|Last appearance||Is It College Yet?|
|Voiced by||Sarah Drew |
|Episode count||41 |
2 TV movies
|Occupation||Student at Lawndale High|
Stacy Rowe was a freshman (and later sophomore and junior) at Lawndale High, and secretary of the Fashion Club; a quartet of fashion-obsessed teenage girls who held regular meetings to discuss various facets of the fashion world and, in their own words, "solve crimes against fashion." She was the first person to meet and greet Quinn Morgendorffer in the first episode, saying "you look cool!". She was voiced by Sarah Drew.
|“||Hey... these are stretch pants! I'm wearing stretch pants!||„|
Stacy was constantly insecure to the point of neurosis and would hyperventilate or burst into tears when bad things happened to her... or even over minor issues, like the time she thought she was wearing stretchpants ("Road Worrier"). Her insecurities are so bad that she was reduced to unstoppable tears for a whole day when blown off by Bret Strand ("Fair Enough"); and on the Selective Soulmate dating site run by the Fashion Club, Stacy says she wants a man who "will accept me as I am. Unless you'd like me better if I were different. What should I change?" She's seeing Mrs. Manson for counselling, but Manson isn't paying attention. ("The Daria Database") However, she is just as often portrayed with a wide smile. She can switch from being happy to sad quickly.
According to Selective Soulmate, her interests are "aromatherapy, the tragic life and death of Margaux Hemingway, collecting fragile glass animals, assertiveness training". In "Life in the Past Lane", she becomes interested in stage magic and in "Is It College Yet?" she believes in curses.
We know she has had dates, but the only boyfriend we know by name is Bret Strand - who gave her up after a single date and then tried to avoid her. In "Fat Like Me", she recounts with shock that a date once took her to a chain restaurant.
Stacy was perceived as "the weakest link" of the Fashion Club by club president Sandi Griffin and was sometimes humiliated and verbally abused by her. It reached an extreme in "Groped by an Angel", when Stacy says she "was thinking"; Sandi smirks "you were what?" and Stacy immediately folds. While she viewed the other Club members as friends, they often seemed to ignore her: in "Fair Enough", her mass-crying over being stood up was not only ignored, Tiffany Blum-Deckler actually asked if that meant the guy was available. The idea of being excluded or on the outs with the club was one of the things that set her off: in "Is It Fall Yet?", she utterly collapses when it comes out that Sandi and Tiffany didn't tell her something. In the later "Fat Like Me", we see the counterpart of this: Stacy not being bothered at all (and seems quite happy) when Sandi isn't in the Fashion Club anymore.
She constantly sought the attention and approval of fellow Fashion Club member Quinn and would often side with Quinn when her friend butted heads with Sandi Griffin before getting bullied into taking Sandi's side. In a memorable scene from "Gifted," Stacy completely relinquishes her own tastes so they become exactly like Quinn's, a change that Quinn didn't approve of and made her leave the house. It is shown on that episode that Stacy looks up to Quinn and considers her to be her best friend, sometimes to a point that even Quinn cannot tolerate. Quinn, for her part, is on friendly terms with Stacy on a day-to-day basis... but she won't date any boy that she discovers dated Stacy first, even marking them down on a list. ("The Daria Database") However, when Quinn is only allowed to invite one friend for sleepover in "Of Human Bonding", Stacy is her first choice.
Her academic ability and intellect was mediocre: in "Daria Dance Party", she has to be reminded that an essay on Hemingway for English class refers to the writer and not actress Mariel Hemingway; her P-STAT in "Is It Fall Yet?" was only 940 (though this was the second-highest in the Fashion Club) and she made very dumb comments when being tutored; and in "Lucky Strike" she's horrified at the thought of a 200-word essay and copies Sandi's essay even though it's being handed to the same teacher. "IIFY?" has her express the fear that "I'm such an idiot. I'll never get anywhere in life!". Tutor David Sorenson does note that while she's not doing very well, she is trying to learn unlike the rest of the Club. She nevertheless had a meltdown during their first lesson; it is unclear whether they had any more after that.
The tutoring scene is the only time Stacy's mother is mentioned. When Sorensen silently rolls his eyes at her, she says: "Oh, no... that's the look my mother always gets when I say something stupid." Her mother's secretary was mentioned once on the Fashion Club's first website (ca. 1999) in Stacy's article "Real shopping vs. Internet shopping"; apparently, when her Mom's secretary doesn't have time to go to the mall or the post office at lunch, Stacy has to return things herself. Nothing is ever said of a father.
In the intro to each episode, Stacy and Tiffany can be seen playing netball on the same team as Daria, when Daria is not making much effort to participate. It is difficult to imagine the circumstances when Daria would be playing netball alongside Stacy and Tiffany, especially given that the Fashion Club looked down on sports. It's assumed they're in gym class.
