Kathryn Lindsay
May 13, 2015 11:31 am

When prom season rolls around, girls go shopping for dresses, and guys go rent out a tux. That’s how it’s always been, so there’s no problem, right? Wrong! Prom culture, while exciting and fun, can unknowingly (and, unfortunately, sometimes knowingly) put people in boxes in a way that is suffocating and harmful. And these role models are here to tell you why:

This video was created by MTV, who asked twelve students to dress for prom without consideration for gender roles or who can wear what. What unfolded was a whirlwind of positivity and self-expression.

The video, titled “It’s Our Prom: A Night To De-gender,” highlights six of these participants and asks them about their outfits and their experiences with prom in the past. All of them, at one point or another, felt this limiting binary being forced upon them when the season rolled around. Renee, a participant in the video, summed it up perfectly:

The answer seems to be: not much. It seems like almost every day we hear a story about a school telling someone they can’t wear what they want, or promoting some kind of weird agenda that is cruel and oppressive during these crucial years of self discovery. That’s why this video is so important, and why what people like Alok have to say is necessary for schools to hear:

What this video shows is that allowing people to express themselves outside the binary doesn’t lead to anything harmful or immoral. Instead, we get some really great ensembles and creative interpretations of fashion that far outshine any regular prom dress sitting on the rack, with the added bonus of people loving and feeling confident about themselves. Work it.

(Image via)