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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Too many Prom-blems: Junior laments the exorbitant cost of prom

I had never attended a high school dance until two weeks ago.

And as of a month ago, I wasn’t even planning on attending this year’s Junior Prom. I was so convinced and vocal about the fact that I had no interest in the dance that my younger sisters thought I was pranking them when I finally told them I was going.

I’ve always thought that school dances were tacky. Why leave the comfort of my pajamas when I can have just as much fun hanging out with some friends at my house on any given Saturday evening?

Regardless, I had committed to going to prom, but I had no clue what I was walking into. The minute I agreed to go, all I could hear was “boutonniere,” “dress,” “shoes — you’ve got to wear HEELS, Amulya,” “photographer,” “pre-prom” and “makeup.”

Prom has been a huge production for years and seems to only grow by the year. A common dress suddenly costs $250 once it takes on the label of a prom dress. And attendees vie for the “best” pre-prom venue for the perfect pictures, instead of focusing on how much fun the night will be.

If we stopped caring so much about finding the most glamorous venue and, instead, looked forward to enjoying ourselves on a night out, the bid prices would be lowered and appearance would not be such a big deal. Equally important, I wouldn’t be spending about $400 to look as beautiful as the other girls attending (or, for that matter, pulling out my hair over how little I know about makeup).

The tally for the evening: My bid cost $155, my dress cost $150 and my hair and makeup were another $100. I can only be thankful that I got my shoes for $20 and my corsage and boutonniere set for $20 — both fantastic deals. Many girls pay at least $50 for a corsage and boutonniere set and as much as $150 on shoes.

Promposals have become another unnecessary, ostentatious part of prom culture. In 2016, prom askings are expected to include a poster, bouquet and cheesy pun — the more over-the-top, the better, especially if they’re later shared on social media.

While the sentiment is sweet, these askings have become routine and seemingly mandatory, taking away from the value of a sincere, from-the-heart asking. Prom is — or should be — about how much you value spending a night with your friends, not about how perfect the pictures looked afterward. I danced my high heels off, ate some mouthwatering red velvet cake and laughed with my best friends for one of my favorite high school experiences so far.

Did I have fun? Absolutely. Was it worth $400?

Let’s just say that I could have had just as much fun on a budget 100 times smaller.

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