Behold, she is Grace Kelly.
October 17, 2012 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Omaha schoolgirl dresses as a different historical figure every day. "The Dundee Elementary School third-grader comes to school dressed as a different historical figure or character — Every. Single. Day. And she's done that since the second day of second grade, when this all started."
posted by sweetkid (82 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
this is so frickin cute and awesome.
posted by facetious at 1:46 PM on October 17, 2012


She's cosplaying on hard mode.
posted by The Whelk at 1:47 PM on October 17, 2012 [28 favorites]


How big is her wardrobe??
posted by NationalKato at 1:48 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


awwww eponysterical!
posted by supermedusa at 1:50 PM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can't wait till she does Ethel Rosenburg
posted by Postroad at 1:53 PM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I was a little confused until I realized that Laura Ingalls Wilder did not, in fact, play Donna on Twin Peaks.
posted by griphus at 1:55 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, Super Cool at the tender age of second grader.

Also, I am sure she is not struggling with the question of what to wear for Halloween.
posted by bearwife at 1:55 PM on October 17, 2012


I was a little confused until I realized that Laura Ingalls Wilder did not, in fact, play Donna on Twin Peaks.

No she played Donna on That 70s Show.
posted by sweetkid at 1:58 PM on October 17, 2012


This kid. Is fantastic.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:58 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is remarkably cool.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:59 PM on October 17, 2012


Her parents must be super-wealthy to be able to buy her five sets of clothes a week.
posted by Malor at 2:02 PM on October 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Also, I am sure she is not struggling with the question of what to wear for Halloween.


Unless she sees it, like so many gay men do, as a high holy day and is overwhelmed with trying to get the exact right outfit.

(I'm, sadly/fortunately, not one of those.)

The article had about 30 points where I was won over so I will not quote them all, just to say that this is the purest example of why I care about climate change and shit that will matter when I am not around.

Also, I'm pretty sure she's gonna kill it in "The Bad Seed" (pun intended).
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:03 PM on October 17, 2012


Her parents must be super-wealthy to be able to buy her five sets of clothes a week.

I can think of worse ways to raise a kid in privilege.
posted by griphus at 2:04 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Bad Seed?? that's a bit dark for 8 year olds isn't it?
posted by Bwithh at 2:04 PM on October 17, 2012


Her parents must be super-wealthy to be able to buy her five sets of clothes a week.

Two words: Goodwill.
posted by Floydd at 2:04 PM on October 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Behind every successful Dundee Elementary School Third-Grad Cosplayer there is a parent who has spent lots of time and money to make this happen. Someone should set up a fund where you can donate sleep or quality bathroom time to these awesome parents.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:06 PM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah with a lot of the outfits it looks like accessories pull them together, and in some pics it looks like she might be wearing some things from her mom. The article mentions some things are gifts from family members.
posted by sweetkid at 2:06 PM on October 17, 2012


The Bad Seed?? that's a bit dark for 8 year olds isn't it?

Only if they have murderous fixations on medals.
posted by The Whelk at 2:07 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Stella, costumed as Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, wearing a hat her aunt got her in Vietnam.

Looking forward to her dressing as Margaret Thatcher using a beret her aunt got her in Paris.

Yes, I snarked about an eight-year-old.
posted by docgonzo at 2:07 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


move over StyleRookie, here comes HistoryRookie
posted by Bwithh at 2:17 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Stella, when you get to be about 11 or 12 years old, a lot of forces will conspire to try make you feel like you should be like everyone else. IGNORE THEM. You could not possibly be any more awesome!
posted by HotToddy at 2:29 PM on October 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Big deal, I dress as a different historical figure every day, too. Albeit only those who wore plaid button down shirts and jeans.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:30 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


After the holidays, Stella's costume will be the same day in, day out — unlike any of her classmates. She'll wear a school uniform.
Well, that ended on a down note!
posted by smammy at 2:33 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Not really. Sounds like she's going to wear a uniform to school when no one else is. It's just a different way to stand out, make her statement.
posted by sweetkid at 2:35 PM on October 17, 2012


Her parents must be super-wealthy to be able to buy her five sets of clothes a week.

nope. no they musn't.
posted by facetious at 2:38 PM on October 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Our daughter, 8, would so totally do this, but I fear this would take what's already a 15 minute process and stretch it out to...infinity.

