Synopsis by Brian J. Dillard
Daria (voice of Tracy Grandstaff) and Jane (voice of Wendy Hoopes) once again suffer the school-spirit torture of Ms. Li (voice of Nora Laudani), but this time Helen (voice of Wendy Hoopes) comes through with a spectacular rescue in this episode of the animated MTV series Daria. The latest skirmish in the war between the girls' cynicism and the principal's authority comes in the form of "Student Life at the Dawn of the New Millennium," a voluntary statewide poster contest that Lawndale's students are encouraged to enter. At the prodding of well-intentioned art teacher Ms. Defoe (voice of Nicole Carin), Jane decides to enter, but she relies on Daria's verbal acuity to set off her beautiful imagery. A planning session/pizza binge provides the inspiration for Jane's glassily pretty painting of a beauty queen at her dressing table -- an image whose witty poetic caption reveals that the girl's supposed beauty is the result of an acute case of bulimia. Ms. Defoe finds the shocking contrast between image and word a bit tasteless, but Daria's explanation of the poster's social relevance spurs the instructor to choose the poster as Lawndale High's entry in the larger contest. Unfortunately, Ms. Li and Mr. O'Neill (voice of Marc Thompson) feel the need to soften Daria's verse to the point where the poster advocates the teen obsession with beauty rather than condemning it. The girls try to back out of the contest, then demand that their name be removed from the altered entry when Ms. Li decides that the contest is mandatory after all. One act of surreptitious vandalism later, Daria and Jane find themselves facing the principal's fiery wrath -- until Daria's lawyer mom starts invoking free speech, civil rights, and the threat of litigation, thereby getting the girls off scot-free.