So ... We Went to the ‘Nerd Prom,’ and It Was As Awkward as It Looked

The Root Political Editor Jason Johnson, The Glow Up Managing Editor Maiysha Kai and The Root Senior Video Producer Alex Clark attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C., on April 28, 2018.
Photo: Alex Clark (The Root)

Sequins and tuxes and smokey eyes made of burnt facts, oh my! On Saturday night, three members of your fearless crew at The Root ventured to Washington, D.C., to attend the “Nerd Prom,” also known as the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Even aside from a surprisingly suspenseful debate on what to wear (a process that we’ll be revisiting in detail here on The Glow Up), it was a very full day. The highlights? A minor wardrobe malfunction; some very candid moments with White House press corps favorite April Ryan (who’ll make an appearance here soon); perhaps the most colorful table in the Hilton ballroom, which we shared with the very friendly folks from Al-Jazeera (no, really); a conspicuously absent sitting president (thank God); and one really, really awkward ending (and no, I don’t just mean my smile in the above pic).


How awkward, you ask? I actually felt a twinge of pity for the other team. Just a twinge. Then again, that might have been my stilettos, which were killing me by the time Michelle Wolf took up the gauntlet the stage.

All in all, it was just another exciting day in our nation’s capital! We can debate the merits of the evening’s featured speaker all we want, but since this is The Glow Up, let’s get into the fashion. Remember: This isn’t your average red carpet, filled with celebs and supermodels (though there were a couple in attendance). For the most part, these are well-established journalists, pundits and politicians, and this is their biggest night of the year, so they turn it all the way up.

With that in mind, let’s look at some Nerd Prom lewks:


As you can see, despite the blessed absence of Donald Trump, there was a broad range of personalities and fashion choices present at this year’s dinner, and given the current state of affairs in our administration, I daresay things were bound to get a bit contentious. (I mean, how do you ignore the elephants in the room, even when they’re wearing tuxes?) But as a Nerd Prom virgin, I have to admit it was a pretty impressive display of the many facets of this great machine we call the American media, and whether you love us or hate us, you gotta admit we clean up nice.

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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.