Bernadette Donlon

Many times when a girl attends prom, she hopes that it will be her chance to ‘be a princess for a night.’ Girls like feeling beautiful, and they will put lots of money toward achieving their ideal look. The pressure, which many girls face, to look perfect is the root of many components of prom. One of these components is trying to find the perfect prom dress. Many girls shop at popular locations for their dresses. These include Glitz and The Prom Shop, sometimes purchasing dresses online. Some even buy or borrow dresses from graduating students. Part of the pressure that girls face with prom dress shopping comes from fear of not finding something that “works for you.” Some girls fear having the same dress as another students and some girls simply can’t afford the dress of their dreams. Others girls worry their dress is not best for their skin tone or body shape. Senior Jenna Bogen said, “The thing I was most pressured by this year was dress shopping.”

Another pressure that girls face is the amount of money spent on prom. Prices for the dresses worn can be upwards of $300. When this price is combined with the cost of shoes, dress fittings, tanning, and getting hair, nails, and makeup done, high school girls spend anywhere between $40 to $800 dollars for prom. Girls want to, and are expected to, look their best for prom, but the amount of money some feel they must spend to do so can go far outside of their expected price range.

Before any girl gets to the dance, they spend time with another person, a group of people, or both. When it comes to setting up a group for prom, many girls have faced issues. Junior Greta Jacobson said, “Getting a good group of couples together to spend the night with is a lot of work.” It is a lot of pressure for a person to organize where a large group of their peers wants to take pictures, eat, hang out before or after the dance, and whatever else “being in a prom group” may entail for a person. This process becomes especially stressful when certain group members care much more about prom than others. Planning the evening of prom can become a large tug-of-war between “we shoulds” and “we shouldn’ts” because of the large amount of things a group intends to accomplish.

Prom is centered around going with another person. Tickets are less expensive when bought in pairs and the same goes for flowers. ”

Many girls feel that finding a date to go to prom with is necessary. Senior Danika Brown said, “One of the things I feel most pressured about when it comes to prom is finding a date!” If a date is not found, a girl may scrap going to the dance altogether. Prom is centered around going with another person. Tickets are less expensive when bought in pairs and the same goes for flowers. However, some girls find ways around this societal stereotype. Senior Payton Adams said, “I haven’t been asked to prom; I am going with my best friend instead.” Girls have become more comfortable with going alone or with a large group of friends to prom rather than feeling unwelcomed because they may not have a specific date. The decrease in this pressure has allowed more people of both genders to enjoy the experience of prom as individuals.