Sweet Valley High #76: Miss Teen Sweet Valley
The Big Deal: Miss Teen Sweet Valley beauty pageant
So, hey, guess what? Jessica is bored with high school guys and wants a college man. Steve had a few of his college buddies over recently and Jessica can’t figure out why one of them, Frazer McConnell, didn’t fall in love with her. She wants him to notice her, and this is her motivation for entering the Miss Teen Sweet Valley pageant. She doesn’t tell anyone she plans on entering because she doesn’t want to scare away the competition. Liz and Enid are totally against the pageant because they think it’s sexist. Liz decides to organize a protest committee.
Jessica announces to her family that she’s entered the pageant. Liz can’t believe it and says she’s going to get the pageant called off. She and her protest committee start a petition and go to the mall to get people to sign it. Amy sees them and tells Liz she should just not go to the pageant if she hates it so much. Sound advice, Amy, but we all know Liz can’t just sit by and not interfere. Liz writes an article for The Oracle, and it gets picked up by the Sweet Valley News (of course it does). Liz and Jessica are already on the outs and the article makes things worse. A local television station loved Liz’s article, and they noticed Jessica’s name on the list of entrants so they want to do an interview with them. At the interview, Liz comes off as brilliant and collected, while Jessica kind of panics and just keeps saying the same thing over and over.
Jessica gets home one day and finds Frazer and Steve hanging out with Cara and her cousin Barbara. She goes upstairs, frustrated that Frazer isn’t interested in her, and ends up having an argument with Liz. Liz is all condescending and asks why the pageant is so important to Jessica. And of course Jessica doesn’t have a good answer because for all her “pageant winners go on to do great things” rhetoric, she really only entered for the fame, the prizes and, most of all, Frazer.
Liz finds a loophole and thinks she can stop the pageant. The people holding the pageant were supposed to have gotten written consent from the school superintendent, but he’s been in the Soviet Union “meeting with Soviet educators,” so he couldn’t have approved it. Liz announces this at dinner and Jessica freaks out. She’s been taking dance lessons to prepare for the talent contest, but has been keeping it a secret from everyone. After Liz’s announcement, Jessica tells her how hard she’s been working, and Liz finally realizes how important the pageant is to Jessica and decides not to stop it, though she’s adamant about not going to see it.
Liz inevitably changes her mind and goes to watch Jessica in the pageant. When Jessica trips and falls during her dance routine, Liz goes backstage and tries to convince Jessica to keep going. Jessica refuses and runs off, so Liz finds Jessica’s bag and puts on her swimsuit. After doing the swimsuit competition, Liz goes backstage and finds Jessica, who is much happier now that Liz has compromised her principles and degraded herself onstage. She finishes the pageant for herself.
Jessica wins (did you ever have any doubt?). She realizes the other girls did really well, too, and worries that she only won because she’s the prettiest. She’s disappointed that the crown is a cheap tiara and that Frazer still doesn’t pay attention to her. Then she finds out the prizes are nowhere near as awesome as she’d been led to believe and she wants to cry. But Frazer comes by the house the next day and asks her out, so I guess everything is okay.
If she had anything to say about it, the pageant would be called off and the dignity of Sweet Valley womanhood would be preserved.
Oh, take the stick out of your ass, Liz.
The truth was, no one seemed to care as much about the beauty pageant issue as she did.
What does that tell you, Liz?
The Cover: Ooh, Liz has her bitchface on, complete with matching shirt and barrettes. Jessica looks smug, even though I think she probably could have done something a little different with her hair for the pageant. She wears it like that every single day of her life.