Today, I'd like to welcome Rebecca Behrens, the author of When Audrey Met Alice to my blog. Rebecca is here to talk about whose name she would have used when she was a tween if she had to ask herself, "What would ______ do?
In When Audrey Met Alice, Audrey finds inspiration in former First Daughter Alice Roosevelt’s wild antics and high spirits. Struggling to find her place in the White House and the world, she asks herself, What Would Alice Do? But if I’d asked myself What Would ______ Do? when I was a tween, whose name would I have used?
I was Audrey’s age during the Clinton presidency, so I might’ve asked myself What Would Chelsea Do? And for a bookish, slightly shy kid like myself, Chelsea would probably be a better fit than Alice Roosevelt! Chelsea was just twelve years old when the Clinton family moved into the White House in 1992. She lived a fairly quiet life there with her parents and Socks the cat, although once in a while she was photographed at public events or walking home from a high-profile trip to the bookstore. But Chelsea did have some fun while she lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. She recently revealed on The Rachael Ray Show that she had her first kiss while living in the White House, which led to a First Boyfriend, too.
Some mid-nineties fictional characters might’ve inspired my actions a little more. When I was a tween, one of my favorite TV shows was The X-Files, and I was a huge fan of Agent Scully. She was smart, brave, and independent - and I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. (Well, except for some of the scarier paranormal stuff.) In fact, my best friend and I were convinced that the unoccupied house next door to hers was haunted. We asked ourselves What Would Scully Do?, and spent our free time skulking around it investigating, even trying to find ways to sneak inside - until the new owners moved in.
Tween-me did ask What Would Clarissa Do? to inspire how I dressed. And thanks to Clarissa Explains It All’s unique ‘90s style, that meant a lot of bright colors, scrunchies, and occasionally crimped hair.
As a teenager, I found more inspiration from Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane of MTV’s Daria. That’s still one of my favorite shows. Daria didn’t teach me how to snark, but the show definitely encouraged me to embrace it.
If I were a teenager today, I’d probably be inspired by talented young actresses like Jennifer Lawrence and writer/bloggers like Tavi Gevinson (of Rookie). And I like to think that tween-me would be inspired by prominent women in politics and government today, such as Hillary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gabrielle Giffords, and Olympia Snowe - grownup-me admires them. I also think Diana Nyad is a great role model - she’s the world record long-distance swimmer who finally completed her goal of swimming (without a protective shark cage!) from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida last year - 35 years after her first attempt, and at age 64. That’s stick-to-itiveness! Whenever I feel like things are not necessarily going according to my plans, I ask myself, What Would Diana Nyad Do? She’d keep on swimming.
A bit about Rebecca (as found on her website): Growing up in Wisconsin, Rebecca Behrens dreamed of becoming the following: a zoologist, an Olympic swimmer, or an author. One out of three isn’t bad! Today she lives in New York City, where she works as a production editor for children’s books. Some of her favorite things are: the beach, bright shoes, running, doughnuts, and laughing.