Girl of a thousand faces

Girl of a thousand faces

It’s not just Paddington who has a hard stare. Kara does too.

Not that you can see it behind her sunglasses but just the set of her shoulders in this photo tells you this is a girl you don’t mess with. When the mood takes her, she can glare and scowl and be mean and moody with the best of them. If looks could kill …

A game I often play with the kids in idle moments is ‘Blink’. Two players face off against each other in a staring contest. There are just three rules:

  • No breaking eye contact.
  • No attempts to distract your opponent by pulling faces, waving your hands et cetera.
  • First person to blink loses.

If Blink was an Olympic sport, I would be a gold medallist. But Kara would run me a close second.

Which reminds me of this classic Doctor Who episode …

Hard stares aside, when she wants to she also has the smiliest, happiest eyes. Eyes that could – and frequently do – melt a father’s heart.

Girl of a thousand facesCertainly every mood in between is also within her repertoire. Wide-eyed innocence and wonder. Seething anger. Butter-wouldn’t-melt mischief. Frowns, pouts, excitement, utter disdain. (That last one is usually reserved for poor Toby, who at times can do no right in Kara’s eyes.) She wears her heart on her sleeve and on her face, emotions writ large on her features. She’s like a walking, talking set of emojis.

To finish on the loosest of related tangents, when I observe Kara I’m reminded of the 1950s James Cagney film Man of a Thousand FacesΒ about the life of silent movie star Lon Chaney. He was both a fine character actor and a master of make-up, renowned for portraying tortured and deformed characters such as Quasimodo and the Phantom of the Opera.

And that’s Kara: the girl of a thousand faces (albeit generally less grotesque ones). She does her own make-up too.


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