In the earliest episodes, Stacy's timid nature and crying fits did not show up (bar a freakout over stretch pants in "Road Worrier"). In fact, in "Malled" and "Too Cute", Stacy is no different to Quinn and Sandi! She even gets a really catty comment in the first - "we'll find, like, a loser poster girl" - that is surprisingly mean in retrospect. Similarly, "The Daria Diaries" has a copy of Fashion Club minutes taken by Stacy, which show her being more assertive:
a) not striking from the record that Quinn had split ends: more assertive than she'd later be
b) arguing with Quinn about a philosophical point (that disco-revival is not the same as time travel, "that's just reinterpreting classic apparel concepts")
The real answer for Stacy being less timid is that the writers hadn't decided on that yet, but in-universe did something happen during S1...?
Development in Season 5
During Season Five of Daria, several episodes spotlighted Stacy. She was the only member of the Fashion Club to be drawn favorably in a group caricature portrait in "Art Burn", and kept hold of the portrait and secretly pinned it up inside her closet. In "Life in the Past Lane", she was astonished by Charles "Upchuck" Ruttheimer III's magic acts and willingly became his assistant, helping him do more elaborate tricks; for one trick, she faked a sobbing fit as part of the illusion that Upchuck was trapped, and memorably chided Sandi for being "so naive" (a chide Sandi had used on Stacy earlier) when Sandi fell for the trick. In "Lucky Strike", she revealed that, like everyone else, she'd known for ages that Daria Morgendorffer was Quinn's sister but was just being polite by not bringing it up.
In "Fat Like Me", she and Tiffany Blum-Deckler were left to run the Fashion Club all by themselves... which, in practice, meant Stacy was running the club and trying desperately to keep it from falling apart (more). At the end, she finally snapped and tore into Tiffany for not bothering to lift a finger to help: her first outburst of anger on the show. When the Club reformed, Stacy showed new backbone by openly supporting Quinn against Sandi.
In the second movie Is It College Yet?, Sandi continually makes condescending comments during Stacy's birthday party, and Stacy wishes that she would "stop talking" while blowing out her candles. Sandi then came down with laryngitis and Stacy believed it was her fault (Sandi went as far as calling Stacy a "saboteur"). She spent most of her scenes in the film trying to 'cure' Sandi through voodoo and magic. Even when Sandi got better, she tried to get Stacy to do a list of "chores" as an apology. Stacy quietly refused and decided to take a sabbatical from the Fashion Club, showing backbone once more: in doing so, she was the cause for the whole Club to break up, which she still found an upsetting thought (even though it was clear they were all going to keep hanging out anyway). (Note: It is disputed whether The Fashion Club still exist as an hierarchical group in the post-canon.)
Out of the members of the Fashion Club, Stacy quickly became a fan favorite of many fans of the series. Indeed, in spite of receiving little attention during the course of the series, many fans have devoted time and energy on fan fiction regarding Stacy and her struggles fitting in with the Fashion Club and her struggle to fit in and stand up for herself.
The Sweet Stacy archetype is rather basic: she is what she seems, a cute and sweet teenager, a paradigm which provides great material for shippers. The Angst Guy's "Wish Upon a Fallen Star" is such an example.
One recurring theme in fanfics making use of Stacy plays off of her perceived weaknesses, turning her into a target for disaster. Stacy has appeared in a number of horror tales as a victimized, doomed protagonist (e.g., Yui Daoren's critically acclaimed work, "The Emancipation of Stacy Rowe," or Angelinhel's "Crimson Sunset"), though she is sometimes depicted as suffering in defense of others or standing up for a cause she believes in, making her travails heroic (e.g., TAG's "Unto the End"). This portrayal of Stacy is an example of what is known in literature as Women In Refrigerators syndrome. As such, she also fits the media-character trope known as the woobie.
It must be pointed out that sometimes Doomed Stacy stories are written by those who wish to tweak some of Stacy Rowe's more ardent and vocal living fans. See below for details.
A Doomed Stacy can transform into a Maturing Stacy, as in The True Story of How Stacy Rowe Destroyed the Fashion Club by ticknart.
Hidden Depths Stacy
Could there be more to Stacy then we see? This can be used to pivot into Doomed Stacy, as in TAG's slash fic The Two of Them. The first of these fics was in 1998, Austin Covello's "A Day in the Life of Stacy", that reveals she's actually highly intelligent and suppressing a lot of her thoughts to stay popular.
Another (albeit rarer) theme involving Stacy has her somehow turning to the darker side of her nature. In most of these depictions, Stacy is seen almost as the archetype of a vampire: cruel, cunning, and amoral, with no hesitation or remorse about harming or even killing others, and lascivious almost to the point of being a sexual predator. In some of these stories, Stacy has also developed some form of supernatural or superhuman abilities, and has no qualms about using them. Stories of this type include "No More Ms. Nice Vampire" from the Daria the Hunter series, "Daria Vs. The Lawndale Zombies," "Where's Mary Sue When You Need Her?," and the Legion of Lawndale Heroes series. Examples of non-super Dark Stacys appear in Angelinhel's "We All Fall Down," Brother Grimace's "Word of the Week," NightGoblyn's "Evil Daria Vignettes," and TAG's "Stacy in Hell."
