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The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Prom Dresses: Facilitating Fashion or Foulness?

Blaike Young I am not a fan of the Latin prom dress Facebook group. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the place where girls who will be attending prom post their dresses. The supposed goal of the group is to prevent two girls from showing up in the same dress. First of all, for one night that’s really not going to matter the next morning, who cares if someone has the same dress as you? However, I can understand how this could really bother the two girls, so I can’t take up a huge issue with the stated mission of the group. I do have several other problems with the group, as I’m sure you can assume, because I’m Blaike Young and I’m writing an article about it. Duh. Problem number one is that it’s stressful for no reason. As soon as one dress was posted, every other girl suddenly felt like they were in a mad dash to find their dress. Left and right people were posting dresses they hadn’t even bought yet. Take a chill pill people. It’s only the beginning of April. Basic rule of thumb, if you buy your dress from BCBG, someone else has either already bought it, tried it on, or considered it. Probably not the safest label to choose from if you’re concerned about wearing the same thing as someone else. My second problem with the group is that it fosters competition. It has become a forum for cattiness. It’s easy now for everybody in the group to judge your dress before they’ve even seen you in it. One anonymous junior said, “One thing about the prom dress group is that some people get less likes on the photo they post than others. Are their dresses not good enough?”  Group members can also see the price of your dress with just one click on Google. Would you walk around everyday telling everybody how much your clothes cost? Although no girl has posted the price of their dress, the designer’s name is all you need to find the price tag, not to mention the connotation each designer has. If one person is wearing a dress worth a couple thousand and another is wearing a dress they bought for 6 dollars, I have no problem with that. But that information doesn’t need to be shared. It only makes people feel bad about themselves. Another anonymous junior said, “I feel pressured to find a really nice, expensive, name brand dress and it’s making prom more stressful than it needs to be.” Aside from the stress and competition it has caused, the Facebook group takes away the element of surprise. The effort you put in trying to look your best is almost worthless because everyone has a picture in their head of how you’re going to look already. It allows your dress to wear you instead of you wearing your dress. You have to remember that half of the prom age population won’t have seen your dress. That’s the boys. The truth is, though, (correct me if I’m wrong, boys) I don’t think the boys are going to care about the color or style or whatever of your dress. Girls dress to impress and beat out other girls. And I think it’s stupid and it’s never going to make girls happy. I’m all about looking great and feeling great. But if you’re dressing up so other people think more highly of you, that’s not going to make you feel better about yourself. I think one of the reasons that girls are so scared of wearing the same dress as someone else is because they know they are going to be compared to the other girl. The other person is always going to look better in our minds. So we don’t dress up for ourselves, we dress up for other people. We think that if other people think we look great, we will feel better about ourselves. We think that if we impress other people, it will be enough to impress ourselves. But it is never enough. You have to dress for yourself and not for other people because you can never make everyone happy. Make yourself happy. That’s what’s important. So I take issue with the prom group. We don’t need it. Wear what you want to wear, be happy about it, and don’t care what everyone else thinks. Easier said than done, I know, but I’m all about faking it till you make it. It’s prom. There are going to be many more dates in your life that deserve much more stress than May 18th.  ]]>

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  • P

    pwigginApr 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    It’s weird…if 75 guys showed up in identical tuxedos, no one would argue about who looks handsomer, whose tux makes them look fat, “who wore it better,” or any of that trash.

  • B

    bhennessyApr 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, Blaike! I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts, and I’m hoping to see this FB group disappear next year.

  • H

    hcraneApr 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    The latin prom dress group, to me, is brilliant. Not only did it kick my ass into finding a possible dress for prom (which i most likely would’ve scrambled to buy the day before), it allowed me see what other people are wearing, which i love.
    With that said, we go to latin. People are going to wear nice things. Our fashion budgets are all over the place, including buying a potential prom dress. We’re used to it by now. I’m renting my designer dress, and I know for sure i’m not the only one. I know i’ll never wear the dress again, so it was my decision to rent instead of buy. If you’re buying or renting, that’s your decision and yours only. Feeling like you have to buy something because other people are shouldn’t be a problem at this point because of the community we are in.
    Prom is a night to look beautiful and feel beautiful. That’s pretty much one of the hardest thing to do as a high schooler, but i’m pretty sure prom is one night where everyone feels great (or at least better than normal). We’re teenagers and getting approval from other people is what we live for. It doesn’t matter what’s rational or how much you tell yourself not to care what other people think. We’re insecure. Some people more than others. We aren’t adults yet. Gaining a sense of full confidence takes time.
    I want to feel beautiful in that one night and if someone walks in with the same dress i will be comparing myself to them. That’s a fact. That’s why the prom dress group at least attempts to get rid of any chance that would happen.
    All of us will look beautiful and hopefully feel beautiful no matter what.

  • S

    skimApr 16, 2013 at 1:14 am

    i think this is a really well written article. i think there are valid arguments on both sides and this article addressed some arguments others may be afraid to share.