Not all heroes wear capes, and perhaps no one truly gets this more than 8-year-old Ella-Lorraine Brown. When Ella-Lorraine’s school held Cultural Heroes Day, she opted to dress up like Michelle Obama during her Princeton days back when she was Michelle Robinson.
“She was really in awe of the idea that with hard work you could become anything,” explained Ella-Lorraine’s mom, Karlyn Johnson Brown, who is also a Princeton alum. There were several other young girls dressed up as Obama during her days as first lady, but Ella-Lorraine immediately knew she wanted to portray Obama during her college years.
@MichelleObama Cultural Heroes Day 2018 finds our daughter celebrating you as a Princeton student. My incredible wife, also a Princeton alum, pulled off the magic with our beautiful, and eager, 8-year old. #MichelleObama #iambecoming #blackgirlmagic #sheroars #blackgirlsrock pic.twitter.com/66Ajga3c0J
— Piano Bench (@PBMGLA) November 1, 2018
“I loved it because by choosing to portray her hero as a college student, the focus was on Michelle’s accomplishments as an individual, not just as an attachment,” Brown said. (Hear, hear!)
Ella-Lorraine’s parents have made sure that their daughter is educated about all the strong women role models out there, especially Black women. “Ella-Lorraine has never known a time when Black women weren’t publicly honored and ‘Black girl magic’ wasn’t a highly celebrated thing. That’s awesome,” Brown says.
Ella-Lorraine’s dad added that he and his wife “try to surround Ella-Lorraine with women who are go-getters like Michelle, women who are independent and smart, level-headed and loving.” This includes the women who are no longer with us but who had an important impact on history. Ella-Lorraine’s previous school costumes certainly reflect this — in the past, she’s dressed up as pioneer pilot Bessie Coleman and Ruby Bridges, the first Black child to desegregate an all-white school in 1960.
Now that we think about it, capes are pretty overrated. Who needs them when you’ve got real-life sheroes like Michelle Obama, Bessie Coleman and Ruby Bridges to emulate?