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Natural High School Senior Breaks the Internet with Stunning Self-Designed Afrocentric Prom Gown

Avatar • Jun 9, 2015

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18-year-old high school senior Kyemah McEntyre wanted to make a statement… and boy did she!

Kyemah, who attends the Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts in New Jersey, describes herself as “undoubtedly of African descent” and stated on Instagram that her statement dress is a response to being labeled ’ ”ugly” or “angry”.’

Okay, but before we continue this story, let’s back it up for a second. Who on earth is telling this girl she is ugly?! We just posted about Twitter’s epic #unconventionalblackbeauty tag full of black women sharing painful stories of being called ugly for things like dark skin, wide noses, slender figures and big teeth. The twist? The participants were absolutely gorgeous (if you don’t believe me you can see for yourself here…) It seems that despite the thousands of blogs, tumblrs, IG accounts and Pinterest boards dedicated to celebrating black beauty, there is still a strong and pervasive cultural message telling black girls they are ugly. It’s both enraging and outrageous. Alright, back to the story…

Kyemah designed the dress herself and wore it with a stunning afro and headpiece. And if you’re surprised at how gorgeous the gown is, you shouldn’t be. Kyemah has been accepted to the prestigious Parsons School of Design and will be attending in the Fall. She accompanied her photo with this caption;

I’m Kyemah McEntyre, I am 18 years old, and I am undoubtedly of African Descent.

As an artist, I have a completely different point of view compared to most individuals. I am extremely analytical and observant. Throughout the world, we have people who do not notice each other’s essence and humanity. We stunt our collective spiritual growth by allowing assumptions and stereotypes to cloud our mind and thus our physical reality. We let these negative ideas get the best of us, and in turn a world of isolation is manifested by our lack of sensitivity and desire to sympathize with each other. This results in a world in which people live within the confines of their own space, isolated from each other and separated from the rest of the world.

Sometimes we get trapped in our own prejudice ways. We don’t notice how the idea of a particular type of person changes the way we live our lives. The most creative people are the ones who step out of their comfort zone and take advantage of the world around them. My abilities as an artist allow me to experience the benefits that versatility fosters.

Being exposed to all kinds of people and cultures is the muse for my artwork. I am an aspiring artist who is very passionate about the connection between art and the world. I believe that in order for society to gain a wider horizon, we have to be willing to acknowledge other people from differences, beliefs, morals, and values. I would like to take this moment to say that you have to understand who you are because if you leave that space open, you leave your identity in the hands of society. Don’t let anyone define you. Beautiful things happen when you take pride in yourself. #blackgirlsrock #kyebreaktheinternet

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Now, about breaking the internet… The picture of Kyemah’s dress has been retweeted 4,000 times…

The photo on her Instagram account has been liked more than 12,000 times and her Instagram followers have shot up tp 14,000.

https://instagram.com/p/3jZqEjiEPO/?taken-by=mindofkye

It seems this young woman’s queenly bearing is a refreshing break from our culture’s current obsession with all things ratchet. Oh, and she was voted prom queen… obviously.

Ladies, what are your thoughts on young Kyemah?

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cryssi
cryssi
5 years ago

So I need Kyemah to design my wedding dress since I can’t go back 7 years and redo prom. I want a Fall Motherland inspired wedding anyhow and her designs would be perfect

herlucidsky
5 years ago
Reply to  cryssi

Fall Motherland inspired wedding sounds amazingly beautiful.

Redseouls
Redseouls
5 years ago

Jesus she’s gorgeous and so is that gown!!

kxlot79
kxlot79
5 years ago

Beautiful! ????????????

Tracienatural
Tracienatural
5 years ago

This young lady is amazing! I love her self-love and afrocentricity. She is stunning on the outside, and wonderfully beautiful on the inside. Thank you for profiling her. Truly a bright light in a dark world.

Victoria A
Victoria A
5 years ago

wow

Staci Elle
Staci Elle
5 years ago

I love it! I wish I had that dress.

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

She is absolutely stunning and the dress is simply gorgeous.

Gabbi
Gabbi
5 years ago

If her breast were covered would this dress really be that amazing and popular?

Rashida Prattis
Rashida Prattis
5 years ago
Reply to  Gabbi

Changing the neckline to a more conservative one would fundamentally change the design… so… maybe not? Love her point of view as a fashion designer.

SSW
SSW
5 years ago
Reply to  Gabbi

Yes. I mean look at the dress.

Mom_of_IV
Mom_of_IV
5 years ago

I love the necklace and other accessories, hair, colors of the gown and length of gown fabric.…my only issue is the amount of cleavage shown for a prom dress. I think it’s a bit much. For a photo shoot, however, it’s spot on.

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
5 years ago
Reply to  Mom_of_IV

a lot of people thought it was too much for a high school prom and she should have been kicked out or her mom shouldn’t have allowed it. I didn’t even notice until people complained in yahoo comments, lol. I think she should have two versions, the adult version(cleavage), and the PG high neck version. Gorgeous dress nonetheless.

kalexa1
kalexa1
5 years ago
Reply to  Mom_of_IV

I was about to comment and then saw your comment says exactly what I was thinking. Cleavage for red carpet maybe.….for a teenage prom dress, less is more.