Yeah, I'm a buzzkiller.
posted by mosk at 2:40 PM on October 17, 2012


I'd rather see historical figures dressed as school girls. (I'm thinking of you, James K. Polk.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:47 PM on October 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Her parents must be super-wealthy to be able to buy her five sets of clothes a week.

yeah, those local theater types really rake it in.
posted by Flamingo at 2:54 PM on October 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


No women of color. Tsk tsk tsk. Although I imagine some manner of shitstorm would develop if she came into class with blackface as Harriet Tubman.
posted by Renoroc at 3:00 PM on October 17, 2012


Awesome! Not sure I needed to realize an 8-year-old was way more awesome than I am today, but I'll deal.
posted by maxwelton at 3:01 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Billie Holiday is the first person mentioned in the article, Renoroc.
posted by griphus at 3:03 PM on October 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


Her parents must be super-wealthy to be able to buy her five sets of clothes a week.


Please point to the part of the article where it says that her parents buy her five sets of clothes a week.

No women of color. Tsk tsk tsk. Although I imagine some manner of shitstorm would develop if she came into class with blackface as Harriet Tubman.

"Voilà, she is Billie Holiday, in a black dress with a red tissue-paper flower tucked into her strawberry-blond hair."

"When she dressed as Rosa Parks, she and her classmates devised a play and designated different people as the bus driver and other bus passengers."
posted by oneirodynia at 3:03 PM on October 17, 2012 [24 favorites]


I'd rather see historical figures dressed as school girls.

My first dyslexic pre-double-take reading of this post was "Obama dresses as a different schoolgirl every day".

... OK. You'd think that might hurt in an election year, but who am I to question the political genius of David Axelrod?
posted by dgaicun at 3:06 PM on October 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I am always happy to see examples where the positive self-expression of children is supported and encouraged. It seems the least we can do for them when everything else about the world they'll inherit is so royally fucked up.
posted by marylynn at 3:06 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Her parents must be super-wealthy to be able to buy her five sets of clothes a week.

Maybe they're running out of money:
And she has so far agreed to her mother's idea — a twist on doing something different. After the holidays, Stella's costume will be the same day in, day out — unlike any of her classmates.

She'll wear a school uniform.
posted by DynamiteToast at 3:08 PM on October 17, 2012


Her parents must be super-wealthy to be able to buy her five sets of clothes a week.

Malor, did you look at the pictures in the article, even just briefly?

"Billie Holiday" was a black shirt, black skirt, and a paper flower. "Joan Baez" was a plain shirt and jeans and an army jacket. "Elvis Costello" was a black shirt, brown pants and vest.

If people took two seconds to RTFA it's apparent that her approach is "ooh, if I take these clothes I already own and combine them in this way and add a prop I'll sort of look like this person".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:21 PM on October 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


After OD'ing on election coverage yesterday (okay, the last two months), it's nice to be reminded that there are people out there who are quietly bringing the awesome, every day.
posted by Ripper Minnieton at 3:23 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


She has a friend named Abby Adams and there is no mention of whether Sarah has ever dressed as Abigail Adams. I don't know why this vexes me so but it does.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:30 PM on October 17, 2012


She'll wear a school uniform.

Monday: the school uniform Sandra Day O'Connor wore as a child.
Tuesday: the school uniform Susan B. Anthony wore as a child.
Wednesday...
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:30 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


What a cool and interesting thing to do.

