If you read BSC Snark, you will have noticed that in the last week or so, there has been a rash of anti-Stacey snarks and comments. And longtime readers of this blog know that I am an inverterate fan of Stacey. So I thought I’d just talk about how I view Stacey, and why I like Stacey so much.
Part of the reason I like her so much is BECAUSE she is flawed. She makes mistakes, like putting boys before friends, or ditching her BSC friends for cool new ones, or the entire plot of Stacey’s Secret Friend. But these mistakes are ones that lots of girls make during their middle school/high school years–and some make their whole lives–and Stacey making these mistakes, and learning from them, helps younger BSC readers see the folly of prioritizing a dumb boy who will only cheat on you later over Claudia, or ditching your true-blue BFFs for some other girls who promise excitement, but will only get you in trouble when they sneak airplane bottles of wine in their flop socks into a U4Me concert. You don’t learn these kinds of lessons from Fandom Saint Janine Kishi. (No hate on Janine here, though; I <3 Janine.) Is Stacey basically a hosebeast throughout all of Stacey’s Secret Friend, as the latest snark of this book posits? Of course! But she also learns that she is a hosebeast in the end, and understands that this caused her to miss out on having a really cool friend from PARIS, a city even more impossibly sophisticated than New York.
The other reason I like Stacey is because I relate to her. We have similar interests and family situations. But I can also relate to Mallory in some ways, and this was especially when I was in middle school. I think a lot of people who are involved in the fandom relate to Mallory, and this is perhaps why Stacey, the most popular baby-sitter throughout the entire run of the series, gets so much hate within it. Most of us–myself included–were the Tesses or the Spaz Girls or the uncool friend thrown over for cool new ones. We did not have cool permed hair and sophisticated designer wardrobes.
As children reading the books, however, we might not have realized our eventual fate, and probably some girls who were reading the book and idolized Stacey did become that girl in middle or high school. Stacey represents a cool, sophisticated, permed fantasy, and this is why she was always so popular. Now, I would say I like Stacey best because of the aforementioned ways I relate to her, and the fact that her plots are generally the ones I find to be the most interesting. I also like that she is arguably the most intelligent of the BSC, if you don’t count associate member Shannon. I haven’t kept track, but I would guess that when I do go back to reread BSC, I probably reach for Stacey books the most.
Where do you fall in the Pro-Stacey/Anti-Stacey debate?