Braceface: Skin Deep

Someone in the early 2000’s decided that a cartoon television version of Clueless set while Cher was in middle school (and had braces) would be a great idea, and thus Braceface exists. They did get Alicia Silverstone to voice “Sharon” so it is actually pretty cool. But I don’t understand why they changed Cher’s name to Sharon. Screen Shot 2014-07-04 at 12.36.41 PMAlicia Silverstone (Cher/Sharon) clearly states in Clueless that she and Dionne were both named for singers. I guess I should not expect continuity between a cartoon prequel show and the clearly superior, genius film that inspired it, but this really bugs me. Since “Shar” is a stupid name that looks like the beginning of the world shard, I will henceforth refer to the lead character as Cher.

I find this episode especially confusing because Cher is going to model in a fashion show in which Dionne is the designer. I did not remember Dionne being in the cartoon, but they said that she is designing something for the fashion show so she must be a character. I kept looking around for a cartoon version of Dionne and I was like, “Ugh, where is she?  I know I need new glasses but come on!” It turns out that the cartoon version of Dionne does not exist and the fashion designer is actually a male named Dion (as in Dion not Dionne).

The real Cher, Dionne, and Amber.

Anyway, Cher gets to wear this great dress designed by Dion for the annual fashion show at her school. Unfortunately, Dionne does not go to Cher’s school but that mean girl Amber does. I guess she’s technically “Nina” but if Cher is “Sharon” then this must be Amber. Cher has a little trouble fitting into Dion’s dress and instead of just altering having him alter it, Cher decides to stop eating in order to fit into it. This mostly happens because Amber tells Cher she has baby fat. Baby fat is the tamest form of fat but, since Cher is thirteen, it totally sucks to be called both chubby and a baby.

Cartoon Sharon and Cartoon Dion
Cartoon Sharon and Cartoon Dion

Cher’s friends (not anyone you would know from Clueless) stage an intervention when Cher refuses to eat the baked tofu that her mom made her for dinner. Cher thinks diets cannot be bad for you because magazines always promote them. Her friends are like Cher, you are so dumb, the pictures in magazines are photo-shopped. So Cher humors them and eats some baked tofu. If this was your run-of-the-mill very special episode, then we would end with a nice freeze frame because all compulsive behaviors are cured with a conversation.

Instead, it’s all a clever ruse on Cher’s part and she stops eating again as soon as they leave. Hah! You did not even expect a cartoon to have an eating disorder did you? Let alone resist the very special episode resolve! It is only when Cher passes out on the runway that she realizes she has a problem. She and her friend Maria (the middle school version of Dionne) decide to go out and have some burgers and fries and giggle about how silly Cher was.

Very Special Lesson: If you realize your crash diet was dangerous, you should immediately binge on fast food.

I don't understand why she's worried about her waistline when her face is literally full of hard angles. Don't her cheeks hurt? She needs some cheek fat!
I don’t understand why she’s worried about her waistline when her face is literally full of hard angles. Don’t her cheeks hurt? She needs some cheek fat!
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5 thoughts on “Braceface: Skin Deep

  1. I had no idea there was a Clueless cartoon. I’ve learned something new today! Love that movie. Paul Rudd was such a cutie in it. Still is. 🙂

  2. Woah, so weird. I referenced Brace Face in my blog yesterday. I didn’t know you were also talking about it! I hadn’t thought about it in years.

    1. Haha that’s quite a coincidence. I actually drafted this like a month ago and then saved it forever, so I love that I finally posted it on the the same day that you were also posting about it. That’s hilarious.

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