MBTI Type: INFP
Willowdean measures everything in the external world against how she feels about it – if she doesn’t like the new girl her best friend is hanging out with, she has no problem saying as much and acting like it. She joins a beauty pageant as a “protest against the patriarchy” and because her aunt felt like she could not, due to her obesity; Willowdean sees this as her chance to honor her aunt, do something for her in her memory, and prove herself. She’s shocked and appalled when other girls want to join her in this, and at first pushes them away and dashes their hopes (“No, we aren’t competing to win, but as a protest!”). She cannot see eye-to-eye with her 3-core ESTJ mother, who under-estimates her own emotional attachment to her sister, and prematurely “gets rid of all her stuff.” Willowdean rescues it, takes all the boxes to her room, and searches through them to find her aunt’s beloved bee pin. In a gesture of tremendous kindness, she gives it to her mother, knowing her emotional pain and that doing so will help her heal, even though Willowdean loves the pin very much. Throughout the story, she comes toward a place of moving away from self-absorption into caring about and supporting her friends and mother, which allows her to grow and allow a boy into her life, also. Her inferior Te can be harsh – she admits to her ESFJ best friend that she needs to learn to “stop judging” everyone (Fi-dom) and be more compassionate toward their needs. She also intends to join the pageant but has no real sense of how she can even compete or qualify, and needs others to help her along the way. She quickly adapts to bad situations in the restaurant and turns them around to her advantage (pretending a grumbling table has just won free milkshakes and “the lunch is on us” to keep them happy with her and the establishment) but is also awkward when it comes to physical things she has never done before, such as kissing a boy, doing her own makeup, or dating. Willowdean just assumes she can “figure out a talent” and lands on a rubbish magic trick; she needs another person, more skilled in magic, to show her what she can do physically with her performance (add lip synching to a song and dance while doing it). She loops in and out of Si – being resistant to change, angry about the loss of her aunt, and clinging to the only thing they ever shared and loved together, which is Dolly Parton. She only plays and listens to her music and seems “stuck” for awhile in a rut until she opens up to new experiences and people.
Enneagram: 4w3 so/sp
Willowdean comes across as selfish and petulant a lot of the time, because she is so busy being “not you.” Not a skinny girl. Not like that. Not updating my music. Not changing how I look. Not doing the pageant thing, that’s not for me. Until it is. And even then, she has to “go against” her friends in making this a “protest.” She does this, despite her mother’s wishes and not caring how it might look or reflect on her mother as a long-time Beauty Queen, both to get back at her, and because Willowdean thinks she should. It feels right to her. And… like it or not, she is deeply insecure about her appearance, she feels unwanted and unlovable, and she needs to put barriers between herself and the outer world. When a boy likes her, she flat out rejects the idea and runs away from it, suddenly becoming self-conscious about her appearance and assuming he might like someone prettier more. She can’t imagine why he’d choose “a fat girl.” Yet she puts on an elitist persona with other people, proclaiming that her music, her style, her way of being, is better than everyone else’s. Willowdean can also be jealous and petty, resentful of her best friend having any other friends and of other people’s happiness. (She sneers that one girl is “too joyful” while secretly envying it.) Her 3 wing wants to be seen, accepted, and self-promote; she can rise to the occasion and adapt when she needs to.