Perfect size 4

Thanks to all of you that emailed this to me; Gawker posted a press release about the updating and rereleasing of the series and the changes that will be made to update it. They proudly display the fact that the twins are now a “perfect size 4″ instead of a “perfect size 6″. Right now I barely have the energy to get enraged because it’s not like I am surprised. But I think you all know how I feel.

The other dumb thing are the other updates. Who cares what car they drive. Are they going to have cell phones and email? If they did, you can imagine how many misunderstandings would have been avoided, and the twins could cheat on their boyfriends even more. Wtf is with Liz’s Gossip-Girl esque blog? Is that something St. Liz would really do?

Don’t get me started. Discuss amongst yourselves.

p.s thanks to whoever posted the link here on this entry because it got a lot of new visitors here. Welcome!

p.p.s. I was loving the discussion on an earlier post about modern, postive YA books, so I created a new “forum” under The DB book club. That was a commenter’s idea, so thank you.

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62 comments

  1. Deathy · March 28, 2008

    I can’t wait for the new books. I’m actually looking forward to the changes so I can snark at them. ^_^ I’m not surprised at the changes, but I still am. So the twins are a four now…. Well I’m still skinnier than they are. ^_^

  2. Snickerdoodle · March 28, 2008

    Unreal. a perfect size 4? really? ugh. and on to warping a whole new generation of impressionable young minds… i’m a 4. i’m 5’2. do the twins grow to about 5’8, just to make the healthy, proportioned girls feel badly about themselves?

  3. jms · March 28, 2008

    Even though I don’t think it’s abnormal or unusual for teenage girls to be a size 4 (I was smaller than that with zero effort… but those days are gone), I can’t understand why their size is so important that it needed to be 1) changed, and 2) mentioned in the press release! We KNOW the twins are OMGZ LIKE TEH MOST PERFECT GIRLZ EVERRR–we don’t need to be hit over the head in every book with their exact size.

    That said, do I wish I were the editor/ghostie who worked on the updates? Fuck yes. SVH would be the crown jewel on my resume.

  4. Stacy · March 28, 2008

    I love the poster on Gawker who is a “perfect size AWESOME.”

  5. Miss Bliss · March 28, 2008

    There are no words for whole size thing…

    Love this blog, by the way :)

  6. aaaames · March 28, 2008

    You know, I still remember when I was little and reading these books how odd I found it that Liz was supposedly “the good twin” and wanted to be, like, a VERY SERIOUS JOURNALIST and yet her contribution to the school paper was a friggin’ gossip column! That always threw me. Is it just me or is that sort of contradictory to St. Elizabeth Wakefield? Obviously a blog is even more so. Argh.

    (That’s not to say that I won’t probably be buying these damn things! I’m so intrigued. And ashamed.)

  7. Shannon River · March 28, 2008

    *sigh* It is a waste of energy to be outraged about the size four. OF COURSE it was going to happen. I’m actually a little surprised it’s not a size 2 or even a 0.

    The Jeep thing is throwing me off a little bit… they DID have a Jeep, didn’t they get it somewhere in the 20′s or 30′s of the original series? Not that it’s a big deal… it just bothers me that they acting like it’s an update when it happened in the original series.

    • Laura · March 28, 2008

      Okay so call me pathetic but they bought the Jeep Wrangler – which was purple with chrome trim (not red… like in the TV show… pffft) with the left over money they had from the gig on Days of Turmoil… which was book #85 Soap Star (remember Jess almost leaves Sam Woodruff for Brandon Hunter until she finds out Brandon is a jerk and she and Liz get back at him on live TV..) god, sometimes I surprise myself!!
      But of course they should have kept the red fiat at the start of the series! Now what are they going to spend their left over earnings on (Computers for the Oracle – wait we’re in the 2000′s of course the Oracle already have computers!!)
      Peace, love & Sweet Valley,
      Laura xx

  8. nikki8907 · March 28, 2008

    Hmm, I don’t see what’s bad about making them a size four. I’m not too thin and my size 4 jeans are nearly too big. Besides, I looked it up and a size six back then translates to a zero today, so they’re actually bigger now… I think. They whole vanity sizing thing confuses me. Either way, I don’t see why they have to mention it at all, unless it were directly related to the plot in some way.

    But are they really giving them cell phones and blogs? I never read the books(though I love this blog), but in my opinion they should either leave the series as it is(and market it as 80s cheese), or write an entirely new series instead of going through the trouble of retooling the old one.

