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Girliness Upgrade

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Left: Dora the Explorer.
Right: Dora the Valley Girl.
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Our heroine is a tomboy — rough and tumble, as interested in fashion as she is interested in watching paint dry. However, come the reboot, sequel series, or merchandise, she becomes a girly girl. Often complete with princess dress or at least a Pimped-Out Dress, tween fashion and long hair, often with hair decorations. More often than not, this coincides with the girl getting aged up and/or otherwise undergoing character development, presumably being more comfortable with such things as a result.

The inversion is Tomboyness Upgrade. Overlaps with Used to Be a Tomboy, which is where a Girly Girl character is revealed to have undergone this prior to the events of the story, with her previous tomboy-self being alluded to in dialogue and flashback. Related to She Cleans Up Nicely, if the "unclean" state is also concurrent with "non-feminine". Also not uncommon for One of the Boys. Tends to go hand in hand with Gratuitous Princess, when a non-princess character is adapted into being one.

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But it does not overlap with Chickification, which is when a once-capable female character becomes useless. Here the character takes on more traditionally feminine traits, but still keeps most of her core personality. As an extension of that, please refrain from using this trope to accuse a female character of becoming inherently worse for merely starting to prefer girlier things. This assumption ties into the equally misogynistic notion that femininity is innately bad, and that women must look and act stereotypically masculine to be seen as strong and worthy of respect.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Sanae Nakazawa of Captain Tsubasa is introduced as a rather Hot-Blooded tomboy, to the point of wearing male clothes as the leader of the Nankatsu cheerleading team, and she was often referred to as "anego" due to her bossy nature. Come the middle school arc, she's grown more mature and lady-like in her behavior, although her former tomboy traits occasionally betray her when she gets mad.
  • Male examples occur in Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!. While the Battle Lovers' costumes already edged on the feminine side with how they resemble traditional Magical Girl uniforms, they became even more girly in the beginning of season 2 with the addition of even more frills and angel wings sprouting from the mid-backs.
  • Digimon Adventure: Sora was introduced as a soccer-playing tomboy who had trouble getting along with her more traditional, flower-arranging mother. By Digimon Adventure 02, she has changed her wardrobe, switched to the traditionally "feminine" sport of tennis, and start picking up some of her mother's hobbies. Afterwards, the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue shows that she grew up to be a fashion designer.
  • Ice Revolution: An interesting variation occurs in the manga when karate champion Masaki arranges her own Girliness Upgrade by switching to figure skating, which she views as a prettier, more feminine form of athleticism. She manages to secure her macho father's support only by proving that a "girly" activity like figure skating is a physical sport every bit as demanding as karate (as it is.) Ironically, she scores poorly every time she tries to skate a program that emphasizes femininity instead of athleticism.
  • Heartcatch Pretty Cure: Happens to Itsuki in as part of her Character Development. She starts out hiding her love of stuffed animals and desire to doll up in cute clothing behind a masculine exterior, out of a desire to be a respected martial artist like her Ill Boy twin brother Satsuki. After joining the Fashion Club (and later, becoming a Cure herself), she learns that it's alright for her to enjoy both martial arts and cute things (helped by Satsuki beginning to get better). Eventually she grows her hair out a bit and starts wearing the female uniform during the finale.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: When she was younger, Hungary was a Cute Bruiser Bokukko who thought she was a boy. As she grew up, she graduated to a Team Mom who wears frilly dresses and flower hair decorations. Notably, she actually Took a Level in Badass while becoming more feminine and maternal: as a Team Mom Meido Hungary is physically stronger than she used to be as a Cute Bruiser Bokukko... only that she looks girlier when she does so.
  • Fairy Tail: Mirajane underwent this process before the story begins; Lucy is shocked to learn that Fairy Tail's resident Silk Hiding Steel Team Mom used to be bitter rivals with Action Girl Erza. It's explained that this happened due to the disappearance of Mirajane and Elfman's younger sister, Lisanna.
  • Ranma ½: Ukyou Kuonji decides to try wearing the girls' uniform and acting girlier after she becomes concerned that Ranma considers her just One of the Boys. While she does manage to attract a lot of "who's the new girl" attention from the other Furinkan students (at least until they realize it's just Ukyo) Ranma only wants to know why she's acting so weird. Once Ukyo realizes that Ranma likes her fine just the way she is she decides to just be herself. She does wear the girl's uniform at least once afterwards (and lampshades it in the original, though not in the English dub) but she doesn't act any girlier wearing it.
