Between a Girl and Her Beauty Case: Twenty Random Facts about Paullina Sanchez

as told by Raye Johnsen

BEFORE WE BEGIN: This is a list of twenty factoids, not facts. I have tried to remain canonically accurate as much as possible, but these are things that I made up, not official canon aspects of Paullina's character; please don't think they are.

Paullina remains the property of Butch Hartman and Nickelodeon; this fanwork is for entertainment only.

1. Paullina doesn't remember a time when she wasn't the exotic beauty of Amity Park. She doesn't know how hard her father and mother had to fight to get into the US in the first place, or why they didn't stay in Miami or Texas or one of the other areas of the United States that are heavily populated with Mexican immigrants. She's never asked where her parents' money comes from or why they are so intent on appearing to be perfect, especially around police. Somewhere deep inside, she's decided that she doesn't want to know the answers.

2. She does remember when she met Starr. It was the first day of kindergarten. Mama had made her promise not to tear her nice new dress (an easy promise, because it was such a lovely pink and she wanted to keep it nice as much as Mama did) so when the teacher said it was playtime, she'd stayed inside to play with a doll she'd found. Starr was the only other little girl who also stayed inside, and they had a lovely time playing tea party.

3. That was also the day she met Danny Fenton. He would have spilt his orange juice on her if she hadn't stepped back in time. She decided then and there she wanted nothing to do with boys who threw juice everywhere, with no regard for other people's new clothes.

4. Paullina is fluently bilingual, but only her Spanish teacher knows this for sure. She sees no point in it at this stage, and is only fluent because her parents speak nothing else at home. To her, the Spanish club is an easy extracurricular that will look good on her college applications.

5. She was eight when she learned that beauty is power. A teacher caught both her and another girl cheating on a spelling test, and when she acted cute, the teacher gave her a lesser punishment. This lesson, both in the unfairness of the world and her weaponry within it, left a deep impression and she is still living by it.

6. She was twelve when she first realised that beauty has a double edge. It was actually pretty frightening when the man approached her at the grocery store and asked for her phone number. She fobbed him off with a number she made up on the spur of the moment and fled. The memory of his eager, lustful eyes and loose mouth has become both repellent and attractive in the back of her mind and she tries to repress it as much as possible. The thought that she was attractive enough for him to try to approach, however, is one that she has no intention of blocking.

7. Paullina got into cheerleading because her parents liked it. Paullina likes doing things that make Mama and Papa smile; she always has. Mama and Papa have always been pleased and happy with her, and she doesn't remember if she started being so feminine to please them or if they were pleased because she was so feminine. It doesn't matter much; both she and her family like her being what she is, so everybody wins.

8. She dates Dash mainly because it is expected of her. He is not nearly as attentive to her as she might like, and he wants her to pay all her attention to him, which doesn't please her. However, the head cheerleader always dates the star something, and in Casper High, the only star around is the lead quarterback, so she's pretty much stuck with him, until another star rises and one of them dumps the other for him/her (fat chance it'll be her who's dumped, though). He's cute, and even if he's not brilliant he's not stupid either, so he'll do - for the moment.

9. Phantom dazzles her at least partially because he doesn't seem to be dazzled by her. He's always fighting, or rescuing someone. It is the first time in a long time she hasn't been the centre of a boy's attention.

10. Paullina isn't mean to Sam Manson because she dislikes her as much as because she can't understand her. The thought that someone could reject the image of womanhood the world has built is beyond her comprehension, especially in someone who Paullina acknowledges to herself is almost as pretty as Paullina herself is.

11. There is one thing about her that Paullina does understand, though; she cares for Phantom, perhaps more than Paullina does (when she admits to herself that that's possible). It frightens her in a way that Paullina can't articulate, but drives her to the warmest colours and sexiest cuts in her wardrobe. If Paullina were older, or had read more widely, she might be able to realise that she and Sam are two extremes of human beauty, and where Sam is Winter with its icy beauty and edge of death, she is Summer with its generous growth and maturing life. As it is, it is only her instincts that tell her that Sam is truly the greatest threat to her claim to Phantom's heart; Paullina, however, has always listened to her instincts.

12. While Paullina loves to flirt, she has no intention of going any further with any boy than a few kisses. She's worth more than that.

13. There were people who were disappointed and disillusioned with Paullina when she dumped Valerie Gray out of the A-List after her dad changed jobs and she started an after-school job. They didn't realise that Paullina knew Valerie was a threat to her claim to being the exotic beauty of Amity Park and was looking for an excuse to get her out of the limelight.

14. When she realises that Danny Fenton's crush on her is over, she almost - almost - chooses to exert the effort that would have wrapped him back around her little finger. Instead, she lets him go to Valerie and, after their breakup, to Sam. At the time she told herself she was permitting the less-beautiful people to have some consolation with each other. She would later kick herself over it.

15. Paullina has never been able to remember exactly what has happened to her whenever she's had a very close encounter with a ghost. She's decided that this is another of those things that she really doesn't want to know about.

16. She isn't very proud of her behaviour during the Ectoranium Meteorite crisis. The president of the Phantom Phan club, she tells herself, should have stood up more for their hero. Maybe if she had, she teases herself, he wouldn't have had to wait till the last minute. Maybe not, too. Of course, she'll never know.

17. It took five separate news reports and two days for Phantom's true identity to sink into Paullina's head. When it did, she threw a terrific fit and cried herself into a twenty-four hour fever. She's not sure if it was because he was already dating Sam Manson or if it was because the great hero Phantom was dorky Danny Fenton.

18. Her efforts to integrate the trio of Danny 'Phantom' Fenton, now-Mayor Tucker Foley and Sam Manson into the A-List fail dismally. There's just too much past between them. Paullina has to sit back and watch as the crown of the queen of Casper High is set on the head of a Goth Girl who doesn't even want it, and she is reduced to the role of lady-in-waiting.

19. Still, she has to admit that Sam and Danny are very good together. Paullina has always believed in true love; watching Phantom with the girl he loves gives her hope that there's someone out there for her, too.

20. In the meantime, she'll watch the world's hero fly through life, fighting ghosts and courting his girlfriend, cheering him on and waiting for a chance to show him that Summer is warmer and sweeter than Winter ever could be. He has to get tired of ice and black sometime...