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Bernice, who's clearly unpopular, is stuck dancing with little Otis Ormonde at a summer dance.
Warren McIntyre relieves Otis of his dancing duties and attempts to flirt with Bernice. She unintentionally shuts him down, then accidentally offends him by trash talking his friends.
At home, Bernice wonders a little sadly why she's not more popular.
Bernice goes to talk to her aunt, but accidentally overhears Marjorie criticizing her.
The next day, Bernice confronts Marjorie. The two argue, and Bernice resolves tearfully to go home.
Later on, Bernice attempts to talk to Marjorie again; her cousin is unsympathetic, and basically tells Bernice that all her ideas about what it means to be a woman are outdated and wrong.
That afternoon, Bernice returns once more to talk to Marjorie. She wants to learn what Marjorie's got to teach – how to be popular. She promises to do everything her cousin tells her to do, but the prospect of bobbing her hair overwhelms her.
The next Wednesday, the new Bernice makes her debut. She's a stunning success, and wins over all the bachelors in town, simply by following Marjorie's instructions. Her most popular line is her claim that she's going to bob her hair.
At the end of the evening, Bernice can't believe how much fun she had. She's proud of herself.
Life as a popular girl is pretty fantastic, despite some minor kinks that arise along the way. However, a major kink soon arises – Bernice accidentally steals the affections of Marjorie's most faithful suitor, Warren.
When Marjorie coldly confronts her cousin about Warren, Bernice is horrified. She never intended to hurt Marjorie, and wonders how she can make it up.
It's too late for amends, though, and, while the cousins are at a bridge party that afternoon, Marjorie sabotages her cousin by telling everyone that Bernice doesn't ever intend to bob her hair.
Bernice, faced with a tough decision, sticks to her guns and stands up to her cousin. She claims unsteadily that she does indeed plan to bob her hair – and everyone at the party insists that she do it right away.
The whole crowd heads down to the barber shop, where Bernice asks for the haircut. She wavers in her resolve, but, looking at Marjorie and Warren, goes through with it.
The haircut is a disaster, and Bernice knows she's lost everything.
At home, Marjorie half-heartedly and smugly apologizes to Bernice for egging her on. Bernice claims to forgive her cousin.
That night, Bernice packs up her bags and gets ready to depart on the sly.
Bernice takes a pair of shears and cuts off Marjorie's beautiful blond braids of hair while her cousin sleeps.
On her way out of town, Bernice gleefully hurls the braids at Warren's house, then runs off.