Amber Stanhope enters Ellowyne’s life when she is enrolled in Briermier Academy, the school Ellowyne, Prudence, and Rufus attend. Ellowyne has to get along with Amber because Mr. Stanhope is Mr. Wilde’s boss. The problem is that Amber doesn’t have to be nice to Ellowyne. She is competitive, self-centered, and vain. She seems obsessed with proving herself to be better than Ellowyne. In other words, Amber is Ellowyne’s frenemy. As per poem cards and Ellowyne’s journal, Amber is often dismissive of Ellowyne’s ennui and thinks she is better than Ellowyne—and everyone else.
Moreover, because she doesn’t seem to have other friends, Amber gloms onto Ellowyne’s friend group. There isn’t any evidence to show that Amber and Prudence have much to do with each other. However, Ellowyne’s journal and therapy notes indicate that Rufus bears the brunt of Amber’s bad behavior. She often flirts with him—always in front of Ellowyne—and once invites him to join her at the wharf, most likely to make out. And he goes with her! Really dumb move, dude! Over time, Amber’s aggressive, inappropriate behavior toward Rufus escalates, and she gets into a pattern of kissing him, then slapping his face for kissing her! And when Penn joins the squad, Amber kissed and slapped him, mistaking him for Rufus. Her outrageous behavior seems to peak when she crashed Ellowyne’s Halloween party. Not only did she kiss and smack Penn, she also showed up in a skanky Dorothy from Oz outfit. On her way out the door, she stepped into a pumpkin outside the Wilde’s front door and, predictively, everyone laughed at her. The bottom line is: canonical Amber was a hot mess.
First of all, I have to admit that I love Amber. In the canon, she’s so outrageous that she’s laughable. My vision of Amber is deeply rooted in her official story, but she grows and changes. In my story, Amber’s Secret, https://exclusively-ellowyne.com/2023/01/06/ambers-secret-2/, Penn gets upset when Amber gooses him in a coffee shop, and asks Rufus, Prudence, Lizette, and Ellowyne what makes her act so inappropriately. Warning: the rest of this is a spoiler, so you might want to skip the rest of my Amber headcanon if you haven’t read Amber’s Secret already.
Amber was a child pageant queen, like on Toddlers and Tiaras. Because her parents were extremely wealthy and she was their only child, they indulged her. From the time she was a toddler, 15 months old, they bought custom-made outfits for her to wear. She never wore the same glitzy, glamourous dress twice. For her outfit of choice, she would often be dressed like iconic sex symbols: Marilyn Monroe, Lana Turner, Jayne Mansfield, Brigitte Bardot. She channeled Madonna, Cher and Lady Gaga in her infamous meat dress. Her most controversial ensembles were as Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8, Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge, and Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which incurred the wrath of other pageant parents and warnings from pageant directors. The Stanhopes weren’t terribly popular with the pageant crowd. One time, Mr. Stanhope rented a zebra foal from a zoo to appear with Amber in a “My Favorite Pet” competition. He also purchased a small private plane emblazoned Amber’s name and picture onto the sides. Her parents spared no expense making their little girl happy and successful, and even had a separate room for her sashes, crowns, and several child mannequins dressed in her most beloved dresses.
Although Amber enjoyed pageants, she developed some unfortunate attitudes and behaviors. She was successful, in part because her parents spent so much money ensuring she would win. Amber was beautiful and quickly learned she could manipulate others because of her appearance. She knew how to flirt with judges and entice them into scoring her highly. Often, she charmed the audience, even though her parents weren’t well-liked on the pageant circuit.
After Ellowyne discovers her secret, Amber realizes that she needs to change her behavior. She learns to laugh at herself, especially at her life as a pageant child, and often invites her friends to her crown room so they can sip wine, try on crowns, and giggle. She no longer views female friends as competition and takes a genuine interest in her friends’ activities. https://exclusively-ellowyne.com/2021/03/25/prudences-lucky-break/ She used to greet the women as “Bitches!” but later calls them “Heifers,” a nod to the way the patrons of Cheers greeted Norm. The women moo in response to Amber’s greeting. Yes, it’s silly, but it shows the way Amber’s relationship with them changes from hostility to harmony. She becomes fast friends with Lizette, and they like to speak French to each other. Amber isn’t quite as close with Prudence but that will change. Amber will also become fast friends with Neema. What about her relationship with Ellowyne? They discover they have many things in common and develop an especially warm camaraderie. Here’s the most recent story about friendship, the ladies and the gentlemen: https://exclusively-ellowyne.com/2023/04/07/spring-break-prologue-friday-night/
Additionally, she apologizes profusely to Rufus and Penn for her inappropriate behavior. Surprisingly, she and Rufus become friends. They discover they enjoy arguing with each other, and Rufus eventually encourages her to look into law school. She is accepted into Stanford but isn’t quite sure what kind of law interests her the most.But what is even more unexpected is that Amber develops a relationship with Penn. Sometimes they’re casually dating, but sometimes they’re friends with benefits. Will they get together? Will she–or he–meet someone else? Time will tell.
Amber is becoming a wonderful friend and successful university/law student. However, she can still be a little spoiled and entitled, and she’s still as lazy as a house cat. https://exclusively-ellowyne.com/2023/01/16/a-change-of-heart-amber/ Amber is growing as a person but she is still a work in progress.