Were proms a thing when you were at school? Proms haven’t always been around in the UK. It’s definitely a trend that we’ve borrowed from America, in the same way we’ve made Halloween a big celebration as well. Before there were proms, we had good old fashioned school discos in Britain. Now, proms are a big deal and so is choosing the dress! But is it healthy to encourage an obsession with clothes, body image and expense at such a young age? Plus, if you have a child approaching prom time, how should you encourage a healthy attitude towards body image and tackle other associated issues related to school proms? Let’s find out…
Say Yes to the Prom Dress!
One of the most positive ways to get your prom planning off to a good start is by finding the perfect prom dress. Prom dresses come in all styles, lengths and colours. Typically proms are held in the summer time, meaning that you have a much better choice of dresses to choose from because of the warmer weather. Personally, I prefer simpler styles for prom dresses. I like cocktail dresses and straight-fitting dresses that sit no shorter than above your knee and no longer than below your ankle. I say this because I feel that it’s really important that you feel comfortable in your prom dress. Prom dresses that resemble huge, puffy wedding dresses with lots of material might appeal to you but they can be awfully heavy and difficult to move in. In order not to prevent yourself from enjoying your prom and having fun, I’d recommend looking at prom dresses for your body type and consider something stylish and youthfully chic. Rather than going over board with overly long or wide dresses, focus on the neck line and other sophisticated details instead. A halter-neck, backless or one-shoulder dress are all excellent options for a show stopping prom dress! Don’t fight your natural style or force yourself to like a dress that you strongly dislike! Lastly, if you don’t feel comfortable in your dress, it doesn’t matter what label it’s from or how much it cost. The best dress is the one you feel happy and confident in!
The Pros and Cons of Proms
As much as proms are fantastic, they can put huge amounts of pressure on both parents and kids. The lavish additions that every kid has to have for their prom become increasingly extravagant and what’s considered “the norm”, is often very expensive. Reality shows promoting extravagant lifestyles, I feel, contribute to the ever increasing standards for what’s expected from a high school prom. As well as financial pressures, proms can provoke an unhealthy body image. A large proportion of high school girls perceive their prom in the same way that brides-to-be see their upcoming weddings. Although they are full of excitement, they panic over finding the perfect dress, looking a certain way, and perhaps most commonly – they obsess over their weight! I witnessed this myself firsthand back when I was at school. Listening to all your friends counting calories and obsessing over their personal appearance does put a negative spin on things. It’s important to keep an eye on your teens to ensure they’re healthy and happy while planning their prom. But most importantly, always aim to incorporate laughter and fun into the prom planning process!
We all know how brides-to-be can become obsessive and anxiously excited when preparing for their big. But is it right to be inflicting this pressure and idealism on to girls of such a vulnerable, young age? In some ways, it is really nice for teen girls to experience a similar fairy tale experience when they leave school. For some groups of friends, it is the last time they’ll be all together before leaving school and going their separate ways. So proms are just the perfect way to celebrate the end of compulsory school years and enjoy a wonderful evening together with friends and classmates. When I was at school, my prom was held when I left year 9 (aged 14). It didn’t really make much sense to have a prom when you have two more years of compulsory education to complete, but that didn’t make it any less exciting. My friends and I got ready together and headed off to our prom in a white limousine. In some ways it is a really nice way to give teenagers a fun insight into the adult world – planning, organising and then dressing up in formal attire. The best way to have a positive prom experience is for parents to set boundaries and for prom-goers to understand that nothing at prom time is more important than simply enjoying yourself!
#AD – this post is sponsored by Prom Dress Finder but all words and opinions are my own.