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago
Reply to  Mom_of_IV

Too low cut for a teen at prom. Otherwise the dress is on fleek.

Corelle Perry
Corelle Perry
5 years ago

Her breast should have been covered for a school functioning like the prom. Other than that, it is a gorgeous dress.

Angela
Angela
5 years ago
Reply to  Corelle Perry

I was in DC last month and a prom was happening at the hotel I was staying at. This dress is TAME compared to what those girls were wearing.

MJhane
MJhane
5 years ago

The two comments about her breast being out and needing to be covered, I’m sorry but, who is she distracting now? This is a prom, she is not in class distracting your sons from learning and other men.
Another example of the over-sexualization of a woman’s body.

Ronnie
Ronnie
5 years ago

The dress and her hair is stunning and a breath of fresh air in light of the prom dresses that are usually worn, but too much cleavage showing for my taste.

ebonyhud
ebonyhud
5 years ago

Breasts are natural. Get over it. Beautiful dress!

Proud Naija Babe
Proud Naija Babe
5 years ago

Lol, she designed her gown out of some yards of ankara, all good and nice, but I guess i’m not one bit wowed by this dress or whatever else because i’m Nigerian, i’m African and spectacular styles with spectacular ankara materials are common place everywhere, everyday in my beautiful home country, in the markets, in church, at home, at weddings( weddings! Magnificent designs upon magnificent materials, Bellanaijaweddings can help give a taste to those who don’t know. Naija no dey carry last.) it’s probably because this is America and things like that aren’t so commonplace, plus the message that comes… Read more »

Erinma Chiagozie
Erinma Chiagozie
5 years ago

Hi 5 fellow Nigerian! We no dry carry last o! I have the fabric in pink, making a jacket. Remember when it was all the rage? lol

ThickNigerianHair
ThickNigerianHair
5 years ago

I was thinking the same thing. While she is talented, I’m not wowed over it. I’ve seen more elaborate designs, styles, patterns, and colors in Nigeria and in America worn by Nigerian/Nigerian Americans for more informal events.

The dress is nice, but I would wear it for something casual, like lunch with friends.

Katara c.
Katara c.
4 years ago

Yeah, you’ve definitely got a point. I’m not from the US, but I am Canadian, so we get a lot of the same stuff as Americans — and man, is it ever bo-ring many a time. Unless we get lucky with whatever trend is going around (and thus ends up in every. single. shop), it can be very hard to find interesting clothing, that’s for sure.

But even if you live somewhere where dresses like that are common, it’s still a very nice dress nonetheless ^_^

Bini girl
Bini girl
5 years ago

Abi o. The gown is beautiful but the design is just there. And let me not comment on the cleavage. The message though is great.

Jeff
Jeff
5 years ago

I have a vision of creating an online supplemental camp with an
Afro-centric focus to expand on the ideas presented during Kwanzaa as
well as during February (Black History Month). This camp would, by
teaching about the academic accomplishments of African-Americans
through reading Afro-centric history, cultural work and literature,
reduce the reading achievement gap, as well as build a sense of pride
in students to work and achieve.

Check out the sites, join the groups on Facebook and Linkedin to
participate.

http://www.afrocentriccampo.puzl.com/

http://blackonlinecamp.zohosites.com/

http://afro-centricprogramplan.weebly.com

https://www.facebook.com/groups/570451862966806/

http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1978163&trk=hb_side_g

https://www.facebook.com/groups/76434973493/

https://www.facebook.com/AfroCentricCamp

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Intelligence-Today/165641943467658

http://blackeducation.jigsy.com/

http://www.afrocentriccampo.puzl.com/

http://www.educationprosperity.webs.com/

Maia
Maia
5 years ago

I like the dress. I mean, there’s cleavage, but so? I think the problem is with the people who feel compelled to look at her cleavage. The real focus should be the overall design, not just the cleavage. She looked amazing.

Pat
Pat
5 years ago

She is beautiful and the dress is modest, see more breasts exposed during regular school hrs not to mention a prom, this is tame.

Angela
Angela
5 years ago

Everyone commenting on her cleavage. I saw a prom going on at a hotel I recently stayed and breasts were all on display.

hidaya
hidaya
5 years ago

Many women hating on her are simply envious. She is in shape, young, beautiful, creative, gifted and black!

Neema
Neema
5 years ago

A beautiful woman. Inside and out.

coolflexa .
coolflexa .
4 years ago

Dress is amazing and she is But I know she’s creative enough to look just as fierce while maintaining abit more modest.

Lisette Baxter
Lisette Baxter
4 years ago

OMG! She looks glorious! Not even 21 & she’s designing dresses like this. Keep an eye on his young lady. I foresee a stunning career with talent like that. She could also model to put herself through college. I’m thinking a lot of the racism she’s encountered is pure jealousness from stuck-up Beckys who will never look as amazing. Wonderful designer.

Katara c.
Katara c.
4 years ago

Man, what an outfit! I could use a dress or 2 like that one 😀 She’s definitely got talent 🙂

081969
081969
5 years ago

Gorgeous! The dress and her. She is grown so if the school did not have a dress code, there is nothing wrong with enjoying her breast before they drop. Wish I would have showed off mine more when I was younger lol.

Allison Graham
Allison Graham
5 years ago

That dress looks like something straight out of Ashro Magazine. Pass!!!

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