While it’s hard to believe that Rachel Leigh Cook turns 33 today, it’s even harder to imagine that I once used to wear glasses in public. And sometimes (please don’t stone me) I used to wear glasses in public with my hair in a ponytail.
I know. It’s disgusting. Maybe even disturbing. But we have to remember that before the first longform PSA She’s All That premiered in 1999, we didn’t know the dangers inherent to wearing glasses in public. Frankly, we, as a society, had no idea that wearing glasses in public could lead to your demise. At least socially. To quote directly from the PSA “to anyone who matters you’re vapor, you’re spam, a waste of perfectly good yearbook space” if you wear glasses.
I guess we always knew it subconsciously. It’s not like anyone nicknamed four-eyes ever won prom queen. But we didn’t fully acknowledge it until Freddie Prinze Jr. graciously donated his time to showing us the most amazing before-and-after transformation we’ve ever seen.
For those of who don’t watch She’s All That every time your contacts are bothering your eyes and you get the idea that glasses might be okay, just this once, just while you recover from a scratched cornea, let’s go over what happens.
Zack Siler’s (Freddie P. Jr.) is the most popular high school student ever conceived, second only to Jesus Christ in coolness. Until his super-hot girlfriend dumps him for a Real World cast member and humiliates him in front of everyone. EVERYONE! While he silently thought to himself that high school would be over in a few weeks and none of these people would matter, his best friend Paul Walker decides to cheer him up by recommending they destory another person’s life.
Because the best way to make yourself feel better is to make someone else feel worse. That’s just a freebie lesson the movie threw in there for us. Paul Walker’s all like, “Even though you’re handsome, athletic, smart and going to one day be married to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I bet you’re not powerful enough to turn an uggo into prom queen.” And Zack’s like, “okay it’s a bet. In fact it’s such a real bet that we’re going to find the ugliest human being in the entire world. I’ll check the local meth lab, you check the morgue”
Enter Laney Boggs (Our girl, R.L.K). A walking disaster. If sewage plants ever hired a spokeswoman, she’d be the go-to girl for the job. While turning her from human bowel movement to prom queen will be quite the challenge, Zack’s up for it. If he’s not banging his (now) ex-girlfriend, he might as well throw himself into a project.
For two minutes Laney Boggs refuses his offers to make her beautiful. Then the director whispers off camera that the movie’s got to get moving and she agrees to let Zack beautify her.
Step 1: Take off the glasses
Step 2: Take out the ponytail
Step 3: Turn her into a popular girl, humiliate her at prom, confirm that she is a bet and help “kiss me” become the number one go-to song for middle school dances around the country.
While the movie’s chock full of lessons about social interactions with people (never go to a high school dance if you don’t have at least one choreographed dance under your belt), the most important one comes from Rachel Leigh Cook’s character.
Never wear glasses. They hide everything wonderful about you. Such as your quirky personality, your rockin’ bod and your pretty face.
Thank you Rachel Leigh Cook for your services to our country (and for your contributions to the contact lens industry).