6 folks ignored traditional prom dress codes, with stellar results.

A lot of high school proms have dress codes. But what if they didn't?

MTV asked 12 different folks to dress up for prom and ignore any of the "rules" out there for what they should wear. Here are six of them.

There's Jacob in a glam dress.


"I love wearing fun, gorgeous gowns like this because I feel like I'm expressing myself authentically, and I feel like I'm living my truth, and owning who I am, and sharing that with the world."
— Jacob Tobia

There's Alok with an awesome Prom Queen look.

"What you are, what you feel, how you dress is totally legitimate, and you shouldn't ever have to feel like you have to be something you're not."
— Alok Vaid-Menon

Or Renee's elegant get-up.

"If prom is supposed to be this quintessential high school experience that all young people are supposed to be able to have, what are they doing to make them feel included?"
— Renee Reopell

And Tyler's color-infused beauty.

"I just didn't wanna wear anything that had like gender attached to it."
— Tyler Ford

Harry and Alex have it going on just as well.

"When I get dressed, I want to feel powerful. I love the strong lines, and silhouettes, and the embellishments that were such an integral part of the '80s fashion."
— Harry Hanson

"This is pretty much what I wore to prom, so it was kind of weird to go back and put this on. That's what I was supposed to look like seven years ago."
— Alex Yates

They are all awesome and beautiful in their own way, don't you think?

In a lot of states, high schools have strict gendered dress codes on what people can wear to prom, often policing people's gender expressions and identities. It's sad, and it's limiting.

What MTV and the six people in the video did was show us how beautiful a world without these gender restrictions can be.

Because really, what's more beautiful than seeing people be themselves?

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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