"Let me make you cool" - does this happen IRL?

I was watching a TV show last night that used the “let me make you cool” trope, where the super-popular girl takes an uncool girl and gives her a makeover, invites her to hang out with her friends, but tells her how to behave and who she can talk to. I’ve seen this concept used an awful lot in movies, books, and TV shows, but I don’t think it’s as common in real life as we’re led to believe. Or, if it does happen, it’s not nearly as blatant and cold as in the movies.

But, since this is an entertaining trope, I would love for dopers to prove me wrong and tell me stories from their childhood where someone incredibly uncool was made over and told to abandon everything they held dear for the sake of coolness, and someone popular cared enough to transform another person’s image to make them cooler.

Any stories?

P.S. Should this be in Cafe Society? Since I’m asking for real stories rather than fictional examples I figured the thread belonged in here.

My company has monthly presentations to a high school class (seniors). At the end of the year, one kid from the class is offered a summer internship.

Last year, one of my co-workers took the intern under his wing, because the kid was going to attend my co-worker’s alma mater. This guy is pretty much Tom Haverford from “Parks and Recreation.”

Over those few months, he was giving the kid tips and advice on what to do, and what not to do in college. (Listening to anime soundtracks on your iPhone fell into the latter category)

Not sure how much of the advice stuck, but I know that the co-worker went to hang out with the kid one Saturday night last month.

My son did something like that with a friend of his - took him to get a better haircut, took him shopping to get some better clothes, took him to parties and told him how to approach women, things like that. The friend in question has started dating, and by all accounts is doing much better socially.

My daughter tries periodically to un-nerd me, but it never works.


When I’ve seen it happen it looked more like the uncool one is really just imitating the cool one. At least one case I was embarrassed for a young woman who obviously shouldn’t have been dressing like her thinner and differently proportioned new BFF. That’s why it’s easier to just start smoking if you want to be cool.

I think a lot of music lovers of roughly my age (63) can relate to what Marc Maron refers to simply as “that guy”. He’s the guy, usually older and cooler, who guides a budding music lover toward the really cool and important stuff. He’s the guy who takes your interest in Clapton and Page and guides you to Beck and Bloomfield and Green. It’s a limited form of “making cool” but it’s an important and pretty common one, I think.

Exactly. I had a substitute math teacher turn me on to guitar playing beyond the crap I had been listening to. Changed everything for me.

You know, it just occurred to me that I probably fit into this category myself. I was an honors student, writing tutor in college, and began dating a super-cool football player who was in the starting line-up ever since he entered as a freshman. He helped me lose weight, told me how to dress, how to wear my hair and makeup, brought me to all the cool parties and advised me against hanging out with my uncool friends, and had plenty of guidance on how to act in public. It was far more demeaning in real life than the movies make it out to be.

This seems a little different, more like “we’re going out together so don’t embarrass me,” although if he was as cool as all that and you had all those issues, you must have had something else really appealing for him to date you instead of a more ready-made “cool” girl. Anyway, it sounds like he was being a dick, treating you that way because he had something at stake (his image). Where it’s just a friend doing it without an ulterior motive, maybe it would seem more friendly.

For myself, no, I have never seen this happen in real life, but my range of friendships and acquaintances is pretty small. I was never even remotely cool and I told myself at least that I didn’t want to be, it was more important to be intelligent and to have integrity. I was, of course, lying to myself, I would have loved to be cool, although it’s possible I might have gotten tired of it after a while, especially if I had to give up things I really liked.

I think there is no way to make somebody ‘cool’.
You either have it or you don’t, and a huge part of being ‘cool’ is that you don’t care about being ‘cool’.

all I can say as a guy is that those TV tropes are absolute horseshit. if you’re a nerdy/unpopular/uncool guy all you can look forward to in high school is four years of torture.

it’s why I can’t watch sitcoms anymore. especially sitcoms where the kids are main characters. because the writers treat the kids as sarcastic little adults, and that’s not what kids are. children are evil, vicious little pack animals who will gang up and destroy any easy target. If you’ve read Lord of the Flies you’d understand.

being a kid is why I never want to have any of my own. because I clearly remember what they’re like.

Yes. Two friends of mine; one uncool and the other cool. Uncool friend asks for advice; cool one takes him clothes shopping, gets him a decent haircut, and even teaches him how to talk to girls. I was a little skeptical since the cool friend has a narcissistic streak and is a borderline PUA type but it actually worked out in the end; the uncool friend didn’t exactly become cool, but he did manage to improve himself and in particular gained a lot of confidence. He learned how to meet women and is married now.