared for her friends, how popularity seemed like a nice perk rather than an entitlement, how she never pushed anyone around or made anyone’s life miserable. I mean, compared to any other Queen Bee in a teen comedy — Mean Girls’ Regina George, Heathers’ Heather Chandler, and Jawbreaker’s Courtney Shayne — Cher is practically a saint. The worse thing she does in the movie is mistake her housekeeper, who is from El Salvador, as being from Mexico, and that was in the midst of a rare temper tantrum.

We can hardly judge the whole of her person from one immature mistake, because, as the film displays by its final shot, she’s changed her tune enough to care about others for their sake rather than her own. You probably changed schools a few times as a kid and struggled to make lasting friendships, which is why when you do make them, you really treasure them. If she can change that much in the course of a semester, just imagine what the full-fledged adult Cher would be like today, and what she’s capable of. But a bad faith assumption about Cher’s inner life — to suggest that she can’t possibly care about anyone because she’s too focused on herself, seems not just a mediocre — knee-jerk reaction to a fictional character in a perfectly harmless, pleasurable film, but also one that seems a little immature. But to demand it in the text is to distract from what the film actually displays throughout its 90-minute running time: a teenager girl who looks out for others as much as she looks out for herself, because their happiness and comfort is, naturally, connection to her own.

You pay attention to the news, care about politics, and take your work really seriously…but you also have a goofy side that charms everyone you meet. Follow Decider on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation, and sign up for our email newsletters to be the first to know about streaming movies and TV news! But all of this doesn’t mean you’re shallow — you are in tune with things like feminism and current events and the opinions of your loved ones matter. It’s hard sometimes for you to really connect with people because you are so strong-headed, but that just means the ones you trust are in it for life.

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