An Illinois high school student made a coronavirus-themed prom dress out of tape -- and the internet is loving it.
Peyton Manker, 18, said she heard about Duct Tape's 2020 Stuck at Prom Contest back in January and began putting together the dress base. By March, both her senior prom and graduation ceremony had been canceled due to COVID-19, so it felt right to theme her ensemble around the virus.
"I wanted to showcase what's going on because so many people around the world have been affected by this pandemic in some way," Manker said.
The gown is mostly blue but covered with coronavirus-related scenes, including a colorful Zoom call with students in caps and gowns and a group of front-line workers wearing masks. A confused thought bubble hovering above a man was used to represent those struggling with mental illness and social isolation.
"I had that front and center because so many people have been feeling isolated and worried or scared about the situation we're in," Manker said.
The recent graduate from Sparta High School in Illinois also added to her design a "FLATTEN THE CURVE" face mask and circular purse with red spikes to illustrate the shape of the virus. She included a hair piece with the words "Separately Together" and an anklet that read "This Too Shall Pass."
"It was to let people know that even though we are apart, we can still get through this together. The pandemic will pass eventually," Manker said.
Maker topped the outfit off with a toilet paper roll bouquet- - a nod to the bathroom essential's shortage in mid-March.
The get-up took 41 rolls of tape and nearly 400 hours to complete. Duck Brand will not announce a contest winner until July 21, but Manker's creation has already found resounding praise on social media.
"I knew she was artistic, but I am amazed to see the results of her dress," Manker's mom Suzy wrote in a now viral Facebook post shared more than 250,000 times.
"There are no words to describe this adequately, what a work of art," one user said.
"The details, the creativity, & the message conveyed is absolutely incredible," commented another.
Manker revealed the words of support from family, friends and strangers made all her hard work seem worth it.
"I couldn't believe how many started sharing my dress and telling me how amazing they thought it was," Manker said. "I'm grateful to have so much support from people around the world."
Duck Brands will announce their finalists for the $10,000 scholarship award in the coming days and will open community voting on June 29.