Melissa Gilbert Is Unrecognizable in Throwback Pic and Fans Have Thoughts

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Melissa Gilbert Shares Back-to-School ThrowbackRoy Rochlin - Getty Images
  • Melissa Gilbert shared a grade school throwback photo to celebrate school starting.

  • Fans loved the shot in which she was nearly unrecognizable.

  • The post invited followers to share their own school photos for a trip down memory lane.

Following in the footsteps of Jennifer Garner, who kicked off the back-to-school season with a kindergarten snapshot, Melissa Gilbert shared her own grade school throwback—one that even predated her days as Laura Ingalls Wilder in Little House on the Prairie. Without her trademark pigtail braids and face full of freckles, she was nearly unrecognizable.

The black-and-white headshot was originally shared by Gilbert’s lifestyle brand, Modern Prairie, on Instagram, along with a similar throwback from the brand’s co-founder, Nicole Haase. “Embracing the Back-to-School energy with a feel-good flashback! 🎒” the caption read. “The contagious smiles and uncontainable excitement for this season remain unchanged. Just like @jennifer.garner, who ignited this nostalgia, we’re inviting you to join in! 📸✨ Send us your cherished school snapshots—let’s relive the thrill of a new year to learn together. Ready, set, let those memories flow!”

Instead of braids, in her school photo, Gilbert wore her hair tied half-up with ribbon. She re-shared the image on her personal page, where fans showered her with adoration. “The little girl who would touch hearts and change lives as she grew up. ❤️” one person commented. “Now that is stinkin’ cute school photo! ❤️” another added. “Soooo adorable!!! Such a beautiful soul inside and out!” someone else wrote.

The blast from the past inspired Gilbert’s fans and followers to share their own trips down memory lane, which Modern Prairie celebrated, giving a special shoutout to teachers. “Your first-day-of-school photos warmed our hearts and filled us with joy. 😊🎒,” the caption read. “As we embark on this new school year, let's take a moment to express our gratitude to the unsung heroes who shape our future - our amazing teachers!”

Gilbert may no longer go by “Half Pint” like she did shortly after that school photo was taken, but she’s quite OK with that—despite looking back on those days with fondness. In fact, embracing her age and current stage of life as an off-grid homesteader and community activist has earned her just as much happiness—if not more than her days as a Hollywood star.

I’m excited about this. I love all these changes and watching what’s happening and getting to know this new person,” she told Good Morning America last year. “I also feel so much stronger and I feel like I’ve really earned my opinions. And I know what I don’t want in life, which is a bigger deal than knowing what you do.”

Now, she can simply revel in the world she has created, and look back at that smiling little girl with pride.

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