I cannot express how pleased I was with how the drama treated the makeover of Li Hui Zhen. Neither of the two guys interested in her made a big deal of it and had a heart-stopping eureka she-is-definitely-the-love-of-my-life moment purely because she straightened her curls and applied makeup! Same goes for the entire team whose first words were “You are back! We missed you!” And not “OMG, you look gorgeous now!” Or “the ugly duckling is now a swan”. It was only Chu Ying 姐 who mentioned that she is prettier now and even that was in a passing statement and not said with much ado or fanfare. Ergo they were more pleased with the fact she decided to return to Immortal to work as her contribution to the team was invaluable and only recognized after she left (as it was largely behind-the-scenes). Sure she looked prettier and more professional but that was not the entire worth of Li Hui Zhen and that point was made quite clear.
I also liked that Hui Zhen still walked in her gangly manner, still smiled that goofy tooth grin post-makeover and rambled on unselfconsciously – she really hasn’t changed at all. As she told Yimu later, she is not changing herself, just presenting a better packaged version of herself in a working environment in tandem with her workplace, a cutting edge fashion design magazine.
Why does this matter? Because it shows that every girl needs to find what is best for herself to unearth her best self. If that means being Katniss Everdeen, so be it. Or if it means being Daenerys Targaryen. But it can also mean slapping on war paint and a pair of hot iron tongs – not every self-discovery has to end up like Fiona from Shrek. That is the true meaning of girl power – the power to be the best of you.
Thank you scriptwriters and all the actors and actresses who illuminated this point. So I solemnly profess that I shall watch Pretty Li Hui Zhen until the end – even if it descends into trite melodrama or gets draggy and repetitive. I sincerely hope not but even if it does, this teachable moment makes this drama a must-finish for me.