The last few weeks have been a whirlwind for Texas high school student Deandre Arnold.
Not long ago he was probably feeling a bit down on his luck after he was told by his school he was banned from his prom and his graduation unless he cut off his dreadlocks.
Fast-forward to the Oscars, and there he was, strutting along the red carpet with his locks proudly on display.
This dramatic transformation of his fortunes was all made possible thanks to director Matthew A. Cherry, who invited both Deandre and his mum to the awards after getting wind of his story.
The director scooped the Best Animated Short Film award for Hair Love – which couldn’t really be any more apt. The animated film follows the story of a black father as he styles his daughter’s natural hair for the first time.
Deandre – a senior at Barbers Hill High School in Mont Belvieu – said it was ‘really amazing’ how his story and the story of Hair Love fit together so nicely.
Speaking to Refinery 29, he said: “I’m so grateful. I never expected any of this.
“The message of that movie and my message go together so well. I think it’s really amazing how they reached out to me and how we can fight this together.”
To top it all off, Dove sponsored his tickets to the event, as well as full wardrobe, hair and makeup for him and his family.
Lord knows how Deandre will re-acclimatise to normal life after this all blows over, having appeared on The Ellen Show too just a couple of weeks back, where the host presented him with a $20,000 (£15,496) scholarship to help him pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian.
Deandre said: “When Ellen said that school is supposed to be where you learn about cultures – not learn how to shut out cultures – that really stuck with me.
“The most exciting [thing] is seeing all the people that are on my side. I thought it would be a lot more hate than support.”