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Changing the Dance

“Sometimes it is better to be clueless than have knowledge of every bit of information that silently kills you.”

In Clueless (1995) Cher (Alicia Silverstone) lives in Beverly Hills. She is rich, pretty, blonde and popular. Cher knows how to ‘work’ her world to get what she wants. For example, when she can’t get a teacher to give her a better grade, she matches him romantically with another teacher, hoping that a happy teacher gives better grades.

Tia, (Brittany Murphy) moves into town and is the opposite of Cher. She lacks class and poise, and doesn’t understand this new world. Cher thinks of herself as a caring person, but she can’t see how her behavior is often self-centered. Cher decides to help Tia by giving her a makeover.

However Cher’s “project” to make Tai attractive and popular fails.

Cher’s begins to realize that Tai’s personal substance trumps her looks or popularity. She realizes that she cannot force Tai to become something she is not. Cher grows into her own need for an ‘inner makeover.’ She becomes self-aware that she is clueless – there’s more to life than clothes and popularity. Cher has to learn new ways of thinking and new ways to act. She really needs a spiritual makeover. When you’ve been doing something for a long time, and you’ve been clueless, but unsatisfied.

Or you’re tired of hooking up and breaking up, you want some consistency and a long-term relationship. When sex, clothes and popularity are not enough to numb the pain and dissatisfaction. When you decide you need an inner makeover.

“Sex, clothes, popularity. Is there a problem here?”

Well actually, Cher finds out that yes, there IS a problem here.

It’s much easier to solve the problem once you know what it looks like.

Cher thought Tia was clueless, but when Tia started having some really meaningful relationships, Cher discovered that actually she was clueless one; clueless to strong, loving, committed relationships. Her manipulative life and shallow popularity left her feeling lonely and empty, while Tia was experiencing fulfillment, trust and safety.

But real life is not found Beverly Hills. It’s found as a young single mother, scraping by in poverty. Sleeping with a guy you don’t really know, trust, can’t communicate with. Serial relationships that are driven by a lack of income to afford a place to live. And really it looks like a lot of other things, but generally it’s sad, weak, powerless.

Changing the dance, setting yourself up for a future of love, commitment and satisfaction is gonna take effort.

New skills, lots of practice. Support from other people who changed the dance themselves.

Hollywood can show Cher’s transition from clueless to maturity. There just isn’t enough time in a 2-hour flick to display the effort, challenges and victories along the way.


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