Thursday, May 19, 2005

Still can't find the point...

REPOST: I am reposting this piece in light of the recent stories on local area news that highlighted teens going to tanning salons in order to look good for their prom. What are these kids trying to say?

Yeah, well after finals, I flew to Bermuda and hung out at the beach, and then came back the next day, in time for the prom...
Why go to such extremes?? I know in many communities, teens aren't allowed in tanning booths without parental permission; how is this something a parent would endorse, simply for single evening?

No one offered any insight when I first posted; perhaps someone can enlighten me today. Read on for the rest of my rant...


OK, I admit I am likely to get flamed, but be that as it may, I will ask the question anyway.

This is being brought on by a number of different posts I've read this week surrounding alleged 'prom' dresses and how revealing they've become (see Jen and Michele - Jen offers a link to a site which features a number of different dresses, while Michele has a pic that is both scarily racy altho apparently discredited).

Nearly universally, the only people who have spoken in favor of these 'prom' dresses are men who admittedly are having sexist, chauvinistic thoughts (that they may directing said thoughts to girls their daughters ages is a different thread altogether!).

So it makes me wonder: What is it that makes proms so 'special' in the first place?

Now let the record be clear: I never attended a prom. I could easily state I didn't see the point in them when I was in high school (and I didn't), but that would be easily trumped by the fact that I couldn't get a date in high school if my life depended on it. So the idea of getting a date to the prom was never in question, since I couldn't get a date on any given Friday night to start with. That much being said...

Why a prom? What is it that makes a night at the end of senior year (and each year before that, going back to primary school, but in descending importance) such a hallmark event? The same question can be applied to Collegiate Formals, as well.


Why?

It can't be simply to prepare the youths for social gatherings of this kind when they are out in the real-world. As near as I can tell there are few parties that adults I know go to that start at a ballroom and end at a beach (with huge amounts of drinking in between).

And limos.

Now there are weddings, which can offer a lot of the same features of a prom, but I've been going to weddings since I was a child, long before I knew the word 'prom', and somehow I've been able to carry myself at formal and business events without having been to a prom. And from my youth I learned what behavior is appropirate at such events and what behavior is not, which is funny, since from what I've read, a considerable amount of behavior at proms would most certainly fall into the latter category.

I don't have any daughters, so in a way, I won't need to worry much about skanky dresses and their ludicrous costs. Sooner or later my oldest boy will ask about a prom (and I'll assume his younger brother will likely ask him the same question 7 years later) so I am taking this opportunity to ask what is it that makes a prom such a seemingly life and death issue for girls, in general. I could easily wave my hand, dismiss it as unimportant, and add 'but if you want to go, have fun and be careful', but I am interested in what others state is the real reason its important. Or if it is important at all!

Your thoughts are welcome....

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