Initially, Seanya Wilson didn't plan on attending this year's Senior Prom in Milford. But then she met celebrity stylist Johnny Wujek.
Earlier this year, the graduating Milford High School senior applied to Wujek's new online program "Stylist on Set," as part of which he travels to the hometowns of selected contestants to help solve their own individual style dilemmas and works to build their self-confidence.
In Wilson's case, she said she felt the need to overcome her insecurities regarding a skin condition she's had for several years.
"My entire daily wardrobe consisted of hoodies," Wilson said. "I used the hoodies as a way to hide from a skin condition that I developed in seventh grade. As a senior in high school this year, prom was a choice I had to make, but due to my insecurities about my skin condition, I didn't want to go."
Then she was chosen to be featured Wujek's show shortly after she applied.
"They called me back that day to tell my they liked my application, and they wanted me to fill out a longer one," Wilson said. "It was a long process, but two months later they told me I was cast."
Wujek, who has served as a Creative Consultant on "America's Next Top Model," has also worked with such celebrities as Katy Perry, Amber Heard and Shakira.
And on March 21, he and his crew arrived at Wilson's home in Milford with a limo, cameras and time sheets. The segment was filmed at the Lakeview Pavilion in Foxborough, where Senior Prom was originally scheduled to be held prior to a massive fire that burned the venue to the ground.
"Everyone was so nice and down to earth," she said. "Johnny wanted to show me what I might miss if I didn't go (to prom). It was so beautiful, but I was still reluctant about saying yes. Later on, we headed back to my house to do an exercise where I painted words that I imagine people might think or say about my skin. Some of the words I used were 'dirty,' 'useless' and 'yuck.' After seeing the words on my body, I said, 'I would rather walk around with my skin disorder than this on me.'"
Wilson then washed the words off and wrote positive words, including "talented," "athletic" and "intelligent." The following day, Wilson and the crew ventured to Chic 2 Chic in Foxborough to try on some dresses.
"I wasn't really looking forward to it," Wilson said. "But I was open minded. When I got there, they had set up some dresses for me and I also got to pick some that I wanted to try on. After about six or seven dresses, I found the one I wanted."
Wujek then showed Wilson videos of her friends and family explaining to her why she should go to the prom after all.
"I couldn't refuse after I saw the videos, so I agreed to go," she said. "I got my dress and throughout the episode, (Wujek) was wearing a Milford hat that he made. He gave it to me after, and I have it at home now."
The show did more than help her make the decision to go to prom, though.
"Since 'Stylist on Set,' I have not worn a single hoodie," she said. "I have been wearing lots of color and the feedback I receive is amazing. Compliments come effortlessly to me now as opposed to before; after all there aren't many ways to compliment a boring hoodie."
Wilson said she has since decided to give her sweatshirts away, as she feels more confident now than she has in the past about her appearance.
"I'm done hiding," she said. "With Johnny's help, I was able to discover the beauty of being different and just being myself. People love me for who I am and I'm doing everyone a disservice by holding back my greatness from the world. In the words of Johnny: 'Show yourself to the world, because the world needs to see you.' That may have been the greatest lesson I learned."