“You think I look insane, but I’m the most normal-looking girl in Bushwick.” So declared the comedian Chloe Fineman, parodying Ella Emhoff at a Passover Seder, on the March 27 episode of Saturday Night Live. “Momala’s serving matzo while I’m serving looks.” The Twittersphere, feeling terribly seen, went berserk: “Bushwick just exploded,” reported one user.
The profile of the 21-year-old stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris has been rising steadily since the presidential inauguration, when the Brooklyn-based college student raised eyebrows with the kind of frumpy clothes and granny glasses more predictably seen on members of the Greatest Generation. (The crystal-shouldered tartan coat was Miu Miu, and the ruffled burgundy taffeta gown was Batsheva, but still.) S.N.L.’s anointment made it clear: Ella Emhoff has staked her place in the national conversation. But what are we to make of her?