FANDOM


WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic
File:Grease sm 4042.jpg
"In Grease, what did Sandy do to get Danny Zuko? She had to ditch the poodle skirt and slap on a catsuit. In short, she had to dress like a 'ho."
—Kurt, Glee

A Family-Unfriendly Aesop which often goes hand-in-hand with Unnecessary Makeover. The Ingenue learns to dress and act like a slut in order to snag her man, usually with the help of her "friends". Heaven forbid she should pick someone who likes her the way she is. Fridge Logic wonders, will she have to keep up her new sexy look and attitude forever, and will she resent it?

Most famously done in Grease. Commonly used in fanfiction, leading to Possession Sue. Can be coupled off with Corrupt the Cutie. Compare My Girl Is a Slut; contrast My Girl Is Not a Slut. Also compare Beautiful All Along (which this trope tries to be, with an unfortunate "beauty = slutty" message) and She Cleans Up Nicely. When the trope is portrayed as an effective way to attract men, it may be because All Men Are Perverts.

You will not often see this trope in shows produced before the 60s or so, except in cases where the woman is already married to the man whose interest she wants to (re)acquire. The common trope before the Sexual Revolution was that men would happily tumble into bed with women who said "yes" but would only marry the woman who said "no". This makes Grease, set in the 1950s, somewhat anachronistic, as a real-life Sandy would have been seen in her time frame as doing exactly the wrong thing to catch Danny -- unless she only wanted to catch him for the night. As the bad boy, however, Danny is intentionally at odds with the conventional morality of his time.

Examples of Be a Whore to Get Your Man include:


Anime & Manga


Fan Works


Film

  • Trope Codifier, Sandy in Grease. Though to be fair, it also shows Danny trying to become the Varsity Good Guy to be with Sandy -- still, he's extremely glad she made some changes too. The first actress to be approached for the role actually turned it down because of the Family-Unfriendly Aesop. Even worse, since they had a relationship that apparently worked before he changed to fit in with his friends.

 The Nostalgia Chick: "Wasn't the point that he liked the way she was before?"

    • This is parodied in a 30 second summary of Grease, "Now that you're not who you are anymore, I can love you for how I wanted you to be."
    • Mad Magazine's parody of Grease (titled "Cease") had fun with this aspect of the musical too.

 Sandy: "In order to get the guy you love ... you have to be a slut! What a wonderful message for the youth of America!"

 Crow: So, Mike, I learned from today's movie that Daphne was a slut, and Amy wasn't fun until she became a slut.

Mike Nelson: Well, that's the fun message of today's movie!

  • In The Smiling Lieutenant, Maurice Chevalier's old girlfriend teaches his new, prim wife, whom he was more-or-less forced to marry, how to vamp it up, and Chevalier falls in love with her. Since the movie dates from 1931, that means this is at least Older Than Television
  • A complaint about The Ugly Truth.
  • "I should've beat her where she beat me, in the sack." The Women.
  • Parodied in Kabhi Alvida Naa Khena: Dev tells Maya she has to spice things up with her husband to make her mariage work, so she shows up at their apartment dressed like a dominatrix and wielding a whip. Turns out all of her husband's friends are here to watch the football game...
  • Breaking The Waves by Lars Von Trier: overlaps with Break the Cutie.
  • In the second Blue Collar Comedy movie, Jeff Foxworthy refers to this after explaining Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, noting that the premise could not be flipped so that men could send their girlfriend to five hookers and tell them to "slut her up, just a little bit."
  • Earth Girls Are Easy has an entire production number based on this trope, triggered when Julie Brown's character Candy suggests that heroine Geena Davis needs a makeover to recapture her distant (and cheating, not that they know it) boyfriend's eye:

 Candy: Your beauty's fresh and wholesome, but science has a cure!

The natural look is nowhere. Your hairdresser knows for sure!

You've gotta learn the art of teasing, change your repertoire!

All you need's a little faith and a see-through push-up bra!

  • In Summer Of Sam, Mira Sorvino can't please her husband, so she is forced to beg for sex tips from his ex-girlfriend to keep him from cheating.
  • In He's Just Not That Into You, Jennifer Connelly, in an effort to win back her cheating husband, shows up at his office in the middle of the day to seduce him. We have been given the impression that this is completely out of character for her and that their sex life is virtually non-existent--in fact, she blames herself for his cheating because of this.
  • Lampshaded and averted in The Untold Story. The lone female cop dresses in a slutty fashion in order to impress the men in the precinct. They are impressed but the chief tells her she looks "like a whore". She replies with "But this is the way your girlfriends dress." He quickly responds with, "But they are whores, my dear."


Literature

  • The Bible: Delilah Towards Samson. Making this Older Than Feudalism.
    • Of course, Delilah was more of a Femme Fatale. Tamar is a better example--she literally pretended to be a prostitute in a plan that ultimately got her married to Judah.


