Here’s a riddle: how do prom, Michelle Obama, and the 2020 election all relate? The answer: the Michelle Obama Prom Photo Challenge—or, the #PromChallenge, for short.
On Tuesday, Obama posted a picture of her glamorous, 1982 prom-ready self on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. In it, she sports an elegant, pink satin, polka-dotted dress with a matching blazer. She sits poised and pretty in a wicker chair, her dashing date standing beside her.
The photo didn’t only serve to show how timelessly fabulous the former first lady is. The true purpose of the nostalgic photo was to encourage young people across the US to vote in the upcoming 2020 election.
So how does it all work?
The Prom Challenge is a competition created by nonprofit When We All Vote, which Obama co-chairs, and MTV +1thevote to reward politically-active young people.
At prom.mtv.com, students and teachers can enter the 2020 Prom Challenge to potentially win up to $5,000 for their school’s prom. To join the competition, students must come up with creative ways to inspire their fellow classmates to vote. The top 20 high schools will receive prize money to make memorable proms for their politically-involved students. The deadline for application submission is March 13th at 11:59 pm.
Those who can’t enter the competition can still support the cause. “You can also help me spread the word by posting your prom photo with #PromChallenge,” Obama wrote in her Instagram caption.
Not long after Obama posted her throwback prom photo, other celebrities followed suit.
Scandal star Kerry Washington posted on Twitter a photo of herself right before attending one of the “few” proms she went to in high school. In the photo, Washington wears a colorful floral gown while sniffing a modest bouquet of fuchsia flowers.
Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross also posted a photoset of herself in her prom days. In the pictures, Ross dons a grey, fitted Armani dress with dangling, shoulder-length earrings.
We’re keeping an eye out for more prom photos to join these and sharing First Lady Obama’s message: get out and vote!