Lizette Dionne reluctantly moves from NOLA to San Francisco for her parent’s political careers. The first person she meets is Rufus, whom she finds kind and helpful. He plans to introduce her to Ellowyne, Prudence, and even Amber in an effort to widen her social circle. However, Ellowyne meets her at Dr. Bantam’s office; Lizette’s parents urged her to go to therapy because she’s having trouble adjusting to her new home. Later, she meets Prudence and Amber at Briermier Academy, where they, Rufus, and Ellowyne go to high school. Lizette is impressed with the science curriculum, which tells me she’s smart.

Lizette is shy and doesn’t take many social risks. One of her first poems relates how she is reticent to meet new people. But another doll, Woefully Rich, she divulges how she feels wealthy because of an abundance of good, solid friends. But in a poem for Seriously Dressed, Ellowyne, she talks about seeing Lizette at Dr. Bantam’s office, and the two of them taking a silent walk later that day. A later poem for the doll Lizette’s Bold Move talks about how she’s going to make a move on a boy she likes. However, the object of her affection is never named. 

As per the Wilde Imagination canon, Lizette has two passions: birds and hats. Her love of birds is mentioned in Ellowyne’s journal entries and therapy notes. Lizette’s love of hats is cited in early poem cards but otherwise it’s not probed much deeper. 


One thing about Lizette that is never explicitly put forward is her ethnicity. Lizette was produced in two skin tones: honey, which is light-skinned, and spice, which is darker. The honey-colored Lizette dolls were produced in larger number than the spice-hued ones. Hence the matter of Lizette’s heritage. While we can assume the spice version was most likely Black, we’re less sure about the honey  version. Is she a light-skinned Black woman? Brown? Biracial? Latina? Native American or Eastern Indian? But the most important thing about Lizette’s heritage is that it doesn’t matter.She can be of any ethnic group you want. All interpretations of Lizette’s heritage are valid. For the most part, I see her as Creole with French, West African, Spanish, and Native American ancestry, which is logical considering that, canonically, she is from New Orleans. But other times I see her as biracial or Latina. 

In my headcanon, I build on Lizette’s canon rather than reject it. She likes science and birds, so she aspires to become an avian veterinarian. She is going to study at University of California Davis, which has a highly ranked vet program and is not too far from San Francisco. In her spare time, she is an avid birdwatcher, and she has several pet birds, and sometimes she volunteers at an avian veterinary clinic or a bird rescue. Occasionally, her friends tease her—in a good-natured way—about being a “bird brain.”

How about the hats? She wears hats and looks good in hats but I don’t see them as integral to her character with one notable exception. There is a rich tradition of Black women wearing bright, elaborate hats to church. Some used them as a conduit to God, a way to attract His attention. Others saw the hat as a crown, a tangible symbol of overcoming hardships. Still others wore hats as indicators of personal wealth, especially in the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. Is Lizette a church-going woman whose love of hats is associated to her faith? Is she influenced by her grandmother or another older relative? Or does she just like hats?

Lizette is shy but well-liked by her friends. They accept her as she is and enjoy having her as part of the group. She is especially close to Prudence, but gets along well with everyone. She and Amber have a running joke about the premium coffee, kopi luwak, that Amber loves. Asian palm civets eat coffee cherries and defecate the fermented, partially digested beans; therefore, Lizette refers to the coffee as “weasel poop coffee” even though civets are not weasels. I always thought that Lizette was just being cheeky and wanted to tease Amber. However, perhaps Lizette was right. I just read on Wikipedia that “Weasel coffee” is a loose English translation of Vietnamese name for kopi luwak, cà phê Chồn. Who knew? Lizette and Amber enjoy speaking French, a language which Lizette speaks because of her Creole background and Amber learned back in high school. 

And then there’s the issue of Lizette’s love life. In one of her poem cards, she alludes to the first time she was kissed. Perhaps her difficulty leaving NOLA and moving to San Francisco was due to her leaving behind her first true love. She has a huge crush on Rufus, as evidenced by the way she said he was so kind. Unfortunately—at least for her—Lizette’s feelings are unrequited. In my story, The Lonesome Loser, ( Lizette is thrilled that Ellowyne is interested in Penn because she might get a chance with Rufus. Unfortunately, he is oblivious to her advantages. Once Ellowyne and Rufus officially start dating, she starts seeing other men, including Penn. In Spring Break, she has a torrid but brief relationship with a young man named Keanu. ( In Ennui in the Age of COVID-19 ( Lizette meets a handsome man named Lawrence (who is not a doll but should be) who is as obsessed as she is with birds, and he is planning to attend UC Davis to study avian veterinary. Will he be in her life for the duration of the pandemic? Will they go to vet school together and fulfill their dream of opening a mobile clinic? Please keep reading to find out!

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