  • Wandering Son: Takatsuki was treated as a transgender boy for most of the run and showed general dysphoria and a disdain for feminine things. Partway during high school Takatsuki became a model but started androgynous. Eventually Takatsuki grows her hair out, begins wearing girl's clothes, decides not to transition and leans more toward Girly Girl than Bifauxnen tomboy. It's been speculated that Takatsuki's specific case was more about disliking being a girl than actually being transsexual or gender dysphoric.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula: Asuka Sugo and Kyouko Aoi. Asuka starts off as a Tsundere, while Kyouko starts off as a Rich Bitch manager. Both become more girly and more like full-grown women as the series goes on.
  • Averted with Pao-Lin/Dragon Kid in Tiger & Bunny. The ending of the show seems to imply that she's starting to become more feminine, but by the time of the second movie, she's even more tomboyish, complete with a much shorter haircut.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Touka initially starts as a rough Jerk with a Heart of Gold tomboy who fought as "Rabbit". While she was always pretty she gets even prettier in the sequel manga, with less of a temper. In the series finale she is shown as a doting housewife to Kaneki as well as being completely feminine.
  • Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z: While Blossom was never a tomboy, she is much girlier in this series than she was in The Powerpuff Girls. To make her similar to the typical Stock Shoujo Heroine, she went from a strong-willed Go-Getter Girl to a bubbly, ditzy Love Freak who often has romantic fantasies about boys.
  • Videl from Dragon Ball Z, as a teenager she was a feisty tomboy who loved to fight crime, going against gun-toting criminals and beating the crap out of them, by the time of Dragonball Super and GT, she acts and dresses much more feminine and has a sweet and affectionate personality, on a few occasions she does stand up for herself and others like when her husband Gohan is accused of cheating on her with an actress and in GT she shows a willingness to fight enemies and dons her Great Saiyagirl outfit but she doesn't get to fight.

    Comic Books 
  • In the seventies, there was a Wonder Woman action figure, that due to Executive Meddling, became a Wonder Woman doll, with a sparkly pink costume, brushable hair, and a pony. In those days, her comic book wasn't doing well; the author even regretted it.
  • Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark started out as an androgynous geeky tomboy who wore oversized baggy shirts, had jeans or work out shorts as part of all her hero costumes and had her hair cropped short. Over time she became more traditionally feminine and as of Young Justice (2019) her costume includes a skirt and tights, with her shoulder-length hair held back by a hairband and makeup on her face.

    Fanfiction 
  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf's version of Sassette goes from her original tomboy appearance to a girl in a T-shirt, pink pants, and a pink ribbon bow on her head instead of a Smurf hat. Compare this to this.
  • Life with Fumi: A Yo-kai Watch AU: Sailornyan tries to invoke this by making the Tomboy with a Girly Streak Fumi into a hyper-feminine Girly Girl, much to Fumi's annoyance. She does things like redecorating Fumi's room and forcing her to wear a pink Sailor Fuku to school.
  • Shigeko Kageyama AKA Mob: Rei who, in cannon, is only seen wearing leggings and a sweatshirt is adapted into pretty much a stereotypical girly-girl. She's into fashion, makeup, and crafting as well as obsessed with her relationship with Ritsu.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Kick-Ass 2, Hit Girl abandons her Action Girl vigilante ways for a trip down girly-girl lane with the resident vicious Girl Posse, in order to please her guardian Marcus. However, by the end of the movie she reverts to her Little Miss Badass self.
  • In the book of Bridge to Terabithia, Leslie is a boyish-looking girl with short-cropped hair who wears plain, androgynous clothes. In the 2007 adaptation she has medium-length blonde hair (instead of brown) and dresses in more feminine looking, brightly toned clothes. Word of God is that the change in design was due to the Setting Update. What was unusual for a girl in the 1970s was different from what's unusual in the 2000s.

    Literature 
  • The Ultra Violets : Scarlet gets a very minor one in book 2, Power to the Purple! She begins wearing a tutu with her rocker shirt, wears ballet shoes with pride, and auditions as Little Orphan Annie in the school play. She's also much more comfortable with her dancing superpowers. She can still and does beat the crap out of bullies.