Even as I applaud this, though, I can't help but reflect on the fact that even this sort of act exists at least partially within oppressive cultural structures that attach excessive, person-defining importance to what girls and women wear. Again, I think it's really neat that she's doing this, and I don't mean to detract from the project or the impetus behind it, both of which are impressive. I just think that maybe girls shouldn't be given too much praise or blame for who or what they dress like, and I hope someday that culture in the US will change and make that factor far less important in whether we consider a female person deserving of admiration or denigration.
posted by clockzero at 3:50 PM on October 17, 2012


She should hurry up and submit her Yale MFA application, before someone steals her concept.
posted by R. Mutt at 3:51 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Even as I applaud this, though, I can't help but reflect on the fact that even this sort of act exists at least partially within oppressive cultural structures that attach excessive, person-defining importance to what girls and women wear.

*looks*

*purses mouth*

*closes laptop*
posted by jscott at 4:11 PM on October 17, 2012 [19 favorites]


She opens up a book on the 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century and dresses like Elvis Costello? Did we miss the opportunity for an fpp on the operation?
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:13 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Her parents must be super-wealthy to be able to buy her five sets of clothes a week."
Maybe the neighbors help. Dundee School is not far from Buffet grocery store
posted by Cranberry at 4:28 PM on October 17, 2012


No women of color. Tsk tsk tsk.

besides the others mentioned, Aung San Suu Kyi
posted by Bwithh at 4:38 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


She opens up a book on the 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century and dresses like Elvis Costello?

probably just Mommy living out her fantasies vicariously.
posted by Bwithh at 4:40 PM on October 17, 2012


I feel like this article is burying a few ledes

» “One time she dressed as our principal,” said Jack Jenowe. “It's cool.”

» “My favorite costume was last year — she dressed as me,” said best friend Virginia Holtzclaw.

posted by Bwithh at 4:58 PM on October 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah that's why it's important to read the whole article. (Not saying you didn't Bwithh)
posted by sweetkid at 5:06 PM on October 17, 2012


I love this.

I would be very interested to see what she does with her life.
posted by whoaali at 6:07 PM on October 17, 2012


Is she kinda like the next Lena Dunham?
posted by ovvl at 6:19 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Neither parent supplies the costumes or the ideas. They just roll with what Stella wants to do and support her

And she has so far agreed to her mother's idea

I thought the parents weren't supplying ideas?
posted by chela at 7:29 PM on October 17, 2012


It's all nice and cute and all, but then you have this:

Stella, costumed as Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, wearing a hat her aunt got her in Vietnam

They're not even in the same time-zones! In fact, other than the fact that both countries belong to ASEAN (and ummm, Asian-y people I suppose) , I cant think of a single similarity between Burma and Vietnam. It's a bit like trying to dress up as Kate Middleton by wearing a Bavarian-isque Dirndl. (Because, you know, white people!) That's how ridiculous this is to me.

And it's not even as if Daw Aung Sang Syu Kyi has a difficult wardrobe or something; she wears these plain jasmine flowers in a bun and a Burmese-isque female sarong, the htamein and so on.
posted by the cydonian at 8:07 PM on October 17, 2012


And it's not even as if Daw Aung Sang Syu Kyi has a difficult wardrobe or something; she wears these plain jasmine flowers in a bun and a Burmese-isque female sarong, the htamein and so on.

She's 8!
posted by dobbs at 8:15 PM on October 17, 2012 [18 favorites]


She's a little girl playing dress up with things she has in her closet. Shockingly she didnt have a Burmese flower sarong laying around. Because you know those are everywhere in Ohio. Calm down.

And I'm damn impressed she even knows who Daw Aung Sang Syu Kyi is. She is a little girl.
posted by whoaali at 8:17 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also now all these little kids in Omaha (not Ohio) know who Aung Sang Syu Kyi IS. Which is awesome.
posted by sweetkid at 8:27 PM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Damn election everything is Ohio to me.
posted by whoaali at 8:41 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap, the number of commenters looking for the smallest excuse to knock her down (whether they RTFA or not) is breaking my brain. I really hope your ironic tone is being lost in the text.