  9. Winnie Egbert · March 28, 2008

    Okay, I agree in principle that they should just leave off always emphasizing weight in every book, but to be fair I think the update is accurate. Ten years ago when I was in high school I was a size six. Today I weigh the exact same, wear the same bra size, haven’t grown any taller since, but now when I’m shopping in the States six is too big and four is just right. I reckon the fashion industry is sneakily re-working sizes to make women think they’re smaller sizes and therefore willing to buy more.

    I’m curious as to how they’ll update some of the technology that was used as plot devices in the earlier books… people marvelling at Bruce’s (enormous) cell phone and Lila’s Walkman. I wonder if formal shorts will take the place of Liz’s ever-present chinos.

  10. BadKat · March 28, 2008

    Shouldn’t the twins drive hybrids or something? And then shouldn’t Liz write 17 internet articles lecturing everyone about environmental responsibility and how SHE SAVES THE EARTH (and California) from global warming?
    Just a thought…

  11. Magpie · March 28, 2008

    To be honest, I’m just glad that the twins haven’t been made size 0. The change from size 6 to 4 doesn’t seem too unrealistic, given the sizing changes in the last 25 years. Compared with some of the role models in Hollywood nowadays, the twins look positively healthy!

    Though it would be better if they emphasized them achieving their figures through a balanced diet and exercise, I guess.

  12. Kristin · March 28, 2008

    I understand what people are saying about sizes changing in the last couple of decades. I also agree that 4 is a much more reasonable size than 0. However, I think the problem is that they are still emphasizing the twins’ figures so much that they feel compelled to mention it in a press release.

    Honestly, I think it would be much better for teen readers if they didn’t even mention a specific size and just said that the twins were healthy and attractive.

  13. ihatewheat · March 28, 2008

    Amen, Kristin. It’s not about the number, it’s also putting “perfect” in front of it. Even if it said “perfect size 12″, there would be a problem.

  14. Amber Tan · March 28, 2008

    “Shouldn’t the twins drive hybrids or something? And then shouldn’t Liz write 17 internet articles lecturing everyone about environmental responsibility and how SHE SAVES THE EARTH (and California) from global warming?”

    Yes. Yes, she should, BadKat. And Liz should also spam everyone with her contact information so they can ask her for Awesome!Online!Advice!

  15. Juanita · March 28, 2008

    I think the most important question wasn’t addressed in that press release, and that is what sort of car Lila will be driving.

  16. Stacey · March 28, 2008

    Why do I get the feeling if we EVER want to see a sweet valley confidential or whatever its called, we need to buy the heck out of these ‘new’ books???

  17. upstatestruggler · March 28, 2008

    “I think the most important question wasn’t addressed in that press release, and that is what sort of car Lila will be driving.”

    word! lime green ain’t what it used to be.
    - now that computers are more common/less mysterious, will we finally get more details re: Mr. Fowler’s business?
    - will today’s cheerleaders be as impressed with herkies?
    - will the twins wear sunscreen to the beach?
    - science has come so far since 1983! will DNA research, will Roger Barrett Patman be disproven as Bruce’s long lost brother? Will Sweet Valley race for Tricia Martin’s cure?
    - will the girls immediately Google Caroline’s imaginary boyf and discover the truth?
    -will they change the outfits, too? olive green leather pencil skirts don’t seem to be in fashion right now.
    FUCK! I can’t wait!

  18. BadKat · March 28, 2008

    “I think the most important question wasn’t addressed in that press release, and that is what sort of car Lila will be driving”.

    I think she is screwed into public transportation until Bentley issues a hybrid.

    Hey, what would a “imperfect” size 4 (or 6) be?

  19. maybeimamazed02 · March 28, 2008

    I’m with those who said that it’s not the size but the fact that a) it’s “perfect,” and b) it was the first g.d. thing they mentioned in the press release. In the words of Gob Bluth, “COME ON!”

    And what’s with Liz doing a Gossip Girl-style blog? Um, high schools still have newspapers.

    Of course, I DIDN’T just pre-order the first three books from Amazon. That was my evil twin. Her name is Margo.

  20. BartTempleton · March 28, 2008

    This site is the BOMB.

    Oh, heck no, they are NOT butchering my tween/early teen memories. These are slices of ’80s life that have no business being updated with cell phones and such.

