After a white teacher told high school student Makalaya Zanders that an African-style dress would be ‘inappropriate’ as a prom choice, she wore it anyway. And in doing so, she made some #Blackgirlmagic happen in her Ohio high school and around the nation. Reposted by another Instagram user (Zanders’ page is private) she soon became another example of Black girls and women defying restrictive notions of who and what they should be.
Inspired by an Ankara gown worn at a gala by Nigerian model Jessica Chibueze, Zanders teamed up with a local designer by the name of DeAndré Crenshaw to create a beautiful royal blue fishtail dress emblazoned with colorful print to make a bold statement. And that, it did.
In an Instagram post, Zanders wrote that she created her dress to show that “African style is beautiful,” that she is “comfortable with my Melanin and roots” (loving her capitalization of the word melanin), and that “there’s nothing like Black girl Magic.”