Writer: Dan Parent*
Pencils: Dan Parent*
Inking: Jon D’Agostino*
Coloring: Barry Grossman*
Lettering: Bill Yoshida*
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 18
Cover Date: January, 1999
Length: 5 pages
*Only the lead story in the issue is credited. I assume the credits apply to all of the stories.
Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.
Cheryl and Archie are walking along outside. Archie gets a raging boner for a billboard model, but Cheryl’s upset that the models are so thin instead of having a “healthy, full-rounded figure” like her. Oh, the irony, considering the girls in Archie Comics have been criticized for being too thin and supermodel-like. Anyway, Archie gets a raging boner for Cheryl.
Cheryl is going to a fashion shoot for Fresh and invites Archie to join her. Archie replies with “That’s a silly question!” Dude, do you wanna come or not? Yes or no. Don’t make it obvious that you wanna check out the models.
Once they get to the fashion shoot, the photographer informs Cheryl that one of the models backed out. He asks her to fill in. She gladly agrees and does a great job. Between shoots, Cheryl is starved, so she has a bite of her sandwich. Where was she keeping that? A couple models drool over her sandwich. Cheryl offers some of it to one of them, but the model says she has to watch her weight. This gives Cheryl a novel idea: a fashion shoot where the models eat. Cheryl pulls a bag of chips out of her ass and has the photographer snap pictures while they dig in.
Most of the models get into it. One of them, Shelly, is wary of eating a donut, because she hasn’t had junk food since 1993, but Cheryl and the model that she’d offered her sandwich to cheer Shelly on, and Shelly loves the donut.
On another day, when Cheryl arrives at the Fresh office, the women that offered her the job inform her that the “Let’s Eat” pictorial is a hit, and women everywhere love it. Cheryl says that’s because most women aren’t represented in this magazine. One of the women reluctantly agrees. The other says they want to do another “Healthy Eating” pictorial.
Cheryl is all for it and suggests they do it at Pop’s Soda Shoppe, where her “friends” hang out. I notice Cheryl has been referring to the Riverdale gang as her friends recently. They’ll do a ’50s theme. One of the women rolls her eyes at this, but I can’t tell if she dislikes the idea or is thinking about it.
On another day, Cheryl goes to Pop’s and pitches her idea. She says Fresh will pay for all of the food. Pop happily agrees to it. So does Jughead.
On the day of the shoot, the gang’s decked out in ’50s clothes and hairstyles. Dilton notes Cheryl makes a cute car hop. Reggie and Archie get into a spat, and Cheryl tells them to knock it the fuck off – at least until the shoot’s over. Archie, Betty, and Veronica do the classic three-on-a-soda pose, except Betty’s the one in the center. Make of that what you will. Cheryl barges in and displaces both of the girls. Ronnie’s pissed, but Betty doesn’t particularly seem to care.
Weeks later, as Cheryl and Archie are walking along outside again, Archie happily notes their diner fashion layout is everywhere, but Cheryl sadly notes now everyone else is copying them. Models everywhere are getting healthier.
On another day, when Cheryl arrives at the Fresh office, she overhears the women (I wish we’d get names for them) talk about how, since the layout has come out, they’re getting calls non-stop, especially for one of the models. Cheryl assumes it’s her, but one of the women says it’s Jughead, much to Cheryl’s shock. The other woman explains, with “all this food craze”, he’s the “spokesperson for consumption”.
On another day, as Cheryl and Archie are walking along outside again, Archie sees Jughead on an “Eat” poster on the side of a building and is surprised. Cheryl says there goes her faith in public taste.
This story was pretty nice. It’s good that Cheryl sees the problem with the media showcasing thin models and the message that it sends to regular women – and decides to use her position to actually do something about it.
After the story is a 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column by Sara Algase.