    Let me tell you my #1 fear with the updates: that they will become consumerist nightmares like so many YA series nowadays. If you open up some of these new YA series, you’ll see half the page is taken up with Chanel, Ugg, iPod, etc.

    As the SVH faithful know, brand names are no substitute for top-notch writing and nuanced characterization like Kate William /her ghostwriting buddies have provided us with for so many years.

    Bit about me: Woman of Color, late twenties, reader (and memorizer of choice lines, which I still quote with my older sister) of every dang SVH (and the majority of the SVT, Sleepover Friends, Junior High, Sorority Sisters, BSC, Nancy Drew Files, etc. series). Although nothing beats the original 80s series, the early-mid 90s ones with the new covers were actually quite engrossing (Love and Death in London, anyone?)

    Oh, and Margo? Sue (as in Jeremy’s fiancee) could so kick your butt.

  21. lisa · March 28, 2008

    Not really related to this post, but I didn’t know where to mention this!
    I was watching the movie ‘the basketball diaries’ yesterday, starring Leo DiCaprio… and lookey who was on it – the actresses who starred in the television series.
    And yes, they have sex with the lead characters.
    Srsly, someone confirm this and tell me I’m not hallucinating!

  22. Alicia · March 28, 2008

    It’s definitely them, Lisa.
    It’s been awhile but weren’t their names like.. Winkie and Blinkie? Or something like that?

  23. Sophie · March 28, 2008

    I want a book club just based on YA fiction. I couldn’t care less about Eat Pray Love but I want to have dinner and talk about this stuff with peeps in my area.

    HOW?

  24. Jessa Fields · March 28, 2008

    Just passing along some new info…

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6544621.html

  25. Sarah C. · March 28, 2008

    from Jessa F’s link–

    Beverly Horowitz, v-p and publisher of Bantam Delacorte Dell Books for Young Readers claims “This series was one of the first to deal with issues and emotions realistically.”

    I’m speechless.

  26. BartTempleton · March 28, 2008

    Hey, Sophie, I’m down for the ’80s YA Book Club. You wouldn’t happen to be in the mid-atlantic U.S.?

    Now the fun part is coming up with a name for it (no, not something lame like The Unicorns–I actually tried to start my own Unicorn Club in elementary school. Didn’t work out. My non-SV-reading friends just didn’t get the literary allusion. )

  27. BartTempleton · March 28, 2008

    From the link: “the only significant changes to the existing texts—made by in-house editors—were updates in technology, with added references to cell phones, text messaging and IM-ing. Horowitz puts the communication revolution in perspective: “Back when the books first came out, if a rumor was circulating around school, kids would get a phone call about it after they returned home in the afternoon. Now, if news breaks, they text-message each other immediately and 40 people know about it before the end of class.”

    I’m having trouble understanding how integrating texting and cellies will not require a dramatic overhaul in the plots themselves. Every single book will require major plot surgery–or does anyone disagree?

    And we know that when the complexly woven plots go to hell, all that “dealing with issues and emotions realistically” that SVH pioneered will come to an end.

  28. aaaames · March 28, 2008

    BartTempleton, I agree. A “small” change of switching from an after-school phone call to an in-school text message involves A LOT of editing. I don’t know how this is simple find and replace crap!

    Also, I am totes down for a Y.A. book club too.

  29. maybeimamazed02 · March 28, 2008

    Dude, anyone wants to start a YA book club in Chicago, I’m there!

  30. kiwimusume · March 28, 2008

    I just read a recap of #5

  31. kiwimusume · March 28, 2008

    Stupid computer, what the fuck did you do that for?

    I was GOING to say, I read a recap of #51 on 1bruce1 and Liz gets grabbed by the bad guys when she gets out of her car to call the cops from a payphone. If she’d done it from a cellphone, provided she was parked in a discreet place, they wouldn’t even have noticed. So that plot would have to rely on some coincidence, like her cellphone battery being dead (and this is the Responsible Twin (TM), so how likely is it that she’d let her battery go dead?) And I know I’ve read a bunch of other scenarios where having cellphones/internet would have made certain major plot points nonexistent. BartTempleton’s on the money here.

  32. Winnie Egbert · March 28, 2008

    The day my innocence died: When the Wakefield twins offered coke and sex to the hottie from Growing Pains. Still, great film.

