When I was twelve, I wanted to make cheerleader more than anything. Make was the verb we used and also how I imagined my transformation: being remade.

The guest list for my birthday slumber party that year was aspirational; I invited girls whose parents allowed them to shave their legs. It was 1989, and we were all side ponytails and Who will make cheerleader? The competition was decided half by popular vote among the student body and half by expert judges, with spots for only twelve or so girls. We analyzed our relative popularity, our back handsprings, the curve of our calves. We compared our lists of who might come out on top.