Tagged: prom

Kate Carroll: The True Cost of Being Prom Queen


Prom: an uninspiring weekend where you play make-believe as royalty. You’re pretending that you are something with a $600 dress you’ve convinced yourself that you’ll wear again, until someone vomits on you.

Time, energy, and focus are wasted on an overhyped event that ends in disappointment, disaster or mediocrity. Some of us aren’t even the worst offenders. I was in utter dismay when earlier this month I was added to a group for a different school on Facebook for “PROM DRESSES 2014.” Are you kidding me? The purpose of the group was to avoid any repeat dress offenses. Not only was their drama petty, I just couldn’t believe that it started in March, more than two months before the actual event.

“Promposals” make me cringe. You’re a teen, stop pretending that it’s a wedding. Enough with the white dresses, gross couple-y pictures and open PDA. None of those things are exclusive to prom. Just looking around the halls, holding my spitfire tongue from saying “Stop touching” is a major struggle.

I did attend and help plan Prom 2013. It was a waste of my time and energy. I woke up the day after Prom 2013 and headed to my debate banquet, wishing that instead of awkwardly shuffling my shoulders back and forth on the dance floor, I would have gotten a few more hours of shuteye. Student Council does a great job of encouraging students to attend. The dance is well run, I just didn’t particularly enjoy it. Beyond that, I hated the idea of not being able to participate in something unless you’ve been asked “as a date”.

My major problem with prom is more centered around socioeconomic discrimination. It isn’t cheap. Dresses run about $200-$300, plus flowers, makeup, hair, shoes, dinner, limo, the ticket itself, and after parties. On the guy’s side, tux rental, shoes, tie, flowers, dinner, ticket. In a chauvinistic sense they’re expected to buy dinner/tickets, but ladies, you should be self-sufficient and chip in half especially if you’re not dating. Either way, a lot of money for not a lot of fun. Given the choice between prom and putting more money in a college fund, I know a fair amount of people who forgo the former when graduation, and the first semester college bill is right around the corner. The cost is a social pressure to participate, and the sad part is that there’s not a good way for the school to help assist with that. If you can’t personally afford it, you’re out of luck.

I’m calling for a reevaluation, think about the pressures that are put on others as a result of your excessive spending. A reasonable night of fun with friends and dancing? Sounds great. A night of excess, exorbitant costs and irresponsible behavior? Not so much.

– Kate

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