  • Mistborn: The Original Trilogy: Vin undergoes a couple of these over the course of the story. She starts out as a street thief who habitually dresses as much like a boy as possible to keep the men from getting interested in her, gets recruited by the heroes and given dresses and courtliness training as part of a plot to infiltrate the nobility, then still later becomes a master of them in her own right. Since her badass level is also going through the roof during this transition, this is definitely not Chickification.
  • Journey to Chaos: Tiza begins the story as a rough, crass, and prickly tomboy. By the second story, she's grown her hair out to her shoulders and wears earrings (she insists both are practical to her mercenary job). In the third story, Kallen suggests that she has become a Proper Lady due to spending a couple weeks with the Noble Heleti Family. Eric thinks that's impossible. Thus, she wagers ten Ataidar gold coins that Tiza will wear a dress to second Mana Mutation Summit. She arrives in Skirt over Slacks. Kallen's response? "A small dress is still a dress; five gold".
  • The Winnie Years: At the beginning of the series, Winnie isn't interested in fashion and doesn't care what she looks like, but as the series progresses, she starts caring more about her appearance and wearing makeup sometimes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Arya only has a mild one and not one of her own volition but during Season 5, she's given a bath and a new set of clothes, which is perhaps the first time we've seen Arya in a dress since Season 1.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: This is reversed with Counselor Troi in the sixth season when hardass substitute captain Jellico orders her out of her informal and rather revealing jumpsuits and into a standard Starfleet uniform.
  • iCarly: The show devoted an episode to this, with Carly trying to help Sam become more girly. She was back to normal by the end of the episode because Status Quo Is God.
  • Hannah Montana generally did this to Lily as the show wore on. When she first showed up, she was a skateboard riding tomboy and by the end she's as girly as Hannah.
  • Primeval:
    • Claudia Brown was mostly dressed in business suits in Season 1. She's replaced by Jenny Lewis in Season 2 - a journalist who is always shown dolled up and wearing the latest fashions. By Season 3 she's wearing a few outfits more sensible for hunting dinosaurs.
    • Abby Maitland was a bit of a punk-rock Tomboy for the first three seasons - with Boyish Short Hair. After being trapped in the Cretaceous Period for a year, her hair grew out long and she kept it after she returned. She also got a few more feminine outfits, though this was downplayed overall.
  • Laverne & Shirley: Played with in an episode where Laverne tries to attract a guy by dressing and behaving in a more feminine manner. It doesn't change who she is inside, and she ultimately decides she would rather be herself.
  • House of Anubis: Patricia is the cool goth who says what she thinks, does what she wants, and scares the rest of the students in all three seasons, but come season 2 her personality started to soften up overall. What happened? She met Eddie and started to turn a bit nicer. Not to mention the whole near-death mystery stuff and the power of friendship. If those things can't begin to chip away at someone's icy shell, nothing can.
  • A rare Super Sentai example: Mako Shiraishi from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger starts off as a Lethal Chef. By the time her cooking skills come out better as the series progresses, she might fit in this trope.
  • One Tree Hill: Peyton in Seasons 1 to 4 - usually wearing jeans, band t-shirts, and a leather jacket. Peyton in Seasons 5 and 6 - frequently wearing dresses and just dressing in a more feminine manner
  • Step by Step: Al starts off as a tough tomboyish girl who is into sports like her brothers and has a Tomboy and Girly Girl dynamic with her stepsister Karen (an aspiring model Brainless Beauty). However she becomes more feminine as time goes by, and by the end she's every bit as girly, fashionable, and boy crazy as Karen. This is mostly because actress Christine Lakin grew up into a beautiful young woman during puberty and the producers wanted to take advantage of her physical attractiveness.
  • Roseanne: In the first seasons, Darlene was a sports-obsessed tomboy who always had her hair tied back into a tight braid to give a boyish appearance. Then she becomes a depressed gothic chick, wearing black all the time. After falling in love with David, she becomes more girly and starts wearing dresses more often.
  • Sailor Moon:
  • Punky Brewster was a tomboy up until midway through the third season (first syndicated season—the first two aired on NBC) when she falls for a boy some six years older than she is. From that point, Punky's tomboy days had become history. This was most likely manifested in an early season three episode when Allen leaves, which makes Punky cry.
  • Hollyoaks: Grace Black started out as a businesslike, ruthless crook determined to make her mark in the male-dominated world of organised crime (while her sister Clare had been known as a Femme Fatale.) When it turned out that viewers preferred the actress's natural warmth over the character that had been written for her, Grace got a new, more "feminine" look and became softer; with her storylines shifting focus to her home life with boyfriend Trevor and desire to have a baby. Even her shot in the opening credits changed to a pink background instead of black.
