But I am not here to talk about Vanessa with the unfortunate last name. I am here to talk about Tracy McKibbin, Tracy who danced to Madonna's "Borderline" in the school talent show, alone on the ampitheater stage confident and pretty, me on the stone steps wondering how a girl could do that when I could barely look at myself in the mirror alone in my bedroom. I remember watching Tracy dance, and later, watching Tracy walk down the hall, open her locker, watching Tracy talk to her friends, flirt with boys. I watched Tracy and I came to the conclusion that what made Tracy so perfect was that she never smiled too broadly, never laughed too loudly, never snorted or squealed or beamed. A more mature mind would recognize this as possibly being aloof, maybe scared, but 12 year old Susannah surmised that beauty must come from not having any facial expression at all. And so I set out not to smile, not to laugh, not to squint my eyes or crinkle my face. And that is what I remember most about the seventh grade: trying to keep my face still so I would be beautiful.
Pathetic, right? Happy Monday, people. Of course now I know better, and I make a contorted disgusted face at my 12 year old self. I recognize the beauty in a wide smile, a face red and twisted from crying. To honor the beauty in the goof, I present to you The Many Faces of Zo (complete with emoticons that are so dorky I have to wonder if Tracy McKibbin would know what they meant) (but whatever):
Mean Face, Grrr :/
If there is one thing I wish for my daughter it is that she grows up knowing that she is most beautiful when she is authentically herself.
And I wish that for you, too. Like I said, Happy Monday (insert whatever face you want here).