Girl dresses as a different person every school day

Stella Ehrhart is an eight-year-old girl in Omaha who dresses as a different historical, prominent or local figure every day, with few repeats; she's been at it since the start of second grade. Much of her inspiration is drawn from 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century, and she and her fellow students and teachers play a guessing game each day to figure out who she is. She has dressed as her principal, Elvis Costello, Jan Brady, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Old Turtle. Erin Grace reports in the Omaha World-Herald:

So they try to support her desire for self-expression. Teachers, in fact, embrace it and have used Stella's outfits du jour as teachable moments.

“We'd have to get on the computer and figure out who she was,” said her second-grade teacher, Shannon Roeder, who keeps a picture of an overtly costumed Stella (it was Halloween) hanging in her classroom. In the picture, Stella poses in front of Roeder's bumper-sticker-plastered Prius, its license plate reading “ENDWAR,” wearing a cardboard car cutout also plastered in bumper stickers, with the same vanity plate.

Stella's costumes prompt classroom discussion, some copycatting and further creativity. 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.

On Monday, she sat in her Joan Baez “costume,” which was a military-green fitted half-blazer over a patterned blouse with black slacks and cowboy boots. She looked like any other third-grader, head bent over some bellwork — math and grammar exercises that at times had her stumped.

Omaha schoolgirl dresses as a different historical figure each day (via Skepchick)


  1. I don’t really understand the last line of the article,

    “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.”

    Is she going to, at her mother’s urging, wear a school uniform when she doesn’t have to and none of the other kids are? Or are all the kids going to be wearing uniforms and hers will be some sort of psychological costume? Or something. I’m not sure.

      1. Yay Stella!!!
        I’m not so sure that this kid’s imagination is so crush-able. I’m sure it will come out in other ways!

        Maybe the execution of this idea has become unsustainable, either financially or energetically? Or it had just run its course? People often stop working in one creative direction and then devote that energy to another area. With parents, friends, and even a school that are so supportive, I’m sure that she will continue to be a bright, imaginative, young artist!

  2. It’s a chore to get my girls school uniform ready. I can’t imagine having to plan a costume every day. 

    1.  On the album ‘Burnt Weenie Sandwich’ Frank Zappa replies to an audience member who is (unintelligibly) yelling something at him, “Everyone in this room is wearing a uniform and don’t kid yourself”.

  3. Her creative parents? are worn out? by the additional time and attention needs of their creative child? and have ‘talked her into’ wearing the uniform of conformity? just to be ‘different’?  What?

    See Ritalin thread below.  Let’s reexamine our notions of what choices children really have.  What do we mean by ‘active participation’ when it comes to children?

  4. Man, I was so happy reading this article… until the uniform part :(

    Why make it uniform every day? Why not go down to one or two costumes a week? Many people totally suck at history knowing important figures (especially female). To have a child who has such a natural interest and finds a way to make it engaging to the other children around her is truly a wonderful thing.

    I wore an uniform throughout high-school. To this day, I absolutely loathe navy blue.

      1. This is Stella’s idea, and some other classmates have decided to join her in wearing them as well.  Just something different, I think.

        1. I’m not criticizing.  I’m just saying I really don’t like a particular color.  Upthread, there are people that think you’re behind your daughter’s decision.

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