Now, let me preface this by saying that I am an avowed Logan hater. Logan is the antithesis of everything I’ve ever wanted in a man. Now, Ethan Carroll? There’s a dude who would make my heart go pitter-patter. If he weren’t fifteen and all.
But that doesn’t really have much bearing on what I want to say here. Right now, I would like to address one of the most psychologically-damaging aspects of the Baby-Sitters Club series, ones that gave legions of nerdy girls in pigtails hopes that, once they got to puberty, just didn’t pan out and probably didn’t until they got to college or even after college. I’m talking here, of course, about the relationship between Mary Anne Spier and Logan Bruno.
Let’s recap. When they meet, Mary Anne has just convinced her father to let her wear her hair in something other than pigtails. She has just purchased her first training bra, being surpassed only by Kristy in flatchestedness. She cannot talk to BOYS without her tongue turning to sawdust.
Logan is the New Boy. He has blondish curly hair, which was so cool in the 80s. He plays lots of sports and he plays them well. He has a Southern accent, and we all know how accents are supposedl irrestible to women. For the sake of argument, let’s pretend that he looks like a young James Spader:
Think back to eighth grade. Who were the girls who had boyfriends back then, especially the cute new Southern jock guy? Was it the girl whose idea of a really stellar Saturday was sitting at home, rereading Little Women, a box of tissues at her side? No, it was the girls like Stacey and Cokie, both of whom were also interested in Logan. Mary Anne’s relationship with Logan, I think, represents some sort of subconscious wish fulfillment for Ann and other bookworm girls everywhere. In middle/high school, Cute Boys will look past the blonde perms and bras and toothpaste-ad smiles of the confident girls, and see your true self. They will say, “Oh, that girl is so sweet and sensitive. She would make a swell girlfriend and my mother will adore her.”
Has this ever happened in real life? No. Maybe Nerd Girls can date Nerd Boys. But the hot jock guy? Never.
In addition, let’s remember who Mary Anne’s dad was. Richard, the strictest dad in the BSC, the one who, until he hooked up with Sharon, controlled every aspect of Mary Anne’s life. My parents weren’t 1/10th as strict as Richard, and I don’t think my mom would have been pleased about me dating at thirteen. Richard letting Mary Anne date Logan is just completely illogical.
So besides the fact that I Hate Logan, the other reason the whole idea of Mary Anne’s and Logan’s relationship bothers me is that it presents a false ideal. It says, hey, if you can’t even talk to boys and dress like a six-year-old, the boy of your dreams will still want to date you because you have a great personality. If you ever get over the whole unable-to-talk-to-him thing, which he will totally patiently wait to happen. How many of us got to eighth grade, expecting to be swept off our feet by a Southern gentleman, and this didn’t happen because we were a total outcast loser who the jock guys only saw as a target for teasing, not a gal who they’d like to take on a clandestine date to Renwick’s? Yeah. Thought so.