Throwback Thursday PODCAST: THE PROM!

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The table shot from my Senior Prom - that's me in the middle

The table shot from my Senior Prom – that’s me in the middle

So, it’s Prom Week. My high school senior, Eric, is going to his prom in two days; we just picked up his classic black tuxedo. And I, inspired by Man Repeller, as I often am, ask this question for Throwback Thursday: say I was going to the Prom now – what would I wear? The answer is that I do not regret anything about my Senior Prom dress, and I would do most everything the same as I did in 1978. Everything, but one thing. Listen to my podcast to hear what that one thing would be …

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High school girls represent

Leaders of the Fashion Club and the Diversity Club: from left, Linden, Denver, Anisa and Ashley

Co-Presidents of the Fashion Club: Linden, Denver, and Ashley, and the Diversity Council,  Anisa (missing: Shayla, Diversity Council)

As you know, I am the mother of teenage boys. I wouldn’t trade that for anything, but there are times when I really miss having important conversations with young women. That is why writing Turning Fashion Inside Out continues to bring me so much joy. Today was one of those days, and I was honored to join a meeting with a group of spirited and thoughtful high school women of Kent Place School. The meeting was a combined effort of the Fashion Club and the Diversity Council and the topic was diversity (or lack thereof) in the fashion industry.

The leaders first identified startling facts and then they opened the floor for discussion, feedback and conversation. The facts are these: that even though white people represent only 16% of the global population, white people dominate the runway at 94.6%. There is a very small representation of women of color on the runway, including black, Asian and Latina models. Continue reading

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PROM: Then …

The table shot from my Senior Prom - that's me in the middle

The table shot from my Senior Prom – that’s me in the middle

Everyone’s prom experience is a right of passage; a chance to step into the world of independence and young adulthood. The truth is that for a girl the preparation for her prom is just as monumental as the rest of it. Because for every generation of girls, that preparation becomes the main event as much as any dancing and dining. I’m interested in understanding how this preparation has changed since I attended my prom – all those years ago. And I will be doing my own investigative reporting in the next few weeks to understand prom as it is today.

First, I must go back. The year was 1978 (from this photo you can see there is no denying that it was the 70s!); I was a senior in high school and this was … my Senior Prom. Here is what I remember about the preparation: overall, I didn’t experience much pressure. My cousin Drew (a year younger than I) lent me the dress which I adored! It was a long, one-shoulder, soft chiffon style dress with a light peach background and pastel-colored flowers. So there was no shopping craziness or pressure to find the perfect dress – the dress came to me. I don’t remember doing my hair in any special way or what makeup I wore, although I think it was minimal, and I didn’t get a mani-pedi. At the time I didn’t know what that was. Looking at myself I see that I have a tan, which is rare for me; I’m pretty sure that I haven’t been that tan since. But the tan was natural because I knew nothing about spray-tanning. My date and I met at my house and my parents took a few snapshots, simple and easy. There was no pre-party photo-taking. And in this picture I am sitting next to my friend Karen who is still my dear friend.

In about a month, high school juniors and seniors will be attending their proms. Girls will be shopping for their dresses, and preparing for the special event in whatever way they can. I’ve heard that often means registering your dress on Facebook so that others won’t buy the same one, and not only getting your hair done in a salon, but having a mani-pedi, and perhaps getting a spray-tan as well.

to be continued

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