An interesting variation on Sweet Stacy, this variation of Stacy shows her either in the process of becoming more mature to insightful onlookers, or shows her at some time in the future, where we see that she is no longer the quintessential victim of "kick the cat" syndrome. Maturing Stacy fics focus on how Stacy realizes that the world of high school is a transitory one, and (usually behind the backs of her fellow Fashion Club members) endeavors to better herself academically, culturally, and socially, with positive results. Another trademark of these stories is that we find Stacy to be quite intelligent (albeit crippled by her home life, parents, or by the Fashion Club itself), as well as a capable student and source of useful information. In many cases, Maturing Stacy is actually a pale shadow of Daria herself, but without her own Jane Lane to provide unconditional support and friendship.
The first major work to display this Stacy variation was Austin Covello's "A Day in the Life of Stacy", but can also be seen in Brother Grimace's "Lunchtime, Doubly So..." and Nemo Blank's "Ring Toss." We also see echoes of this variation in the Year Two stories of the Legion of Lawndale Heroes series and in TAG's "Outcasts from Beyond," both of which depict Stacy as a superhero. A variation of this theme can be found in Richard Lobinske's story, "A Daze at the Races." Stacy Rowe's revitalized appearance in Ruthless Bunny's "Bed and Breakfast Man" is a wonder to behold.
Inspired by her future-ego at the end of Is It College Yet?, this variation depicts Stacy as either being a skilled race driver or, at the very least, showing some interest in motorsport. This Stacy is often shown as having hidden this quirk away from the rest of the Fashion Club, and embracing it wholeheartedly once away from the group. Fics that include this variation include many parts of Richard Lobinske's Falling Into College series, The Excellent S's Rowe'd Racin' and LadieTAG's This One's For The Girls.
Inspired by the photo still, the fanfiction Million Daria Baby written by tommyXmaserati, showcases Stacy's boxer alter-ego and is featured as one of the main antagonists. She eventually faces off against Jane Lane in the Boston Golden Gloves, set years after Is It College Yet? while they both are attending Boston Fine Arts College. Million Daria Baby gives us a deeper look into a hardened, more confident Stacy.
In 2007, a debate was started at PPMB about the interpretation of Stacy in Daria fan fiction. It was proposed that Sweet Stacy and Maturing Stacy were the most accurate portrayals of the character and assumed that many other interpretations didn't adhere to canon or, at worst, created a gross misinterpretation of the character.
While there has been some support for this point of view, many Daria fans have remained indifferent to the debate or held to the belief that the canon portrayal of Stacy is somewhat of a balance between the Sweet Stacy and Doomed Stacy personas, with the events of the fifth season of Daria and Is It College Yet? moving her personality slightly into the Maturing Stacy category.
- Stacy's last name was never revealed in the series, instead being mentioned on one of MTV's Daria sites. Anne D. Bernstein later confirmed it. Until the name "Rowe" appeared, the fandom-generated last name for Stacy was "Nibblett," courtesy of Danny Bronstein, although it came to prominence in the fanfiction of Austin Covello.
- Stacy's first voice was provided by actor Jessica Zaino, who also gave school psychologist Margaret Manson her voice.
- Stacy's second, and arguably more recognizable, voice was provided by actor Sarah Drew, who was originally only supposed to give a one-time voice-over for the show. Impressed, the casting directors offered her the role of Stacy. Ms. Drew has gone on to an acclaimed acting career.
- In Daria fandom, Stacy is sometimes considered the most physically attractive member of the Fashion Club (as opposed to Quinn Morgendorffer, who is considered the cutest member). This depiction is seen in the Legion of Lawndale Heroes series and "Ring Toss."
- Stacy is well-known for wearing her hair in braids or pigtails. For formal events she is usually seen wearing her hair down, with no specific styling regimen to enhance it (the "natural look").
- Fanfic portrayals of Stacy, in her role of Fashion Club secretary, show her (while carrying out her duties) as a very accurate recorder of detail and a encyclopedia of knowledge relating to matters within and outside the world of fashion. This is one of the points emphasized in the Maturing Stacy depiction and is best illustrated in "A Day in the Life of Stacy," although in Legion of Lawndale Heroes, Jane recognizes Stacy's abilities and asks for help during the second election for Legion Leader.
- Stacy's depiction in romantic story lines is primarily with the Sweet Stacy image, with a gentle innocence and a playful mischievousness included. Because of this, many of Stacy's romantic liaisons in fanfic occur with Ted DeWitt-Clinton (as he is seen as innocent as she is) and, surprisingly, with Quinn in slash fanfic. The Stacy/Ted pairing was taken to an horrific extreme in the fanfic "Stacy in Hell." Nonetheless, one still sees depictions of her as "Stacy, the Sex Machine."
- Stacy's shoe size is 6 1/2 AA.
- Virtually all the significant character development of Stacy occurs in episodes written by Peggy Nicoll.
- In the Latin American dubbing, she was voiced by Xóchitl Ugarte.
Stacy in the future according to Is It College Yet? alter egos
- Wikipedia's full article on the Fashion Club
- Stacy's character profile at Outpost Daria (via Wayback Machine)
- MTV's Daria site, where the Fashion Club's 'Selective Soulmate Profiles' are listed
- Stacy Rowe Fan Site
- The Stacy Phenomenon An examination of the popularity of Stacy Rowe by Austin Covello. (dead link)