by Unknown on Thursday, July 29, 2010

#60: Mary Anne's Makeover
I was so close to drawing little horns on the three sulking babysitters. At the very least, they could use a timeout, because they are acting like toddlers. It made this book a really annoying read. Also, Claudia is wearing a horrible outfit. I used to have to wear black skirts and loafers like that to chorus recitals. Where are the harem pants, the acid-washed jeans, the cowboy boots?

Pre-makeover Mary Anne wears "teal-colored stirrup pants and a bulky ski sweater with a colorful snowflake print, over a pink turtleneck."

Claudia "can put together the oddest collection of clothes - a slouch hat, a sequined vest, an oversized button-down shirt, stirrup pants, and lace-ip boots - and she looks stunning." And gets super hyped on lookbook!

Mary Anne wonders "how Claudia does it. Is she just beautiful, or can a person learn to look sensational?"

Post-haircut Mary Anne shops at Steven E, which is "one of the mall's fanciest clothing boutiques." And she "couldn't take [her] eyes off this outfit. It was a fiery red, off-the-shoulder crepe dress, with shirred sleeves, a fitted bodice, and skirt that flared to mid-calf. It was the kind of dress the old [Mary Anne] would never have dreamed of wearing." That's probably a good thing. I have to remind myself that this is the 90s, 'cause that dress sounds hideous.

New Mary Anne's Steven E haul: "the dress; some stockings and a pair of shoes to go with it; an oversized, indigo cable-knit sweater; and a pair of floral paisley print Lycra leggings with a French terry top."

The rest of the book is about the BSC throwing snitfits about Mary Anne deciding to cut her hair and wear makeup. In the end, it turns out they were mostly just mad she kept it a secret. Because god forbid anyone make a decision on their own. What a scary little hivemind they've developed in a single (constantly repeating) school year*!

And then they all go to the dance together.

Dawn wears a dress "made of black velvet, with a sheer bodice trimmed with beading and lace, and a flared, above-knee skirt. With black stockings and shoes, and her hair pulled up in a French braid, Dawn looked absolutely breathtaking."

A sheer bodice? That's some permissive California parenting right there. Or Sharon was too stoned to notice.

"There were other spectacular sights, too. Like Kristy Thomas trying to walk with heels in a long dress (she kicked them off about two minutes after she got to the gym). And Claudia Kishi, wearing a lamé outfit that was all sharp angles and flashy colors. [So Gaga!] And Stacey McGill, looking as if she had stepped out of a Hollywood movie in a slinky silk gown that belonged to her mother. [Permissive NYC parenting.] Her date was Sam Thomas, Kristy's older brother, who kept grossing people out with a rubber tarantula until Stacey asked him to stop."

I so wanted to date Sam Thomas when I was nine. He was totally dreamy.

* They were way cooler in the seventh grade.


I actually remember this being one of my favorite books from the series - not because of the bitching, but because of the whole "makeover" aspect, esp. since Mary Anne was in DESPERATE need of one.

by Hot Mess Housewife on 12:22 PM. #

Logan's face looks ridiculous on that cover.

Also...this dance might be one of my most memorable BSC moments. I definitely remember Dawn's black velvet dress (but not the sheer bodice...).

by Kate S on 12:22 PM. #

That haircut is even worse than I remembered. The best it ever looked was obviously
And I was going into impressed territory over Claud's lamé outfit and was wondering what it may have looked like:
(I suspect Google Images redirected my "lamé outfit" search to "lame suit").

by stace on 12:32 PM. #

Oh good god, this book. It was about this time that I stopped really loving the BSC, mostly because my own Mary Anne inspired make over bombed on me in the 5th grade. I do remember wishing my school held dances so I could wear that red dress and date a boy.

by Vanessa on 12:58 PM. #

I was always so surprised at how easily MA forgave the BSC for being so bitchy about her makeover. They were so nasty to her; I would have written them all off.

by Carolynne on 1:34 PM. #

i re-read this one very recently. it was so strange. they were so mad at her. and then they all forgave each other. probably pretty realistic for middle-school drama. i like your comment about sharon being too stoned to notice.

