My friends' mom asked politely why I had a shirt under my dress. She thought I was trying to be more conservative. And although that wasn't the original intent (just a byproduct) I was able to share a little bit about my commitment and about the issue. I didn't want to be a drag at prom...talking about slavery and such...but I'm glad I got to share a little with her.
Even without saying anything, people around me were conscious of the dress. Comments like: "Doesn't he look like a pimp" would quickly be followed by "Oh man...sorry Emily." I wasn't personally offended, but their apology meant that they now had a new association with the word 'pimp'. Our cultural glorification of pimps and 'hoes' has only made the commercial sex industry more accessible and yes, even acceptable.
By the end of the night I was very glad to have the grey dress on. It sparked one conversation and reminded a few people to rethink culturally acceptable language. And honestly, it wouldn't have felt right to go without it on. I've grown fond of my unshapely grey dress. The end of my senior year has been turbulent, draining and wonderful, but my dress is the consistent variable through it all. I'm glad my memories of senior prom will include my little oxymoronic dress.
Prom night with three of my best friends!
Now admire my mom's artistic talent. Yes she did my hair in a mohawk of curls. I loved it!