  • In RoboCop: The Series, having her brain transplanted into a computer seems to have agreed with Diana Powers, as she went from a frumpy, bespectacled, ponytailed secretary to a loose-haired cybernetic siren in a lamé dress after losing her body.
  • Rosie Webster of Coronation Street was introduced as a brainiac child who wasn't particularly girly, and instead opted for a Goth phase as she hit her teens. This part was phased out and Rosie became more of a Fille Fatale once she started working in Underworld. As her actress Helen Flanagan became a model, Rosie quickly became The Fashionista and Ms. Fanservice.

    Music 
  • Rachel Stevens commented on this after she began her solo career. She remarked that in S Club 7 she had mostly worn jeans and t-shirts in her videos but wore more make-up and feminine outfits in her solo videos (not to mention getting a lot more provocative).
  • In the beginnings of Girls Aloud's musical career, they were dressed in fatigues and tomboyish clothing. As their singles progressed, they began to wear more make-up and feminine outfits. Compare their images in "The Promise" to "Sound of the Underground" and the difference is astounding.
  • Atomic Kitten wore casual clothes in their first few music videos. After Jenny Frost joined the band, they received this along with a Fanservice Pack. In all their videos they would be shown with styled hair, more make-up, and more fashionable clothes.
  • Avril Lavigne started out with a very tomboyish image and was always seen in jeans and t-shirts. As she grew older, she occasionally started wearing skirts and dresses. But by 2007 she'd gone blonde and adopted a much more feminine public image. Her music went from Pop Punk to Lighter and Softer overall.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • There was a time when Gorgeous George did not wear gaudy bathrobes, dresses, or blouses. A time when Gorgeous George did not have a male valet and did not do his hair like his wife's. There was a time when Gorgeous George didn't spend his time before and after matches checking himself in a mirror or grooming himself in public. There was a time when Gorgeous George wasn't gorgeous!
  • As her career went on, Aja Kong got progressively more monstrous up until her appearance at Future Of Wrestling as "Erica". While she otherwise went back to being a monster, "Erica" would later be taken Up to Eleven at Fighting Opera Hustle, wear she got valentine shaped blush stickers painted on her face and started handing out flowers to audience members.
  • Chyna already had gone through plenty of Fail Polish by the end of the year 2000. Then all of a sudden when she entered the women's division her ring gear became more feminine and she lost weight as well as wearing dresses and high heels backstage.
  • Jimmy Jacobs initially wore fuzzy boots, Viking horns, jumped around on a pogo stick, made Funny Bruce Lee Noises, and carried a railroad spike. He's since lost the fur boots, picked up pink boots, pink shirts, pink tights, feather boas, crowns, jewelry, eye shadow, nail polish, and tutus. He's openly pursued relationships with both The Lovely Lacey and Adam Cole. He still carries a railroad spike, and still has no problems using it.
  • Gail Kim went from cackling masked villain to antisocial rogue to a vague The Matrix type gimmick to...posing nude for a Korean cellphone company and proclaiming herself the most beautiful woman in pro wrestling.
  • Jillian Hall alternated between a high flying Spirited Competitor with a love of cars and a clubbing brute with a love of cars who hung out with the ambitious Bomb Squad Power Stable. Then she got a boob job, bleached her already blondish hair, and became obsessed with her status and beauty. Then she became a sexy "manager". Then she became a PR agent "fixer". Then she became a Designated Girl Fight valet. Then she became a delusional singer. Through it all still willing to fly/club, but that became a means to an end rather than her primary purpose to which all else was window decoration.
  • Kyra was a rough and tumble undercover agent turned underground fighter turned "legit" pro wrestler, while Melanie Little deer was an affectionate Spirited Competitor and Melina Perez was a high maintenance, celebrity hanger-on fashionista dedicated to the success of her boyfriend. Melanie and Melina were no less tough and no less violent than Kyra, though Melanie was less confrontational and Melina more melodramatic.
  • Josie started off as a defiant, loudmouthed, thick, tattooed party girl. As her career went on Josie became more muscular, less fat, more makeup, started wearing a weave, dressed in more feminine attire like skirts, and got a boob job. Her way of speaking became more formal and her attitude more or less stayed the same.
