Stunt on 'Em: Teen's African-Print Prom Dress Goes Viral After Teacher Tried to Shut Her Down

(Photo: Makalaya Zanders via Instagram)

Stunt on 'Em: Teen's African-Print Prom Dress Goes Viral After Teacher Tried to Shut Her Down

Makalaya Zanders was told the gown "isn't something you wear" to a formal.

Published May 25, 2016

Apparently high school prom has an incredibly restrictive dress code.

Ohio Garfield Heights High School student Makalaya Zanders wanted to pay homage to her African heritage for the biggest formal event of her young life, so she wore an Ankara gown-inspired dress, which she co-designed with local designer DeAndré Crenshaw.

Unfortunately, a teacher reportedly suggested that the ethnic-style dress was not appropriate for prom. Thankfully, Makalaya isn't the type of chick who lets others hold her down: She wore the gown anyway, and won our vote for Best Dressed.

As Zanders wrote in an Instagram post, "African style is beautiful," and that she is "comfortable with my Melanin and roots." She added, "There's nothing like Black girl Magic."

Unfortunately, history seemed to repeat itself, and just like last year, when Kyemah McEntyre faced pushback from her school's staff for her African-inspired dress, Zanders faces a similar obstacle.

According to students who attended the prom, one white teacher made some misguided and culturally insensitive remarks regarding Zanders's dress. While the teacher later apologized for her remarks, it is unfortunate that such a fantastic dress, and exciting evening for Zanders, had to be marred by a teacher overstepping her bounds. 

Written by Evelyn Diaz

(Photo: Makalaya Zanders via Instagram)

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