Jasmine Dauphine, 18, from Washington, DC, area, had been counting down the days to prom.
She had even begun planning her outfit in the middle of her junior year — citing Zendaya as an inspiration.
“Originally I wanted to wear a brown mermaid dress, but then I wanted to take inspiration from Zendaya’s 2017 Met Gala look and SZA’s 2018 Met Gala look,” Dauphine said, “and I found the perfect dress online.”
After getting her dress from Lunss, she decided to make a headpiece out of a headband and some zip ties. And while Dauphine’s prom was supposed to take place this June, it was canceled, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“At first I was OK with it because it was a pandemic, and I still am OK with it!” she shared with BuzzFeed News. “But then I got really sad when I fully realized that I won’t be able to ever go to prom.”
But despite the setback, Dauphine decided to still get dressed up in June and had her sister take photos to celebrate prom in their own way.
“I took this photo shoot because I still wanted to say I did something for prom, and I wanted to bring a little joy to myself even if it wasn’t a whole prom event,” she said.
The two went to the Washington Monument as well as the Lincoln Memorial where Dauphine posed in her stunning dress.
And as Dauphine was about to leave, a photographer stopped her and asked if she too could take some photos of her as she adored the dress.
“I noticed Jasmine from afar and the creative in me was, like, OMG, I have to take a picture of her!” said Sara Isabella Ortiz, a 24-year-old wedding photographer who just happened to be visiting DC from Florida. “I simply walked up to her and kindly asked, praying she would say yes.”
Ortiz recalled quickly going home to edit the photos so she could shoot them over to Dauphine.
“I am 10,000% certain she captured not only my attention,” she said, “but everyone’s attention that day with her beauty!”
And while it has been quite a few months since that photoshoot, on Wednesday, Dauphine decided to tweet the photos.
They’ve since gone viral and have been liked over half a million times on Twitter.
Dauphine shared how the response to her photos were overwhelming. “When this went viral, I was so shocked,” she said. “I think I stared at my phone for 10 minutes trying to comprehend the numbers that I was seeing. It was so crazy to me.”
At Thanksgiving, her family kept kept poking fun at her new found fame, while her friends have been sending her links to all the pages where her look has been reposted.
Ortiz, the photographer, was also blown away by the response.
“I’m completely shook. It just feels so unreal! Like, is this really happening?!!!” she said. “It’s so crazy because when I saw Jasmine that day I knew she was someone super special.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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