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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Prom bracket system smashes self-confidence of teen girls

During a time in which teens often feel the need to compare themselves with others, being ranked solely on looks is usually the last thing teenagers want to face — especially when that ranking is carried out by their peers.   Teens tend to struggle with confidence and self-worth, and being “rated” is most likely not on their wish list.
Unfortunately,  the boys at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, California did exactly that. 
The school is currently under fire for a “game” that boys participated in during the weeks prior to their junior prom. In the game, the boys purchased draft tickets, and then girls were drafted as dates to prom. Some boys paid as much as $140 for a “first-round pick.”  
Girls are not only being treated as items or property that can be bought, but many are also being stripped of their confidence. At the same time, these girls were essentially peer pressured into saying yes to a guy that “bought” them online. 
Whether the girls at the school “honor” the rules of the draft or not, the game itself is a sign of how twisted these boys’ perception of girls is.  
If this is our world, it’s no wonder girls lose confidence in themselves and their own body image. 
The only thing the game is doing is giving teens an artificial view on how desirable they are, regardless of the harm that is or isn’t intended.
The girls who are being “bought” by boys as a date to prom are in essence being treated as property.  No person should have a price placed upon them, whether it be based upon by popularity, looks, etc. 
Another problem that arises with the draft is the peer-pressure involved in it. If a girl were picked to go to prom with a boy, saying no after he has paid money would cause major fallout. As a result, many girls may felt restricted in saying no to a date. Indeed, according to CBS News, most girls at the school “honored” the results of the draft, and stuck with who picked them as a date. 
Additionally, the use of a bracket system to get prom dates takes away from a major aspect of prom: the actual asking.  
This part of prom is well known, and most often, boys ask girls who they are close with or are genuinely interested in.  There is no ranking of which girl is the best pick, and there is no loss in confidence among those are aren’t asked.  
Although intended to be a harmless way of picking a prom date, the students participating in the draft face consequences, and justly so. 
Teenage girls have always had a hard time feeling confident with the way they look.  As girls, we’ve experienced this first hand.  When you see constant ads consisting of flawless, tall, and beautiful girls, the idea of how you are supposed to look melds with the idea of photoshopped beauty.  
Because of our unrealistic idea of beauty, things like this “game” can hurt us more than anyone could possibly imagine.  According to Biola Magazine, women in the western culture struggle with body image more than women in other parts of the world do, mainly because we are prone to so much access to the Internet.  
Imagine this: What if you had been ranked among the “last place” in terms of looks?  Whether you are a girl or boy, most likely this would tear your confidence to pieces, and cause views on your body image to plummet.  
This loss of confidence can lead to risks that women take with their health: Most often involving their weight.  Not only is this dangerous, but it’s upsetting as well to know that some people feel so unconfident with their body, that they risk their health in order to achieve the “perfect body.”
The question may arise: How do we punish these boys?  The problem is, you can’t.  Yes, the school can hold assemblies in order to try and increase awareness about body image issues, and the boys can also apologize for what they’ve done.  
But, in the end, it’s already happened and thus the damage has been done.  
This can be prevented from happening in the future, however — if we continue to stress that real beauty isn’t the deceiving images plastered upon the faces of photoshopped models; if we stop commenting on other’s looks and creating the fake idea of what beauty really is.  Because, after all, there is no correct type of “beautiful”.
The girls who were affected badly by the “game” are no doubt going to feel torn apart and incredibly self-conscious about their looks.  It’s going to be something they remember, because whether girl or boy, nobody likes to get rated on looks, or how much they’re worth.  
What may seem like a game solely to get prom dates descended far below the surface into a world of rankings, worth, and who’s “hot or not.”  At the end of the day, although we should realize that no rating accurately describes who we are as people, it still can hurt us, which is why games like these should be punished.
 
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