By L.E. Blair. Published 1990.
Sabrina has read in one of her many magazines that that Belle Magazine is doing an American Beauties Search at the mall. They will have special beauty experts to give you advice on your look, and even give you a total makeover, and there will be photographers to take before and after photos. Sabrina is all about it, of course, and Katie thinks it sounds like fun. Randy will go just to watch the others. Allison doesn’t think they’d want to take pictures of an incredibly tall girl, and she points out that there will be too many people for them to give everyone a makeover, but nobody listens to her. However, she agrees to go, if only to watch.
Sabrina also reads about a hair remedy that she wants to try. It involves flour, water, and an egg. It goes about as you’d expect. It turns into a sticky mess in her hair, that she can’t get out. Then she notices there was another page, where it says there’s also supposed to be olive oil and lemon juice. Oops. Good going, Sabs. The girls all work on it, though, and end up eventually getting it out.
The girls find out that Stacy the Great and her minions will also be there at the mall, hoping to get discovered. Stacy of course says that they don’t have a chance, and Randy predictably gets mad. They also make fun of Allison being so tall. Where the hell do these girls get the idea that being tall is a bad thing when it comes to modeling?
At the mall, it turns out Allison was right, and there’s about 500 girls there. About 50 girls are randomly given tickets to actually get makeovers, and Allison is one of them. So are Stacy and her awesomely named friend B.Z. They fill out information forms, and are split into groups. Allison and Stacy are part of a small group of five that are told they may be used in an American Beauties campaign. Allison thinks they won’t really want her, and she’s not sure if she’s disappointed by that or not.
The next day at school, Stacy informs Allison that Belle called her mom at lunch time. Allison figures that means they’re not going to call her. But when she gets home, her mom tells her they called, and want her to do a photo shoot the next day. The bad news is that she has to ride to and from the shoot with Stacy.
The day of the shoot, Stacy the Great actually seems…nice. She says she’s nervous, and she and Allison should be friends, since they know each other. When they get to the football field where the shoot’s being held, they find the other three girls, as well as five football players. Allison has a pretty good time talking to and working with one of the players, Bruce.
The shoot seems to have given Allison some confidence, because the next day she wears different clothes and her hair down. She usually wears it in a braid or a ponytail.
Also that day, Stacy sends her a note saying to meet her at Fitzie’s, that she has a surprise. Her friends want to take her there as a celebration anyway, so she figures, why not? When Stacy gets there, she has the contact sheets from the shoot. Sabrina tries to look at them, too, but Stacy and her friends are real bitches to her, and she leaves upset. Allison is too nice to say anything, and Randy gets upset with her for that. None of her friends talk to her the day at school.
The next shoot, held in a store at the mall, isn’t as much fun as the first one. Allison doesn’t like her outfit, her hair is weird, and it turns out, modeling isn’t just flirting with cute boys. It can actually be hard work. But during a break, she sees Bruce outside, and she gets to talk to him. Stacy comes up and tells her Darla, the woman in charge of the shoot, is looking for Allison. Stacy begins talking to Bruce as Allison leaves.
Darla says she wants Allison to come to New York and model, and for Allison to think about it. When she sees Stacy, Stacy tells Allison to call her mother for a ride home, that Stacy’s mom (heehee) isn’t coming, because Bruce will be giving Stacy a ride home. Allison gets upset, but when she runs into Bruce again, he tells her that he actually wanted to give Allison a ride, and he just asked Stacy because he knew they were already riding together. But Allison says no, because she doesn’t think her parents would want her riding with a stranger. This is an unusual case of smart thinking by a YA character.
Allison is missing her friends, so she goes down to Fitzie’s to wait on them, to show them she hasn’t really changed. At Fitzie’s, Stacy makes a big deal in front of everyone about having the layouts for the magazine already. But when it turns out she’s been cut out of most of the pictures, and Allison’s featured in a lot of them, Stacy says it was just an amateur operation. Allison says that that’s not true, and totally stands up to Stacy. Stacy storms off. Allison’s friends are proud of her, and everything’s all good between them again.
o Room porn: Allison’s room is painted in a cream color with stripes of rust red and brown near the ceiling. That matches the rag rug, comforter, and curtains. She has a rolltop desk, two floor-to-ceiling bookcases, and a window seat.
o On the way to the makeover, the girls get really excited about watching videos and eating popcorn balls at Sabrina’s later in the week. It’s very quaint.
o Allison is 5’7”. I really don’t consider that freakishly tall.