As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our website and social media.

Prom

 

What can we say about prom?

-Its roots go back to the 1920s

-It's enduring

-It's expensive

-It's a rite of passage

-It has been heteronormative

-It's also been segregated

-It can be appropriated

-It's a platform for politics

-It's a place where clothing speaks

 

And, what girls wear matters.

Isabella Aiukli Cornell's Prom Dress, 2018


See Girlhood in 3D! Explore a model of the prom dress.

 

Girls have not only used fashion for self-expression, but also to promote social change. Isabella Aiukli Cornell, a Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma citizen, used her prom dress to call attention to the systemic violence and abuse faced by Indigenous women. She chose the color red in solidarity for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's movement.

Isabella Aiukli Cornell, a Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma citizen, 2018

Isabella Aiukli Cornell, a Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma citizen, 2018

Courtesy of Doug Hoke

Today and always we remember and honor our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. They are not forgotten. Bring them justice. Bring them home.

—Isabella Aiukli Cornell

Red Sequined Shoes Worn with Native American Prom Dress, 2018