Nicholas Gray, a senior at Owensboro Catholic High School in Owensboro, Ky., is setting his sights high for a prom date. No, he is not angling for the head cheerleader or student council president; instead, he wants Jennifer Lawrence.
Yes, that Jennifer Lawrence.
On Jan. 12, Gray uploaded a video to YouTube in which he asks the 23-year-old Oscar winner and Hunger Games star to be his senior prom date. Sporting a tuxedo, he proposes the date with a poem riddled with cringe-worthy rhymes like "We've got lots in common; we're both from Kentucky and we both feel that school is kind of yucky."
So far, Gray's video has racked up 3,500 views.
Whether you find it endearing, unintentionally hilarious, or creepy, one thing is for certain: Gray's request is proof that the public date proposal is not going out of style anytime soon. His video follows in the footsteps of Jake Davidson, a Los Angeles student who asked supermodel Kate Upton to his prom in 2013. There was also Minnesota teen Mike Stone, who used Twitter to ask several porn stars to his prom in 2012 (adult actress Megan Piper eventually agreed). And, of course, no one can forget the spring of 2011, when celebrities like Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, and even Betty White were solicited by Marines for dates to Marine Corps Balls.
While certainly far-fetched and rarely successful, such requests nevertheless put the celebrities themselves at a great disadvantage. Unlike fan mail, which can be easily and discreetly dealt with, YouTube requests like Gray's have the power to gain public support as they go viral. As the Facebook shares, retweets, and mainstream media coverage pile up, a positive response is eagerly anticipated from the rather busy celebrity. And, if the celebrity declines for any reason, they risk widespread backlash and negative headlines.
In essence, the celebrity is not being asked for a positive response, but rather guilted into one.
Now that Gray's video has been posted, effectively putting Lawrence—and her image—on the spot, perhaps the question she faces is not "Will you go to the prom with me?" Instead, it is more along the lines of "When can I pick you up?"
Screengrab via Nicholas Gray/YouTube