Going to prom is often seen as an important part of a teenager’s life. To a teen in Memphis, Tennessee, going to prom also meant paying homage to the strong women who mean the world to her.
Skyler Branch, 17, decided to use her prom dress to show the many African-American women who have inspired over the years. As such, she contacted seamstress Shannon Pierce to have her vision become reality.
Dayna Branch, the girl’s mother, told reporters how the whole idea came to be.
“She said, ‘Mom, there’s been so many extraordinary African-American women who have done so much for me. I want to show them some respect so that they know that not just the older adults but the younger adults appreciate who paved the way,’” she said. “And she found different pictures of all of the people who she wanted on the dress.”
So her mother called the seamstress and explained to her what Branch had in mind.
“We sat down with her, we went over the print and where we wanted everyone to be. She has her great-great grandmothers on there, as well as her grandmothers. She has all of her aunts from Memphis to Houston. Everybody’s on there,” she said.
Aside from her inspirational family members, Branch also added Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou, and even Dr. Alfreda J. Webb, the country’s first African-American female veterinarian.
“Skyler is actually going to school for pre-vet studies,” her mom explained, so the addition makes perfect sense.
“Skyler is actually going to school for pre-vet studies,” Dayna says. “One of the women on the dress is Dr. Alfreda J. Webb, the first African-American female veterinarian in the U.S.” ??https://t.co/JbR26oE4Rv via— Abby Haglage (@abbyhaglage) April 12, 2018
Before the dance, daughter and mom went to see one of Branch’s great grandmothers, who’s 87. She was in awe, as many of her family members cried.
“We didn’t see anything like this before,” Branch’s mom said.
Twitter users couldn’t agree more.
Shout Out To Skyler Branch Slaying Everybody Last Night @ Memphis White Station High School's 2018 Prom. Her Custom Made Dress Has Images Of Her Mother, Grandmothers, Aunts, And Several Famous Women That Have Influenced Her Life Such As @Oprah @MichelleObama @Beyonce @halleberry pic.twitter.com/MN8rGm4GeV— Damon D West (@ceodwest) April 8, 2018
Most meaningful #prom dress ever? Skyler Branch's self-made gown honors the women she looks up to, from her mother and grandmothers, to @MichelleObama, Maya Angelou, @Oprah, @TherealTaraji, @halleberry and @beyonce https://t.co/i8KxQ4yylG @yahoolifestyle— laura kenney (@kenneylp) April 12, 2018
Michelle Obama is a prom trend and I am here for it (while still being way too old to wear a prom dress except in an ironic Annie Potts way): https://t.co/ALJGL6dry9— Erin Donnelly (@erindonnelly) April 12, 2018
I thought it was a sweet thing to do .. she put on her dress who inspired her .. it was more than just having a pretty prom dress.. I am quite taken by the fact we now have an African American 1st Lady & one we can be proud of .& I am positive the ancestors are pleased #Ayibobo— ??TheVeiledFeminista???? (@LaVeiledFemme) April 13, 2018
Even her mother showed her pride on Twitter.
My daughter Skyler's Branch's Beautiful iconic Prom dress with iconic women including Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Jada, Janet, Halle & also including her mother, grandmothers & so many more. @MichelleObama @Oprah @JanetJackson @jadapsmith @halleberry @Beyonce pic.twitter.com/tVU54a3XNB— My Scented Flames (@myscentedflames) April 11, 2018
We couldn’t be happier to see young women like Branch paying such a beautiful tribute to the strong women in her life. With this gesture alone, she proved she is also a great example to young women everywhere.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters