Op-Ed: The Negative Messages Associated With Prom

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Op-Ed: The Negative Messages Associated With Prom

2017  C. Milton High School Prom -- Taken From The Baltimore Sun

2017 C. Milton High School Prom -- Taken From The Baltimore Sun

2017 C. Milton High School Prom -- Taken From The Baltimore Sun

2017 C. Milton High School Prom -- Taken From The Baltimore Sun

FOTW, Blueprint Staff

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Spring is finally here, and the most celebratory moment of the season is just around the corner: prom. From the prom-posal to the prom itself, the prom season is one full of energy and craze as people rush to make their prom experience the best.

However, it’s time to slow down and consider that, despite the fact that prom is a highly regarded right of passage in the life of teens, it might be sending more negative messages than good.

Prom used to be an event meant to celebrate the hard work of students and mark the approaching end to a senior’s high school years. Nowadays, those original purposes have been shifted to the side to make way for the messages it now promotes:


Young Women Learn to Put Beauty Above All Else

Girls are encouraged to spend small fortunes on dresses and shoes, professional tanning, jewelry, hair, and makeup. The final results are often worthy of the high school red carpet.

This extravagant spending for the achievement of beauty for one night — and one night only — teaches ladies that beauty is above all else and that one’s goals should be to achieve it no matter the cost.

As such prom promotes in their minds that their worth is only ever equal to the worth of their appearance, therefore, she also associates beauty with money.


Students Are Encouraged to Forget the Meaning of Privacy

Today’s prom is painstakingly documented on social media sites, this documentation begins with the promposal, and stretches until days after the prom itself. The constant posting becomes a day by day itinerary of your actions getting ready for prom and on prom day.

If the constant posting is met with acclaim it encourages the posting to continue long after the prom itself and can stretch on for a lifetime. So prom can be credited with some of the blame as to why modern society is enamored with the idea of opening up every minuscule detail of our lives to anyone willing to “view” and “like” it.


Students Learn to Practice Etiquette Associated With a Male-Dominated Society

Prom teaches girls to be less assertive by having the unspoken rule that guys are to do the asking, and in fact in the cases that the girl does the asking it often leaves her to endure the embarrassment, as other students automatically assume that it was out of desperation and the fact that no one asked her to do she had to ask.

Prom, therefore, teaches young women that they have to wait to be selected by a man and to abide by their decisions in doing so it also teaches that assertiveness makes one less attractive, a lesson that is drawn upon later in life when they avoid asking for wages and are less liked when they do. [1]


Students Also Learn to Abide by A Couple Culture

Prom sends the message that being alone is a negative thing by the embarrassment of having to go to a prom by oneself or being a third wheel to some friends. Prom promotes the belief that if one is alone they are looked down upon (true in today’s society).

Prom therefore promotes in the minds of students the belief that they have to be with someone or they’re suddenly less of a person, in doing this prom promotes the idea of immediately dating after the end of a previous relationship to avoid the embarrassment of being alone, despite the fact that taking a break would be the mentally healthy option.


Overall, it’s time we began not only looking at the messages that prom sends but make an effort to change those messages so that prom can once again become what it was meant to be, it might even become something better. It starts with us.


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