Live Action TV

  • Inverted in Glee: Kurt (knowing Finn won't like it) encourages Rachel to dress like a slut to attract him. When she recreates Sandy's black outfit from Grease, Finn tells her she looks like a "sad clown hooker".
  • Possible example: in Robin Hood Kate dresses up as a drunken and flirty tavern wench in order to provide a distraction for a man that the outlaws are trying to con. Granted, she's not doing it specifically to get Robin's attention, but it does seem a rather interesting coincidence that the two become a couple in the very next episode.
  • Subverted in Todd and the Book of Pure Evil. Hannah dresses up as a sexy rocker chick, complete with a short skirt and a low-cut shirt, in order to win the affections of the main character. She then climbs in through his bedroom window and makes some rather deliberate advances toward him. Todd is weirded out by Hannah's behaviour and remains fixated on his love interest, Jenny. Later, she bemoans what she's turned herself into and switches back to her science geek wardrobe.
  • One episode of Married... with Children has Steve and Marcy falling out over his refusal to shave off the beard he's grown. Marcy finally wins by appearing wearing only some lacy black underwear and carrying an electric razor.
    • The situation is reversed with Peg. If she'd spent less time trying to be a sexpot and more time trying to be an ideal housewife (cooking, cleaning, etc,) then Al would spend a lot more love and attention on her.
      • This fact was highlighted in one episode where Peg, for whatever reason, had to clean up the backyard - Al watched with a Cheshire Cat Grin and, every now and then, would take Peg upstairs... something she dreaded in this case, since she was worn out from the manual labor.


Music


Stand Up Comedy

  • Chris Rock had a stand-up bit based on how past relationships shape the requirements for current relationships for men and women differently: "Women can't go backwards in terms of lifestyle, while men can't go backwards sexually." Basically, Rock told the women in the audience that if their men kept insisting on kinky sex acts, it was because a previous girlfriend did it for him.
  • Lenny Bruce once said that men essentially want to date a slut and marry a saint. This bit was reenacted in his biopic.


Theater

  • Of course live musical performances of Grease follow this trope as well.
  • In Return to the Forbidden Planet, Miranda tries this on Captain Tempest after he sings about how she's much too young for him. "Good morrow, big boy!" It doesn't work quite the way she wants it - on the one hand, it does get the Captain's attention, but the robot Ariel has to remind her that it was her sweetness and charm that attracted the Captain to her in the first place, not a frou-frou frock.


Video Games

  • In the Heavy Rain level "Sexy Girl", Madison sluts herself up in order to get the attention of the man she's trying to get information from. She mentions that he likes his girls "cute, in a dumb sort of way."
  • Katawa Shoujo's case is... unusual. Hanako doesn't change her appearance, but she does allow Hisao to have sex with her in order to change his perception of her as someone that needs to be protected. It works, but only after she has to explain it. Furthermore, the sex is obviously very awkward and uncomfortable for Hanako and Hisao feels horrible when he finds out the truth.


Webcomics

  • In PK Comic Kate and Bo both advise Jess to act slutty to attract men's attention, Kate goes so far as to demonstrate by pulling a complete stranger with a cheesy chat up line and leaving with him.
  • In Questionable Content, after the Faye-Dora-Marten Love-Triangle finally collapsed, with Dora and Marten winding up together, Faye heads home to visit her mother and unwind for a bit. After telling her mother the entire story, the old lady tells her that, back in the day, she'd been stuck in a similar love-triangle with Faye's late father - and, obviously, won, resulting in the following conversation:

 Faye: Yeah, but you ended up marryin' dad. How'd you get him to pick you instead of the other girl?

FayeMom: Oh, that was easy. I just put out first.

Faye: MOM!

FayeMom: Well I didn't say it was EXACTLY like your situation!


Web Original


Western Animation

  • Mocked mercilessly in Clone High's two-part finale: after a series of embarrassing makeovers from Abe and Toots, Cleo completely tarts up Joan of Arc. She hates the makeover but decides to keep it because it makes Abe say she's "hot" for the first time in the whole series. She stills ends up going to prom with JFK, because Abe is preoccupied with Cleo.
  • At one point in Family Guy Lois took Meg out shopping, and pushed shirts that had "Porn Star" and "Sperm Dumpster" written on them. This is a comment on several things, one is the characters of Lois and Meg, but the other is the fact that such shirts really are sold to girls.
  • In South Park, when Stan falls in love with a substitute teacher, Wendy does this to try to win him back. She fails because the teacher does something similar herself.
    • Wendy does it again in the episode "Bebe's Boobs Destroy Society," getting a set of massive breast implants. However the guys have just gotten over their infatuation with boobs, so they just laugh at her.
  • Inverted in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, where Mandy dons a similar look (complete with frizzy hair and a lollipop) to reject the new kid, 'Pif', that she's fallen in love with. Soon as he starts slobbering over her new look, he loses his air of coolness, and Mandy's able to "hate again."
  • Subverted in My Little Pony Tales when Melody makes over Bright Eyes to be 'cool' rather than a bookworm. Her new look and attitude completely backfires, causing an also-made up Lancer to reject her at the same time she rejects his new persona. The two get together after reverting to their normal selves, much to Melody's complete confusion.


Real Life

  • The publishing genre of "Women's Magazines" (most notoriously Cosmopolitan), particularly in "First World" countries, are infamous for this trope as the main theme of a majority of their regular monthly articles.
  • The Islamic Ummah has "The Obedient Wives Club" with chapters, most prominently in Malaysia and also in Jordan, Indonesia, and Singapore. According to the Malaysian Chapter Spokeswoman, “Wives should welcome them with sexy clothes and alluring smiles when in the privacy of their homes.” Their Malaysian Chapter Vice-President sums it up, “If he needs sex, obey him. You must satisfy your husband. A good wife should be a whore in bed”. Public Reaction has been mixed, even in Malaysia itself.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.