  • With Angel Williams the shift from "hard-bodied" fitness junkie to big-boobed, fashion-conscious porn star "sorority" sister Angelina Love was gradual. A photoshoot here, a couple stints in developmental there, a new gimmick for a new promotion, etc. With Lexi/Ashley Lane, the shift from humorous, high energy gym junkie to moody, screeching beauty pageant queen call girl Madison Rayne was abrupt, to say the least. That said, Love's core wrestling style and demeanor were somewhat consistent, simply getting more humorous(she did have a couple bouts of chickification but regained her reputation and credibility while remaining girly). Rayne's punch heavy in-ring approach, while less exciting and technical than Lane's, was in some ways less girly, in contrast to everything else that came with joining The Beautiful People.
  • Katarina Waters started out as a vindictive sadist out to prove she was the best when she wasn't an inquisitive traveler trying to learn how to become the best. Then she got boyfriends and dedicated much of her time to helping them achieve their goals. Then she fell in love with her brother. Then she became an Upper-Class Twit, Proper Lady who enjoyed sleeping around. Then she became a lesbian sexual predator who had a kink for making people bleed and employed lots of tricks like Voice of the Legion, Blood Magic, and hypnosis.
  • Natalya Neidhart suddenly got very pretty at the end of 2010 where she was seen dolled up to the nines any time she wasn't wrestling. Her partner Beth Phoenix got in on this around mid-2011. The Bella Twins actually commented on this in their shoot interview, stating that they taught Nattie how to do the "Diva thing" while they were training - as she was not used to making public appearances.
  • Christina Von Eerie gradually became more muscular, less whiny and more of a garbage wrestler over time. During this same time period her makeup became less obscuring and more complimentary of her facial features, her piercings became less overt, her hairstyles became more elaborate, her ring gear more varied and she took to showing off more of her chest. It's as if she had to look more feminine the more violent and abrasive she became.
  • "Sexy" Juliette The Huntress was a Blood Knight tomboy pretty much always dressed in athletic gear or baggy warmups, was very rarely made up, did little with her hair, and did not accessorize beyond color contact experiments and her trademark oversized headbands. As part of her repackaging as in the revived FCW, Sofia Cortez was instructed to take better care of her hair while wearing more traditionally feminine lounge clothing, jewelry, face makeup and nail paint despite her "anti diva" gimmick suggesting she would be even less girly than Juliette. Ivelisse Vélez dropped the lounge clothes and jewelry, considering them an Old Shame, but wore fewer headbands, kept painting her nails, kept using eye shadow, obtained a much larger variety of ring gear, warmups, of casual wear and did even more with her hair, albeit in a different way.
  • In 2011, El Brazo, a relatively short but burly man known for twisting arms, joined the ranks of AAA's exoticos as "La Braza". Exoticos of course cause submission less through pain than through emasculating their opponents until they are too embarrassed to continue.
  • Jennifer Thomas, who was known as a fitness fanatic and "wrestling machine", returned to pro wrestling as a lawyer friendly wrestling Play Boy Bunny, although technically she's always been a snow bunny.

    Toys 
  • American Girl: Kit of the doll line is mentioned to despise pink and, in the books is the Tomboy to her best friend Ruthie's Girly Girl. For the most part, her line has kept this, but when The Film of the Book came out, her blue school outfit and pajamas were both slowly phased out for girlier, pinker outfits that would be much more in-character for Ruthie to own... despite Ruthie herself getting her own doll and line of clothes.
  • Troll Dolls- cute gender-neutral toys have now become fashion-loving tweens called Trollz.
  • My Little Pony was meant to be gender-neutral according to Zachelere. Hasbro disagreed but early media was still roughly unisex. G1 were stated female on their cards, except for the Big Brother and Mountain Boy ponies. Slightly larger and with the foot feathering of Clydesdales, they came in pastel shades like their sisters but had names like Salty, Slugger, Chief, and Fireball. As you get deeper and deeper into The '80s the characters and media became more feminine and girl geared. By G3, which is from The Noughties, it didn't even have male ponies.

    Video Games 
  • Princess Daisy from Super Mario Bros. was re-designed in the Gamecube Era to be an energetic Tomboy Princess in order to differentiate herself from Princess Peach, whom she was conceived as an Expy of in Super Mario Land. However, sometime around the Wii U era, Daisy started to develop more and more feminine mannerisms almost to the point where viewers wouldn't know she was a tomboy unless they were told she was.
