Monday, November 3, 2008

Sweet Valley Twins...oh my

Okay, so this book was probably one of the silliest books I have ever read. And normally I am a huge fan of silly, but in this case I was not at all. First off, it was a book about twins so of course it had to pigeon hole them right from the start, claiming Jessica to be the more attractive, bubbly, mischievous on and Elizabeth to be the smart, sensible, hard working one. Francine Pascal makes many efforts all throughout the book to remind the reader that the two girls are nothing but the picture she has painted them as, talking about how Elizabeth's room is blue and Jessica's pink. In the story, Jessica of course has a scheme and Elizabeth is forced to be her cover. Jessica takes a job dog sitting even though she hates dogs, just so she can earn enough money to sneak off to a rock concert. However, she leaves the dog tied up outside the night of the concert and the dog runs away. Jessica also steals the earrings that Elizabeth had just purchased to give to her mother for her birthday, so she could wear them out and loses one. So, basically through some lying and such Elizabeth helps her sister out mostly because she just looks so helpless when in trouble.
At one point in the book Jessica states that she wants to be more like Elizabeth and Elizabeth tells her that, "if you stopped being so wild, we'd never have any fun." I think that books like this are harmful to grrrls because they perpetuate the stereotype that you can only be certain things. Pretty or smart, funny or thin, adventurous or timid. Once grrrls are under this impression that they can only do these things they tend to act in that fashion for most of their lives. So, the morale of the Sweet Valley Twins book is, if people fuck you over and take advantage of you (even if it is family) you shouldn't stand for it. And toxic friendships are just as bad as bad relationships.

Francine Pascal "Sweet Valley Twins and Friends: Sneaking Out"

1 comment:

۞ Lauren said...

Lol. I almost read a book about the Sweet Valley twins. I'm glad I didn't! You are right, books that stereotype girls like that are harmful. I remember reading ones just like that was I was young.