We all have heard of someone who went through a rough breakup that resulted in a makeover—or even a straight-up glow up. It’s a legit phenomenon that is a mainstay in pop culture for a reason. It’s not uncommon for magazines and influencers to talk about its benefits of it, but is it actually a worthwhile endeavor? It all depends on who you ask…

Let’s start with the basics…What’s a post-breakup glow up?

A post-breakup glow up goes by many names. In the 90s, this was known as the “Breakup Haircut,” and it usually involved women getting a new hairstyle after a breakup. Then, Khloe Kardashian turned the concept into a “Revenge Body,” where you lose weight after a bad relationship. 

It quickly evolved into a bunch of other steps—dieting, getting a new fitness routine, adding new clothes to the wardrobe, and in extreme cases, even getting plastic surgery. Basically, the concept is to physically shape up the best you can after a breakup. How far you take that is up to you.

Why do people do a post-breakup glow up?

Honestly, it depends from person to person. Here’s what I’ve personally heard of as a reason to get a post-breakup glow up going:

  • Sometimes, it’s just a part of healing. Have you ever had a breakup that totally wrecked your self-esteem? The kind of breakup that has you questioning whether you are even worth loving? A lot of us have, and that’s usually what the post-breakup glow up is about. It’s often about helping you regain your confidence. 
  • Other times it’s to get the guy jealous or get him back. This can also be sparked by infidelity—in a “look at what you lost” type of way. 
  • Even more times, it’s because you want to reinvent yourself. Sometimes, a makeover can signal the end of an era. This can be a good way to “close that chapter” in your life. 

  • Let’s get to the nitty-gritty. Does the post-breakup glowup work?

    That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Whether or not it works depends on your situation as well as the reason why you’re glowing up…

    If you are looking for a reset or healing, it can definitely help.

    No one who’s ever felt the magic a self-care moment can offer will deny it feels good. Self-care can be anything from a yoga retreat to trying to diet down to a smaller waistline. When you indulge in self-care, it’s up to you to decide what you need. 

    Everyone can benefit from prioritizing themselves and offering themselves some self-love. Even if it’s something as simple as getting a haircut, it can make a huge difference in how you feel. It’s a low-key (or maybe even high-key) way of saying “I love you” to yourself. 

    If it’s more about bouncing back on the dating market, it can help. 

    Terrible as it sounds, our society is a very looks-based one. This is even more true when you’re talking about the dating scene. If you don’t look good, people aren’t even going to consider giving you a chance. 

    A glow up can help increase your likeliness of scoring a date, especially if you’re new in town. It’ll also help you put together a better Tinder profile. 

    If you want to get your ex back, this is highly unlikely to work and may not even be a good idea.

    Here’s the rub that most people don’t want to hear: a makeover probably isn’t going to make your ex come back to you. This is especially true if they broke up with you for something that you did. Sometimes, a relationship ends because it is over—there’s no more reason to stay with the person because it’s just so toxic.

    Moreover, if you get your ex back through a makeover, you’re going to have to ask yourself a bunch of questions. Does getting back with your ex actually make sense for you? Is there a risk of a breakup happening again? Why is it a good idea to get back with someone who could dump you and then go back to you over looks?

    In the vast majority of cases, a relationship that has ended generally shouldn’t be resuscitated. It brings bad blood and you’ve already given it one shot. A second attempt is generally a waste of time. He’s made his decision, so let him learn the hard way. 

    Should you do a post-breakup glowup?

    Honestly, in most cases, it doesn’t hurt to give this classic breakup healing technique a try. After all, breakups are pretty terrible and are often the final step of a long series of moments where you’re left feeling low on yourself. 

    The post-breakup makeover concept is often taken out of context. It’s not about showing what your ex is missing out on—or at least, it’s not meant to be that way. It’s more about learning to embrace the new you and turning a chapter in your life. 

    If your number one goal is to get your ex back, make them jealous, or do something similar, a glowup might not work. In fact, it might not even be the best use of your time. In reality, this is always something you should do for you. Focusing on your ex only makes the breakup worse, so for once, prioritize yourself.


    Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer, model, and sex rights activist. You can see their photos on @ossiana.makes.content on Instagram or check out more writing on Ossiana Tepfenhart's Medium account