  • Tiny Kong from Donkey Kong Country had already got this. She grew up from a Tomboy toddler to a Girly Girl teenager.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Kairi is rather tomboyish in the original game, but becomes more feminine (with longer hair, a pink outfit, and whatnot) when a year passes in Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire: Brigette, the young host, used to look a lot more like a tomboyish teenage girl in her first appearance, as she had short hair, a Dangerously Short Skirt, and brown sandals. When she reappeared as the host for Pokémon Bank, she was given a more feminine redesign, with a dress, longer hair, and girlier green sandals; she still looks a bit like a tomboy, but far less so.
    • In the same vein, in Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, the female Player Character (May/Haruka) wore a red and black collared shirt with a longer white shirt underneath, black bicycle shorts, black and white gloves, shoes with black socks and a bandanna. As well, her bangs were quite angular to complete her tomboyish look. Her Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire redesign gives her a red and black tank top, white shorts over black bicycle shorts, dumps the socks and the gloves, and replaces the full head bandanna for something more akin to a bow with her bangs gaining more curves to it.
  • In Robopon, several Robopon became more feminine and cute in Moon, and in 2.
  • Kazooie from Banjo-Kazooie originally looked much more tomboyish which was guilty of many players' Viewer Gender Confusion. In the later installment, Nuts And Bolts, she appears a lot more feminine and curvy. Downplayed in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where she has a somewhat more feminine, long eyelashed reinterpretation of her Nintendo 64 design but doesn't look nearly as girly as she did in Nuts And Bolts.
  • In Five Nights at Freddy's 2, Toy Chica is much more feminine than the original Chica from Five Nights at Freddy's, with a slimmer, curvier figure, long eyelashes, and even a pair of pink short shorts. The original Chica also appears in 2 and actually looks less feminine than before, but since it's either a possible prequel or one of the Bite of '87 victim's many nightmares, this is another straight example.
  • Coco from Crash Bandicoot started out as a Tomboy with a Girly Streak until her redesign in Crash of the Titans. She was aged into a teenager, given more feminine clothes, and her Tomboyish Ponytail was let loose. This was inverted in Crash: Mind Over Mutant where the even older Coco looks much more tomboyish than she did even in the classic trilogy.
  • The remake of Radiant Historia replaced Eruca's Boyish Short Hair to a hairstyle that more evokes a Princess Classic image, although this is purely aesthetic, as her personality and story are exactly the same.
  • In Super Smash Bros. Sheik received one Super Smash Bros. Brawl. While she still looks androgynous to the point where she is often mistaken for male, they made her more "obviously" female and gave her a braid. Sheik also isn't referred to neutrally or as male like in most official The Legend of Zelda sources, instead being explicitly referred to as female.
  • Sheik in Hyrule Warriors is the most feminine looking incarnation of Sheik yet. She still looks androgynous enough so that she can pass as either a bishonen or a bifauxnen, however it's more obvious that she's a Sweet Polly Oliver. The game makes it ambiguous if it's supposed to be obvious who she is or not. While she physically looks a lot like Zelda, she isn't gendered in the English version but is referred to as male in the Japanese version (so at least in-series people think she's male).
  • Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town features some of this compared to Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town. The redesigns were due to Divergent Character Evolution with the original Harvest Moon 64 characterizations:
    • Karen's hard-edged, punk aesthetic is missing and has been replaced with a more feminine one. She traded in her jacket and white shirt for a simple sweater, plus she now wears make-up. Karen's expressions are also more delicate. The change is because Karen is a much softer Cool Big Sis in the Mineral Town games.
    • Ann used to wear overalls and keep her hair braided, which was an artefact carried over from her having originally been a farm girl herself. The new design has her don a tunic with a bit of lace and capri pants, with her hair now just being in a ponytail. It still retains a tomboyish look, but her tomboyish personality has been downplayed somewhat.
  • Street Fighter has Ibuki. Initially while she was intended to be the Girly Girl to Elena's tomboy, Elena was more of a Tomboy With A Girly Streak and when Makoto came out (who is Street Fighter's most Tomboy character) Ibuki was more of a normal girl who knew how to be a ninja. When Street Fighter IV came around the developers admitted to putting a lot of time to Ibuki's Femininity and made sure her girly facial features can be seen behind the mask. Furthermore her alternates are far more girlier than both of her fellow SF 3 females and her outfits got even girlier in V.
