During a Minnesota rally for Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, even Warren herself was surprised to meet her “lookalike” Stephanie Oyen, a Minnesotan woman who shares a striking resemblance to the democratic politician.
According to Star Tribune, Warren noticed Oyen in a line of people waiting to take selfies with Warren because she was dressed like her in a blue blazer and glasses. Warren pulled Oyen aside for a photo and then was brought over for another photo with Warren’s staffers. The photo taken of the two women quickly went viral after many struggled to figure out which woman was Warren and which was Oyen.
Here’s what you need to know about Stephanie Oyen:
1. Her Elizabeth Warren-Inspired Attire Was Originally a Halloween Costume
Oyen shares Warren’s short blonde haircut, a feature she played off of when assembling her Elizabeth Warren ensemble, complete with blue blazer and clear glasses. According to the Boston Globe, she used that wardrobe to dress as Warren for the past two Halloweens. She told the Globe that before attending the rally, “I thought, I’ll put on the blazer and glasses and people would think it would be funny and cute.”
Warren tweeted her input on the costume’s accuracy, joking “It would’ve been even better if she’d brought her own Bailey!” Oyen, who appears to have joined Twitter shortly after rising to viral fame, responded “Hey @ewarren, my Monte would love to meet your @FirstDogBailey the next time you are in Minnesota! @SenWarren #Warren2020 #ElizabethWarren #ElizabethWarren2020 #TeamWarren #doppelgaenger.”
2. She Was Mistaken for Warren by Fellow Rally Attendees
Not only did Oyen capture the attention of Elizabeth Warren, she caught the eyes of many of the other rally attendees who thought she was the woman they had traveled to the rally to see.
Oyen told the Boston Globe that she first realized there could be a case of mistaken identity when she visited a local grocery store in-costume before heading to the rally. She said, “People were turning their heads, and stopping and staring at me.”
Regarding the unexpected extra attention, Oyen told the Star Tribune “I’m not a prankster. I really thought people would know, but then they started running up and saying ‘You’re my hero!’ and taking photos. I felt so bad.” She said that she ended up taking the costume off until it was time to take photos with Warren, after “people started yelling, ‘Senator Warren!’” She added that “People were clapping and running up to me to take photos. I kept saying ‘I’m not her!’ but I looked up and hundreds of people were staring at me.”
3. Oyen Works as a Loan Advisor & Residential Property Manager
According to Oyen’s LinkedIn profile, she has worked as a Community Loan Advisor with NeighborWorks Home Partners since March 2019. She is also a Residential Property Manager for Mayday Family Properties, and says “Since 1999, I’ve purchased, completely renovated, and managed the ongoing leasing of 8 housing units.”
Her Facebook profile confirms this, with before and after photos of a few of her renovations and listings of available-for-rent apartments in Minnesota.
4. She Attended High School & College in Minnesota
Oyen received her education in Minnesota, so it is unsurprising that she chose to live and work in the state after graduating from college. Her Facebook profile says that she went to Woodbury Senior High in Woodbury, Minnesota. In 1987, she started college at Concordia College; she graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and minors in music and psychology.
She currently resides in Edina, Minnesota, where she has volunteered as a part of The Rotary Club of Edina’s Host Family for Youth Exchange since February 2016.
5. She Plans to Support Warren in the Democratic Election
As if her Halloween costume and attendance at the Minnesota rally weren’t enough of an indication, Oyen told the Boston Globe that she is an avid Warren supporter, and that the experience of meeting Warren solidified her support of Warren as the potential democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential election.
After meeting Warren, Oyen proudly made her Facebook profile photo the rally picture of her and Warren shaking hands in front of an American flag (the photo that has been circulating as news of Warren’s “doppleganger” encounter spread). One of her previous Facebook profile photos reads “TRUMP 2020 HE’S NOT MY TYPE.”