by SophisticatedBrew on 1:41 PM. #

The hilarious thing about this book is that I actually got a hair cut like Mary Anne's in the 7th grade and it was a huge mistake. Maybe it would have looked better if I wore floral leggings.

by Mo on 2:13 PM. #

Sadly, I had her haircut like this in 5th grade. Looked like a guy for a good year and a half. Not a fun way to start off middle school. Awkward panda.

by Worthington on 2:20 PM. #

I'm super glad to see that I'm not the only one who got a short, 'boyish' haircut thanks to Mary Anne.

by Laura on 8:07 PM. #

i want to see you do a post on who sam thomas REALLY is. actor incarnations please.

by Lexie, Little Boat on 10:53 PM. #

"And gets super hyped on lookbook! "


do they seem really really dressed up for a dance? or was it a special dance? i am really quite confused as to the social life of american teenagers, as in australian high schools we have two formals during our entire high school careers with the odd "disco" thrown in (which was usually held in the middle of the day rather than in the evening).

i remember i hated this book, the characters all came across as bitchy and mary anne made some very bad fashion choices.

by jess needs a new face on 11:37 PM. #

I also had a mad rpre-teen crush on Sam. The first in a long lineof men I would fall in love with while still being a bit blurry on what they actually look like.

by Sarah on 11:12 AM. #

This was one of my favourites, because of all the fashion and MA 'finding herself', but also a frustrating read because of the BSC's weird attitudes. Still remember thinking "Ooh, shirred sleeves. Wait what is shirred."

by Laura @ Hungry and Frozen on 4:05 PM. #

I too had a crush on Sam Thomas. He was the only boy in the series who was ever even remotely appealing to me.

Also, you went to UMASS right? Well I did too, and you KNOW had the BSC lived in Western Mass. they would have gone to Faces like every weekend!

by sarah on 9:11 AM. #

Oh my lord of the dance. You are so right that Sharon Schafer Spier was stoned.

Also: Claudia wore lame to a dance, really? And they didn't recommend her for counselling?

by Jessica Leader on 12:29 PM. #

I love this one too though I never understood how the teal stirrup pants were so much less awesome than the floral leggings... I thought about writing in to Stacy and Clinton for an explanation, but I'm far too fearful that they'll just come find me and throw away all my clothes...

by Mel on 11:33 PM. #

OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD this was the book cover that inspired the worst hair cut of my life. you're probably thinking 'but why would you bring a badly illustrated book cover to the hairdresser instead of a magazine?'... I'm wondering that myself now but I was ten and I wanted hair JUST LIKE MARY-ANNE'S!
this was not helped by the fact that the 'hairdresser' my dad took me to was actually a front business for a brothel (we lived in south east asia at the time). I'm not sure if any of them had ever cut hair before. now imagine a ten year old girl (ie, no boobs), with a horrible boy's hair cut, named Ali. in a muslim country. Where 'Ali' is a common boy's name. is it any wonder I've had long hair ever since?

by Ali on 4:18 AM. #

Your commentary is hilarious! You are right, MaryAnne was far too adventurous with fashion post haircut.
This book was one of my faves, along with the one were Mallory gets her ears pierced.

by Carly Findlay on 7:50 AM. #

I don't know about the short hair thing. Maybe the cover art didn't make it look as spectac as in MA's narration, but short hair can look great on some girls, especially a delicate one like Mary Anne. I distinctly recall the cosmeticians who made her oven as telling her she belonged on the cover of Vogue (or maybe it was Sassy? I guess that would be more 90s-specific) and that it showed off her "jaw that launched a thousand ships." Helen of Troy, look out. This chick just bought a top made of towel material and she is hot to trot.

by Libellule on 3:25 AM. #

Also, Dawn on that cover looks so much like Stephanie Tanner. Billowed white shirt, light wash high-rise belter jeans, Docs--quintessential 90s right there. But Claud looks so in characteristically churchy there (not just bc of the cross, but the full effect). I really can't think of a single cover where her wacky fashion flair was adequately captured.

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