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US election 2020: Michelle Obama just shared a throwback picture for this very important reason

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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The former First Lady just shared a sweet picture from her prom to encourage teenagers across the US to register to vote. 

The year is 1982, and Michelle Obama – or Michelle Robinson, as she was then known – is giving off some serious Pretty In Pink energy at her high school prom.

The high school senior, who would later go on to become a celebrated lawyer, educator, author and First Lady of the United States, wore a peach silk dress with a thigh high split and matching jacket. In photographs she is pictured sitting in a wingback rattan chair while her date, David Upchurch, stands next to her in tuxedo and bowtie.

We know all this about Obama’s high school prom because she just shared a hilariously retro picture from the evening in question on Twitter. Naturally for Obama, the throwback picture wasn’t merely an excuse for nostalgia. It was all in service of her latest cause: encouraging young people across the US to vote in the next election.

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It’s called the Prom Challenge. Obama wants schools across the US to encourage their students to register to vote in the 2020 election, and she wants them to do it in “the most creative and impactful ways” possible. 

The organisation When We All Vote, for which Obama is co-chair, is even offering the chance to win an all expenses paid prom to every high school who pledges to signing up their students to the electoral roll. 

Voter registration among young people in the US has never been higher. In the 2018 midterm elections, the numbers of voters in the 18-29 age bracket rose by 79%. But there’s always room for improvement. That’s why Obama is turning her throwback prom photo into a political movement, and she’s encouraging others to do the same.

That includes stars like Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross and Elaine Welteroth, the former editor in chief of Teen Vogue.

“18 year old me in ‘90 ready for prom in this Armani dress, bangles & shoes,” Ross shared on Twitter. “Prom was fun, but my first time voting was life changing.”

Added Welteroth in her own post: “Throwing it back to the wonder years at prom when we thought we were sooo flyyy… The best part of going from kid to adult was discovering a sense of AGENCY, which at the time I was most excited to express through: 1. Getting to decide how I wanted to wear my hair, and 2. Getting to VOTE.”

For more information about the Prom Challenge, head to whenweallvote.org

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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