  • Mortal Kombat: Cassie Cage is introduced in Mortal Kombat X with Boyish Short Hair and a low-sounding voice. In Mortal Kombat 11, her hair is long and worn in a ponytail, her voice is higher and she wears pink nail polish.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has this In-Universe with The Ember Island Players. For example, Princess Azula is usually a rather unfeminine warrior, but her Ember Island Players counterpart wears pink, has makeup and nail polish, and wears Combat Stilettos.
  • Dora the Explorer:
    • Over the years the series has been gearing itself more at girls, what with Princess Dora being a thing and Dora appearing more often in dresses.
    • The Dora and Friends: Into the City! series features an older Dora with longer hair, a headband, a dress, and tights. Although it's not unreasonable, given that she's now "Tween Dora" and has aged a few years.
    • Backpack has even gotten this treatment in the series after conveniently being destroyed she was rebuilt as a girly pink backpack with eyelashes. No more Viewer Gender Confusion at least.
  • Strawberry Shortcake:
    • Zig-zagged. Her first design had a round cupcake country-cottage look, then she became a cute tomboy then became slightly more feminine looking in a timeskip, and the third reboot has her as a long-haired strawberry blond girly tween.
    • Raspberry Torte (originally "Raspberry Tart") inverts and then plays it straight. She was originally just as feminine as the other girls but was made into a sporty tomboy for the 2003 reboot. The 2009 reboot made her even more feminine than originally, being a big Girly Girl.
  • In the first of the My Little Pony TV Specials, Megan looked like someone who could reasonably work on a ranch, with jeans, boots, a gingham shirt, vest, and a Tomboyish Ponytail. In later G1 My Little Pony works, she has frilly blue overalls, a slightly puffy, white shirt, and her ponytail is longer and wavier and tied with a pink ribbon. The original Megan was a case of Adaptational Badass while the latter portrayal is closer to the toys, though still more of an Action Girl.
  • Looney Tunes: Lola Bunny is an interesting variation. She went from being a no-nonsense Passionate Sports Girl in Space Jam to a bubbly, airheaded Valley Girl in The Looney Tunes Show. However, this is a case where Girliness Upgrade doesn't overlap with Hotter and Sexier, as her original Space Jam character was nothing more than a tomboyishly beautiful sex symbol with few defining traits other than "sexy" and "athletic", while her Looney Tunes Show counterpart is cute and girly but not overtly sexual or seductive, and has a real funny personality, without being just a Ms. Fanservice.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • This happens a lot with the toys. Rainbow Dash, being the tomboy she is, sports Tareme Eyes and comes with pink frilly hair accessories. Pinkie Pie's tangled mess of a mane is perfectly groomed, and several Princess Celestia toys are pink even though the box art depicts her as white.
    • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls went this route, with the most infamous of them all is Rainbow Dash. Her personality and role remained the same as her pony counterpart. Her default outfit had a skirt on it (though it should also be said that her pony counterpart didn't mind wearing dresses every now and then). As more installments in the series followed, Rainbow Dash did get several outfits without skirts however.
  • Ben 10 :
    • Gwen was this after the time skip. Her original series incarnation was a sharp-tongued 10-year-old smart girl with slightly tomboyish characteristics (mainly martial art skills, short hair, and temper). Her Alien Force incarnation trades in the capri pants for a skirt, is less of a Deadpan Snarker, takes the role as the calm and responsible Team Mom, and has an All Girls Want Bad Boys relationship with Kevin.
    • This also happened to Gwen's Evil Counterpart, Charmcaster. In the original series, Charmcaster wore a trenchcoat that covered most of her body, had her hair in a Tomboyish Ponytail, and had a rough personality like Gwen. In the new series, she wears a sleeveless top and a miniskirt, wears her long hair straight, and has a more coy, seductive personality.
  • Mike, Lu & Og: Invoked in the episode "For the Love of Mike". When tomboy Mike's increasingly dirty methods of trying to keep Haggis and Baggis Cuzzlewit away only make them more attracted to her, Mike decides to do the opposite and girls herself up with a pretty dress, lipstick, and perfume. It works.
  • Recess:
    • In the mid-2000s, Disney Channel gave Spinelli, the tomboyish female, a bit of one when she appeared in promos for the show. The advertisements only featured her, and she spoke like a borderline Valley Girl. This also happened when Disney Channel was going through their own girliness upgrade. This version of Spinelli went as quick as she came in.