    At least with this new release we can hope Enid gets some new hair… that mop always cheesed me off.

  33. hanyou-no-miko · March 28, 2008

    I would like to point out that, in the industry, sizing is completely unregulated, so it doesn’t actually apply to anything. To say “size 0 now is like size 6 then” is both true and false, depending on what COMPANY you buy your clothing from, and how well they have their workers stick to the pattern size. Every company has its own sizing chart depending on their target audience, so a size 10 at Macy’s, for example, would be the same size as maybe a size 16 at Delia’s. The numbers mean nothing.

    Which is why this “They are now a “perfect” 4″ is even more reprehensible. There is no such thing as a perfect 4. Anybody in the industry worth their salt will tell you that. So not only are they promoting what they intend to be an unreasonably small body type, but they’re propagating a myth that sizing means anything, and more specifically, that it reflects on your value as a person.

  34. Amy Slutton · March 28, 2008

    Until someone posted it on this thread just now, I hadn’t thought about how the outfit descriptions would possibly be changing. The outfits and all of the 80′s references were my favorite part! I have absolutely no interest in reading these renovated SVHs.

  35. Robyn · March 28, 2008

    In regards to the differences in sizes, it is entirely up to the manufacturer how they will grade their sizes. And generally, the cheaper and trendier the clothing line is, like Forever 21, the small the sizes, since it helps keep the costs down on manufacturing the clothes.

    And there are some companies, like the Gap, who do size up, so women do feel better buying clothes.

    So sizes mean nothing. However, in my many years working in retail, I still encountered many women who would not buy something that fit them and looked great on them, if it was a size large or a 10…

  36. Amber Tan · March 28, 2008

    ““I think the most important question wasn’t addressed in that press release, and that is what sort of car Lila will be driving”.

    I think she is screwed into public transportation until Bentley issues a hybrid. ”

    Possibly although we’re talking about the spoiled rich girl who takes a private plane to Univeristy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lila drives a Hummer and is a Young Republican in the re-release.

    AMEN to this:

    “Every company has its own sizing chart depending on their target audience…. The numbers mean nothing.” (hanyou-no-miko)

    and this:

    “So sizes mean nothing.” (Robyn)

    I heart you guys! :)

  37. Amber Tan · March 28, 2008

    Er…that’s University not “Univeristy” (my bad)

  38. Jen S · March 28, 2008

    I’m a size 20 and you all are making me feel like a friggin’ elephant!

    But seriously, how can size 4 not be considered just a wee bit under the national average?

  39. BadKat · March 28, 2008

    Another important detail, what Frappicino flavors will everyone at SVH be ordering? Of course they will have to order the Lite version to maintain their size 4 stick figures. I just do not know how they will work in important facts like this! ;)

  40. kelly · March 28, 2008

    It is HORRIBLE that they are changing it to a “perfect size-4″. What were they thinking????

  41. perfectsize12 · March 28, 2008

    The Nancy Drew series was rewritten a bunch of times. I wonder how many revamps/updates they’re planning for SVH?

  42. calico drive · March 28, 2008

    yes indeed they did get a jeep they traded in the fiat as fiat became ‘unreliable’. Enid borrowed fiat to have date with hugh and fiat died so hugh thought enid stood him up LOL DISASTER. refrenced in #86 jessica against bruce (which i am reading today – go jess).Papa Ned is all ‘ah you should have seen liz negotiate the commission out from under that car salesman” not sure which book they actually got jeep thou.

  43. aggrrl · March 28, 2008

    So the girls who are a size 4 or 6 see nothing wrong with the size reference? Not surprising.

    Like others, I think the problem comes into play with the word “perfect”. Who decides what this perfect size is? I would love to see a character who is a size 14 portrayed as beautiful and desirable.

  44. Sophie · March 28, 2008

    I’m in Washington, DC. We should all start!

  45. BadKat · March 28, 2008

    Hey, those Fiats really are unreliable, ask Jerry Seinfeld!

  46. Dione · March 28, 2008

    Oh man…I grew up with SVH and still have a ton…and SVU too. (33 years old and I still read them). I’m not quite sure what I think of the rerelease. It just seems somewhat sacreligious to update them. I know that if they wanted to sell them to today’s teens, they need to be, because they would be incomprehensible to them. I think if they wanted to redo the series, update it with completely new stories. And saying this I will likely buy them just to see how they have changed!