She rocks. Full stop.
posted by dry white toast at 8:45 PM on October 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


It's all nice and cute and all, but then you have this:

Stella, costumed as Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, wearing a hat her aunt got her in Vietnam


Maybe it was an authentic Burmese hat that just happened to be made and/or on sale in Vietnam?
Anyway, paddy hats are common throughout this region. Because they're practical. For paddy-farming and other hot weather activities.
posted by Bwithh at 8:48 PM on October 17, 2012


Metafilter: I really hope your ironic tone is being lost in the text.
posted by Bwithh at 8:49 PM on October 17, 2012


Well, that's an interesting question Bwithh. This flickr set shows Burmese women wearing hats like the one Stella is wearing. At least in the same shape.

However, that doesn't really make it good for Aung San Suu Kyi because she doesn't work in rice fields, obviously.

I'm not criticizing Stella at all on this however since she is eight and also awesome.
posted by sweetkid at 9:06 PM on October 17, 2012


I think it is pretty cool her outfits may not be purely representational. She is adopting Something deeper than just dressing like someone. Even the language of the article seems to say this:

Poof, she is Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, wearing a hat her aunt got her in Vietnam.

She is Aung San Suu Kyi, who happens to be wearing a Vietnamese hat. Perhaps tomorrow she will be Aung San Suu Kyi in a Billie Holiday costume, wearing a silk flower.

I love that kids are so much less literal than adults. The clothes don't really matter, what matters is who she says she is.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:15 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


She is Aung San Suu Kyi, who happens to be wearing a Vietnamese hat. Perhaps tomorrow she will be Aung San Suu Kyi in a Billie Holiday costume, wearing a silk flower.

That's a neat idea, actually.
posted by sweetkid at 9:18 PM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Alright guys, deep breath. Nope, wasn't being ironic. And yes, I might have appeared to have gone a bit overboard with the later part of my earlier comment; obviously, there's a bit of that online distance thing at work here, I'd probably have sounded much more positive and encouraging had I said this in real life, or indeed, to the girl in question had I spoken to her personally or something. There's something to cheer in her effort; that was my stance earlier too, although I didn't quite elaborate on it, and that is still my stance.

So of all the nine-odd pictures in the link, Aung Sang Syu Kyi was the only one I know of, or could recognize. So yes, was looking at that pic specifically more closely than the rest. And yes, in retrospect, I'd probably haven't bothered much hadn't the caption specifically pointed out that the hat was Vietnamese. Pointedly mentioning that was, and still feels, rather grating; speaks to a fair amount of uncaring-ness, if I may, about Burmese cultural icons. These things are obviously bigger things here in Asia than presumably out there.

And yes, sarongs and flowers and stuff are easier to source for people like me from Asia than it may be for people from the mid-west; I don't mean this necessarily in a geographical sense, but cultural: most Asian families in exotic locations automatically "know" where to find Asian-y stuff. Know this Pakistani family in Aberdeen who sourced out Indian pickles and such within weeks of arriving there, for instance. Likewise, know this Burmese girl who, for instance, found a supplier for thanaka within days of arriving in Hong Kong. So yes, I did implicitly presume finding, say, jasmine or something, would be "easy", but in retrospect, that's more true for Asian families, than eight-year-old's.

In short, idle comment, didn't mean to be too pointed in my criticism.
posted by the cydonian at 9:21 PM on October 17, 2012


ASSK in some kind of hat. Because the sun is hot.

Anyway, she's an elected legislator and party leader now, she's gonna have to do cheesy folksy hat photos as part of the job
posted by Bwithh at 9:36 PM on October 17, 2012


Using this (or any) story as an opportunity to comment, even critically, upon issues raised by it does not necessarily constitute an attempt to "knock her down", or to denigrate the subject of the story. Seriously. You can think what she's doing is neat and cute and impressive and still have other things to say that are not simple reiterations of that praise for one person.
posted by clockzero at 9:41 PM on October 17, 2012


when i start my own university the first class i teach there is going to be on the sociology of the metafilter buzzkill. it's a unique online phenomenon. not trolling, within the usual parameters of that word. it's jes buzzkillin'
posted by facetious at 11:11 PM on October 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


She has found some small way to make the endless, boring hell that is school a little less tedious. Good for her.

But Elvis Costello is not a historical figure.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 3:43 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Malor, did you look at the pictures in the article, even just briefly?

