Do you love or loathe the American traditions that we have inherited over the recent years? When I left school (which doesn’t even seem that long ago) we had a bit of a party for the prefects in one of the classrooms. I wore a top from Top Shop that I had earnt with my wages from a Saturday job and we ate a few packets of cheddars that were dotted about in plastic bowls. I think I even have the photos somewhere! It was rather understated, we wrote messages to each other in note books and got our shirts signed. Some even cut up their ties!
Yet now just a few years later ‘The Prom’ has arrived and along with this prom comes expensive dresses, limousines to get you to the ball on time and a fascination with spray tans, fake nails and sparkly everything. Is the Prom now a leaving school rite of passage, does it mark some transformation into adulthood or is it just a vast expensive that has been adopted by the masses? When you consider that our children are actually staying in school until they are 18 and these young people will actually often be back at school in uniform again on Sept 1st or whatever day they start back is there any need to mark the occasion in such a grand way?
I do like getting dressed up and having a grand night out but our children often have three proms now – I’m not sure that the Americans even have that many. It is now becoming a norm to have one at leaving primary school, then after GCSE’s when again two years later after A Levels. Is this too much? I have heard of young girls aged 11 getting their hair done and spending vast amounts on jewellery for the occasion. My own 11 year old boy is in a what to wear mode. He would happily turn up in his usual uniform of jeans and t shirt if it were not for the marketing that suggests at 11 he wears a suit or even a tux. Their ‘prom’ is thankfully in their school hall and it is nice to mark the occasion but I do wonder how much he will enjoy it because he won’t feel as comfortable, both in the physical sense and in confidence set.
Research out this week from A Girls World informs us that many girls are spending the same as their US counterparts with 50% spending between £50-£200 on their outfits. Some even turn up in helicopters which set parents back £800. Wow just wow.
I know from my experience as a teacher that many spend way more than £100 on their outfits and I guess that will be reflected by where you live and the type of school that you attend. Also many of these proms are now held in hotels and have a ticket price to fork out for to. Then there are the shoes, the spending money and the beauty treatments. Has it just gone too far?
Next year I will be the mum taking photos of her beautiful daughter in a gown that will probably never be worn again and I will do that for her as it is the done thing but I will also use my money saving ways too cut costs! I will use my my voucher codes to ensure I am getting the best deals and I will try to persuade her that turning up in my Qashqai is just the same as turning up in a vintage car or limo.