Disappointed by the theme of her high school’s prom, Danielle Taylor and a friend decided to fashion themselves as superheroes to save the night for themselves — an act which not only put her in the spotlight, but also caught the attention of her favorite celebrity.
“It was Candy Land for a while, then they changed the name to Sweet Dreams, which I thought sounded more like a slumber party,” said Taylor, an 18-year-old senior, of Douglas County High School’s prom theme. “I didn’t like the idea at all. I wanted something that would fit my style, more unique.”
When Taylor and her friend, Ashlyn Nesbitt, walked into the decorated candy-themed Buckhead Theatre as the comic book-based characters Green Arrow and The Flash, some were confused, some didn’t recognize the girls and others were jealous.
“People were confused,” Taylor said. “My friends knew I was doing it, but there were multiple other people who didn’t. They saw me and some of them didn’t even recognize me. I heard a lot of people (talk) afterwards at school. A friend was telling me in class the next day that people were asking in her class, ‘Does anyone know the girl with the hood? Who is she? And why was she wearing the hood?’”
Sunday, Taylor posted pre-prom pictures on Facebook of Nesbitt and herself posing at downtown Douglasville’s O’Neal Plaza. Instead of a caption, she wrote this message to 33-year-old Canadian actor Stephen Amell, who plays Green Arrow on The CW Television Network show “Arrow”:
“Hey Stephen Amell! I wanted to share these pictures with you. I went to prom as The Green Arrow because my school’s prom theme was awful, it was called Sweet Dreams (or Candy Land). So being the nerdy person I am, I designed my prom outfit after the Arrow ... I just came up with the concept of what I wanted it to look like, and then proceeded to find what I needed to execute the vision I had for it. Thank you every so very much for all the wonderful and kind comments!! … I got a lot of stares at prom, and then the day after I heard people asking other people if they saw the girl with the hood, and then proceeding to ask who it was! Little did they know that it was me. So a hood really does hide your identity! lol! Look forward to seeing you and everyone else at Dragon Con!”
“I was expecting (Amell) to see it and maybe comment,” Taylor said. “I (thought), ‘It’d be cool if he commented.’ I wasn’t expecting all this other reaction.”
About a week after prom, while getting ready for school, Taylor saw Amell had not only commented on the pictures, but shared them with his 3.5 million followers.
“You got a lot of stares because you both looked tremendous,” Amell wrote by Taylor’s pictures. “Great dress. Super creative. xo”
“I kind of freaked out a little bit, you know, a little fan-girl moment,” Taylor said. “Then I realized I started getting a lot of comments and likes, so I was like, ‘Well this is different.’ I got to school and I heard from my dad … he shared it on his Facebook page as well, and then that’s when everything started blowing up. All throughout the day I was getting heads up from either my friends or my dad from texting. ‘Hey, you’re up to 50,000 likes.’”
When Taylor got home that day, she said she had more than 500 people requesting to be her Facebook friend.
“I (received) a bunch of very kind messages from people, saying how I inspired them to be themselves,” Taylor said. “I didn’t realize how much I could have an impact on someone else’s life just by being myself. That was cool.”
Taylor first learned of Amell from her friend and began watching “Arrow,” which debuted in 2012, to see him play a vigilante who rights societal wrongs by night. The show is based off the DC Comic “Green Arrow.”
“(A friend) told me about the actor Stephen Amell and how awesome he was and he’s very kind to his fans,” Taylor said. “So I looked at his Facebook page and I was like, ‘Wow, he does a lot for his fans and for charities and things.’ I wanted to support him, so I started watching the show and I really liked it.”
Originally, Taylor said she wanted to wear a dress resembling the TARDIS from British Broadcast Corporation’s “Doctor Who”, “but then I realized that Arrow fit better for the prom because they failed me,” Taylor said.
Taylor said a lollipop was the logo for the high school’s sweet-themed prom held Saturday, April 18.
“At one point (Green Arrow) is trying to right his dad’s wrongs and there are these people destroying his city,” Taylor said. “So, when he’d confront them, he’d say their name (and say), ‘So-and-so, you have failed this city.’ So I was like, ‘Prom, you have failed this high school.’”
Taylor searched online for the dress she’d envisioned and found someone on Etsy to make her a hood like Green Arrow’s.
“His costume is more like a green leather suit and he’s got a green hood. So, I was trying to find a way to make it into a dress,” Taylor said. “I don’t like heels, so I decided I was going to do Converse. … I put the gems on myself.”
Was she trying to make a statement with her dress?
“I kind of was,” Taylor said. “I didn’t expect my statement to really reach as many people as it did. Even at prom, I just thought that people are confused. I just thought, ‘I’ll be myself.’ And my statement, basically, was that I’m not going to do what everybody else wants me to do. I’m going to be me. … Because if I can be myself, and people appreciate me for who I am, why can’t they?”
Danielle Taylor’s mom, Yvonne Taylor, is also a fan of Arrow and, now, Amell.
“He does pay attention to his fans,” Yvonne Taylor said. “That’s what’s so attractive about this guy, he cares.”