I was watching an old Doris Day, "Calamity Jane", while simultaneously editing photos. Really quite pathetic for productivity, might as well skip editing entirely ;)
For all that, there is a moment in the film where the rough-red-neck Calamity is transformed into a gaspingly beautiful swan enswathed in a pink gown. The transformation is electric and everyone swoons as expected. I love that moment. (I fast-forwarded half the movie because I couldn't wait for it to get there.) The ugly duckling is miraculously transported to beauty bliss.
Why do we women cherish that storyline? We are pulled toward it, we love it. It's like the Cinderella story on crack.
There's a part of every woman that wants to relish that experience. We all feel at times like frumpy buckets of lard and we need someone to pick us up and make us feel exquisite. That's why "makeover" shows and before/after pictures are so powerful.
"If that could happen to her, then maybe it can happen to me". They are relatable, tangible and attainable. When you see it happen for someone else that looks "normal" you can get a glimmer of hope and desire the same for yourself.
Cinderella moments happen in my studio; I see them before my eyes. It's one of the most exciting aspects of photo couture. As one client explained:
"I have the hottest pictures on the block (but won't be comparing ;). This couture vanity is good for my love life. I have felt so beautiful since the shoot; now when my husband tells me I'm beautiful, I don't brush it off like "whatever, I know..."
That, my dear internet, is why I LOVE photography.