Mysteriously, my other comment seems to have disappeared, so I will try again: there are no pictures in this article.

Now, you may see something different, but I read the web with scripting off, and this article has no signs of pictures whatsoever in that mode. It looks just like any other newspaper article would.

I do not appreciate the accusation of not reading the article. I really resent it, in fact.
posted by Malor at 4:37 AM on October 18, 2012


I like to dress as a different Mefite every day.

Today it's the Quidnunc Kid. The monkey suit was a little difficult to source, but hey.
posted by Segundus at 5:18 AM on October 18, 2012


No longer is it enough that Metafilter overthinks the plate of beans, now we must find fault in them.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:47 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


[Comment deleted. Someone without scripting turned on didn't see the photos; I don't think we need to pursue this derail any further.]
posted by taz at 5:50 AM on October 18, 2012


Damn election everything is Ohio to me.

Where I come from we pronounce it "Iowa."
posted by Floydd at 6:22 AM on October 18, 2012


This child deserves a MacArthur Baby Genius Award!
posted by mareli at 8:01 AM on October 18, 2012


She's awesome! I feel better today. Stella Ehrhart for president!!
posted by amanda at 8:09 AM on October 18, 2012


I don't care how cute she is, that's an awful Elvis Costello impersonation.
posted by ciderwoman at 9:02 AM on October 18, 2012


I love this. Thanks for posting.
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 9:48 AM on October 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn election everything is Ohio to me.

Turn on your scripting dammit.
posted by sweetkid at 9:54 AM on October 18, 2012


I wonder why she's wearing a school uniform after the holidays? (Also, who says her parents have to buy her different, new clothes for every outfit? It seems like she could re-use individual garments for different costumes.)
posted by sarcasticah at 3:10 PM on October 18, 2012


I love that she's doing this as a kid. I wear weird outfits now (today's outfit was described to me by a stranger as reminiscent of San Francisco 1968), but that's because nobody's going to bully me for wearing tie-dye to work the way that I got harassed in oh, elementary, middle, and high school for say, not having pegged pants like everyone else. I love that she's doing this and she's not getting harassed by her school OR the fellow students.

I also concur that she's probably either using stuff in her closet or Goodwill or the occasional costume sale, rather than her parents going out and buying her formal Renaissance/southern belle/whatever costumes every week.

But the uniform thing DEPRESSES ME NO END. Why???? Are her parents fed the hell up? Did her school boringly change to uniforms (I hate that)? It ruins the fun and the learning, man. Sad, sad ending to this.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:10 PM on October 18, 2012


But the uniform thing DEPRESSES ME NO END. Why???? Are her parents fed the hell up? Did her school boringly change to uniforms (I hate that)? It ruins the fun and the learning, man. Sad, sad ending to this.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:10 PM on October 18 [+] [!]


maybe the kid made a Faustian deal - she gives in to long-suffering parents' desperate pleas for school uniform regime in exchange to parents bribing a reporter from the Omaha Herald-World to do a splash piece, give the kid 15 minutes of fame.

Or maybe she's just going to a new school with different rules?
posted by Bwithh at 9:46 PM on October 18, 2012


But Elvis Costello is not a historical figure.

Tell it to Lorne Michaels


I think this is great, she's doing something different that she enjoys. And as far as the uniforms, maybe she's just really developed a thing for Tartan
posted by pupdog at 4:03 PM on October 19, 2012



But the uniform thing DEPRESSES ME NO END. Why???? Are her parents fed the hell up? Did her school boringly change to uniforms (I hate that)? It ruins the fun and the learning, man. Sad, sad ending to this.


People, for reals read the article. She's wearing the uniform to be different from her peers in a different way - rather than dressing like different historical figures to stand out, she's wearing a uniform to stand out. Because no one else will be wearing one. To her school, the same school she was going to before in the historical costumes.

This is the bit:

And she has so far agreed to her mother's idea — a twist on doing something different. After the holidays, Stella's costume will be the same day in, day out — unlike any of her classmates.

She'll wear a school uniform.

posted by sweetkid at 4:07 PM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


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