PROM: Now/Miranda …

Miranda's prom dress - look at that detail in the back!

Miranda’s prom dress – look at that detail in the back!

Miranda is a senior in high school and will be going to her prom in early June. Here is what Miranda shared with me about prom, now …

It was very hard to find a dress; it took me two months of on-line shopping. I decided to do all of my shopping on-line because I knew I would find the right proportions. I am over 5′ 7″ and I wanted the right fit, and these days on-line shopping provides accurate measurements. When I saw this dress it really stuck with me. It’s a light pink and feminine style. The popular colors of the season for girls are nude, soft pink, dark blue/navy blue and red. And yes, I have posted it on Facebook already, noting the color, so that others will know what I’m wearing and not copy it. Most girls are doing this …

To prepare for the prom, I will be getting my hair and professional makeup done at a salon. No spray tanning for me. I tried it two years ago and I did not like it! Too much orange! I will also be getting a mani-pedi …

I am happy to go to my prom. Sometimes it’s overrated; people say it’s the second most important day after your wedding day. I think that’s silly. But it is a special day. It makes girls feel really beautiful and it boosts confidence. All the girls are so nice to each at prom; they compliment each other and wish each other well. That doesn’t always happen with girls, you know. But on this day, there is a positive atmosphere and a judgement-free-zone for all of high school …” ~ Miranda

to be continued

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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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