Why is it that the heroine in most “chick flicks” have to undergo some transformation to find definition for themselves? Is it because there is a pervading social construct that, despite their struggle to find an independent self-definition, they still have to abide by?
In The Devil Wears Prada, the female protagonist, Andie (Anne Hathaway), transforms from a girl with no fashion sense to a high fashion woman. Only when she dons her Prada and her Chanel does she become fully confident and accepted by her colleagues. True, she eventually forfeits her membership in the high fashion world, but then again, the fashion-less Andie in the beginning of the movie is never seen again either. The compromise that Andie finds at the end of the movie is to perpetuate an image defined by societal codes. The old Andie was too clueless to belong, the ultra-fashionable Andie is too surreal, and so, only the casually-trendy Andie can truly find a place in society. The portrayal of the different transformations that Andie undergoes illustrates how women are often judged not by ability, but often by the way they look. In this way, social definitions for the image of women encroach upon their self-definitions.