  47. Stasia · March 28, 2008

    I’ll be more excited when I see them in the YA section of the public library. I wandered in there a few weeks ago, casually scanning for books I might recognize, and nothing! Same at Powell’s on my trip to Portland. I was too embarrassed to ask why they don’t carry more YA books from the 80s.

  48. Stacey · March 28, 2008

    Ok I got Double Love and Secrets in the mail today. Todd is a member of the Football team and the Basketball team, which I thought was weird. There are no sororities, they completely skipped the entire part about getting voted into the sorority. The boys are sponsoring a dance, but they don’t have a sorority either, its called the “Harvest ” dance. They directly mention Steven’s college as SVU instead of ‘the local college’. A bunch of other stuff. Almost every paragraph has been re-worked. This is definately not a quick ‘update’ to include cell phones, computers,etc

  49. BartTempleton · March 28, 2008

    Stacey, thanks for this. Confirmation that I will not be spending money on this “new/old” series. I truly believe the spirit of SV is in the details, and “updating” the details won’t cut it for me.

    Used bookstores or my parents’ house, here I come.

  50. Alicia · March 28, 2008

    Ahh BadKat, you forget. Other than Robin Wilson, every girl at SVH can maintain a perfect figure while shoveling in Dairi Burger fries daily. No lite frappachino’s needed for them! ;)

  51. Stacey · March 28, 2008

    Here I just got to the WORST character assasination yet: Dana Larson is now the Lead Singer for the rock group “Valley of Death” and she has black long hair, and wears only baggy black clothes. She screamed soemthing at Liz about Girls fighting the power. I am dying…what happened to blond, punky Dana with the funky clothes?

  52. Stacey · March 28, 2008

    Just an FYI- I am not trying to bash the new books, I think maybe they are a good way to get a new generation into the SV legacy, but I just don’t want people to think they aren’t changed, because, man they are!

    I agree about the details making the books special…I know already I will always prefer the originals.

  53. Kylie90210 · March 28, 2008

    I can’t believe how much they are changing everything! I will buy them, purely to generate interest, in the hopes that SV Heights will get published, one day.

  54. MaggieCat · March 28, 2008

    “I am dying…what happened to blond, punky Dana with the funky clothes?”

    IIRC, original Dana would look downright wholesome compared to a lot of teenagers today. Her look was co-opted and mainstreamed by the likes of Gwen Stefani and Forever 21… oooh, I think I just found an excuse for Stefani’s fashion line: overexposure to descriptions of SVH fashions.

  55. Stacey · March 28, 2008

    I finished DoubleLove, the new generation, last night. The absolutely most shocking change of all, IMO, there is no DAIRI BURGER! The name of this website needs to be changed to Casa Sol or something like that. It’s a cheaply priced Mexican restaurant where the gang likes to hang out. It was from this restaurant that Todd notices Rick Andover kidnapping the twins.

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  58. Miss Rain · March 28, 2008

    Why can’t they just re-hash the whole thing and start new stories? I rather liked the originals the way they were. *sigh*

  59. Toys For Big Boys · March 28, 2008

    I now know where my wages will be going once I get a proper job. I’m going to be buying the original SVH books! FSM help me.

  60. Leigh · March 28, 2008

    I agree with BartTempleton in regards to the technology updates!
    And like hello! Schools can still have newspapers!! Its not as if its ANCIENT!
    Its stupid changing it to a website. So many plots and situations wouldnt make sense now!
    I mean what about when Todd moves to Vermont and Liz writes him a letter every day and eagerly looks in the mailbox every day for a letter from him? People would just ask why she doesnt just use email?
    Cell phones too… I mean how many times did the twins (and other characters) get lost? Or they were late home and had no way to contact the family? Or they needed help (especially all the horrible situations they found themselves in during the super thrillers!) and they never had cell phones because it was before their time, but NOW with cell phones, half these plots wouldnt even occur!
    BartTempleton is right, and how often can they use the battery dead excuse?
    I understand they want new generations to enjoy the series too but dammit, it was set in the 80′s!! Let it stay that way.

  61. Holly · March 28, 2008

    I love how there’s no more Pi Beta Alpha in the re-releases. Because what high school has sororities and fraternities anymore? (Unless you go to prep school…I’m thinking of the Puffs on “Gilmore Girls.”) Now it’s the Sweet Valley Beautification Committee? WTF?!

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