Teenager's prom dress went viral this year for paying homage to black women

Mary Scott
Nov 19, 2018
11:25 A.M.

A Tennessee teenager has gone viral after she paid homage to iconic black women with her Prom dress. Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Maya Angelou are only a few of the women featured on the beautiful outfit pictured below.


Deciding what to wear for prom is a major decision for many high school leavers, and in recent times, we’ve been seeing teenagers putting more creativity and effort into their final product. This year, 17-year-old Skyler Branch was at first confused on what to wear for the milestone event.


She told ELLE how the idea to honor black women came about.

“Me and my mom were in the car on my way to work and we were thinking about ideas for my prom dress. And she actually remembered that a young lady in Florida did a tribute to the police brutality victims on her prom dress last year. And so we took that idea and kind of expanded from there and added women who have inspired me in my life, and women who have done so much for me in my life.”


Apart from the women mentioned earlier, Halle Berry, Rosa Parks, Harriett Tubman, Beyoncé, and Aaliyah, also made it to Skyler’s list of inspirational black women.


“Not even just famous people or famous women, but the women in my family who have done so much for me," she added in an interview with TODAY Style.

Skyler’s dress includes faces of her great-grandmother, grandmother, aunts, and her mom, Dayna Branch.


Dayna and Skyler narrowed down the names of black women she wanted to feature and collaborated with a seamstress in Memphis to bring her idea to life.


The teenager did not get to see her dress until prom day, and her mother borrowed an alternative just in case anything went wrong. But nothing did, and when Dayna saw her daughter coming down the stairs in her homage dress, she couldn’t help getting emotional

“Seeing her come down with that dress and seeing my mom and my grandmother, to me, was just an inspiration.”


Skyler told ELLE that she wanted to stand out with her dress, and stand out she did. She said everyone at prom was shocked at her outfit and all night; people were stopping her and checking the faces of the celebrated women.


"All eyes were on me," Skylar recalled in the TODAY interview. "They had to (do a) double-take, because they saw the dress but at first didn't realize that I had faces on it."

In April, Dayna also shared a picture of the outfit on Twitter, and it went viral immediately with thousands of retweets and positive comments. Several celebrities, including Taraji P. Henson and Toni Braxton, also liked the picture.



Earlier in May, Nazmayde Castillo went viral after her boyfriend shared a photo of her prom gown. After inquiries on where they got the dress, MJ Johnson revealed that it was a $50 purchase that was altered.

Castillo was praised online for her ingenuity and creativity, and she and Johnson even played around by switching their outfits. The result was hilarious! Read more here.

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