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June 16, 2015 12:00 PM

Prom isn’t just for fashion statements.

Kyemah McEntyre of East Orange, New Jersey, turned high school’s biggest night into a conversation about art and diversity. For her prom at Cicely Tyson High School, the 18-year-old sketched and designed her own dress, reports Seventeen.

After being bullied for her differences, McEntyre decided to respond by creating this stunning piece, expressing her individuality not through the hate others have shown, but through art.

“This is for always being labeled as, ‘ugly’ or ‘angry.’ Thank God, stereotypes are just opinions,” she wrote on a Instagram photo of the prom dress.

The response to McEntyre’s colorful, full-length gown have been overwhelming positive. The teen was voted prom queen by her class and is being praised online for her gorgeous work.

[IMAGE “1” “” “std” ]McEntyre, who also paints, plans to continue expressing herself through art and design, attending New York’s Parsons the New School for Design next year.

“My abilities as an artist allows me to experience the benefits that versatility fosters. Being exposed to all kinds of people and cultures is the muse for my artwork. I am an artist who is very passionate about the connection between art and the world,” McEntyre said on her website. “I believe that in order for society to gain a wider horizon, we have to be willing to acknowledge people for their differences, beliefs, morals, and values.”

[IMAGE “2” “” “std” ]She hopes this mindset helps prevent other artists form falling victim to negative opinions and prejudices.

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“We stunt our collective spiritual growth by allowing assumptions and stereotypes to cloud our mind and thus our physical reality. We let these negative ideas get the best of us, and in turn, a world of isolation is manifested by our lack of sensitivity and desire to sympathize with each other,” she continued. “This results is a world in which people live within the confines of their own space, isolated from each other and separated from the rest of the world. The most creative people are the ones who step out of their comfort zone and take advantage of the world around them.”

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