    • Gretchen gets one in an episode where she hangs around with Ashley A. She's shown getting her hair styled and wearing more colourful outfits.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Blossom and Bubbles are both Girly Girls but the tomboyish Buttercup received a huge one of these in merchandising. All the girls were made taller and skinner, were given makeup, and have "girlier" hair. These versions were placed on things like makeup bags, and they had more emphasis on "girly" activities like shopping and makeup. It didn't seem stick around for long, so it's hard to find anything on the internet regarding this phase, though the brand being attached to fashion and makeup would happen again in the 2010s. Reportedly, Craig McCracken was not pleased with this at all.
    • This was parodied in a timeskip episode where Buttercup grows up to be a shopping-obsessed Valley Girl. She and her sisters end up trying to hit on the Rowdyruff Boys while Townsville is under attack.
  • Played for Laughs in the Phineas and Ferb episode "That Sinking Feeling" where a friend of Baljeet comes to visit him for the first time in years, having gone through this in-between events. Baljeet actually thought she was a boy the whole time and that "he" suddenly became a girl.
  • Pearl's original design in the Steven Universe pilot is rather androgynous-looking. Her finalized design is more feminine and has a ballerina-inspired design.
  • In The Real Ghostbusters, Janine Melnitz underwent a Girliness Upgrade in the third season and onward to appease the Moral Guardians: a new voice actress who toned down her old Bronx accent, a softer appearance, and a less harsh personality. This was actually justified in the 5th season episode "Janine, You've Changed"; she had made a deal with a ghost to be made over to win Egon's affections, and the ghost had hidden the changes from the cast. Ironically, the series had also found excuses to send her into the field more and more often, even as this was going on.
  • The Magic School Bus:
    • In the original series, Arnold's cousin Janet was a Distaff Counterpart to him with similar clothes and the same hairstyle. In The Magic School Bus Rides Again she's grown out her hair and changed her shirt to something more distinctly feminine, and she's also revealed to be just as nervous as her cousin.
    • To a lesser degree, Wanda. In the original series, she was quite clearly the class tomboy. In Rides Again, while her fashion sense hasn't really changed apart from her new theme color, not only has she hopped on the hair decs bandwagon, same as the other Friz girls, she Took a Level in Kindness and acquired her friend Phoebe's taste in animals.

    Real Life 
  • Joan of Arc's image in media is often given this treatment, portraying her as a Lady of War. In real life, Joan wore men's clothes in order to be seen as equal to the troops and to avoid possible rape attempts. Although it should be noted, the haircut she gave herself was a pageboy - which is seen as feminine these days but was masculine back then. Some adaptations (The Passion of Joan of Arc and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc for example) give her Boyish Short Hair to translate this.
  • While Gwen Stefani had always been known for having a unique and eclectic sense of style, many noted that around the time No Doubt went on hiatus (which was also the time she started her solo career and began developing her fashion line,) there seemed to be a sharp swerve from tomboyish to more glamorous and feminine.
  • Aaliyah was known for her casual tomboyish style - though Missy Elliot described her as someone always had perfect make-up - so it was a shock to see her wearing a dress for the 1997 Oscar ceremony (though she insisted she bought it off the rack). As she grew older, she would occasionally be seen in feminine clothing more often.
  • This was enforced on Mara Wilson around the time she starred in the remake of Miracle on 34th Street. The studio wanted her to be more like Shirley Temple, wearing more pink and having curled hair. One of the reasons she loved her more famous role in Matilda was that she could essentially be herself on film. One of the reasons she stopped acting professionally was because she kept being brought in for the girlier parts that weren't her personality.
  • Defied by Thora Birch, who affirms that her fall from the Hollywood limelight after American Beauty and Ghost World was because she "wouldn't wear the frilly bows" - the 2000s favoring Girly Girl blonde starlets.
  • Keira Knightley's early roles were the likes of Bend It Like Beckham, The Hole, King Arthur, The Jacket and Pirates of the Caribbean - where she had a slightly tomboyish image (she described herself as "a real scruff"). But she soon got typecast as the Spirited Young Lady in period pieces and became a Fashion Model as well. Pride & Prejudice (2005)'s director in fact nearly didn't cast her because he thought she'd be too glamorous to play a Tomboy like Lizzy Bennet.


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