Traditionalism vs. Evolution

Searlait Coffey

What is prom? A mass amount of
extravagant proposals. A lot of money
spent on yourself and your date.
Money spent by the school to put on
a good show for upperclassmen. Limos,
corsages, tuxedos, dresses, bad
music and awkward dancing. All of
the above would fit the answer. But
the real question is, is all of it really
as amazing as it is advertised to be?
The origins of proms, or promenades,
go back to 18th century
dances. The kind of proms that most
high school students fantasize about
though began around the 1930s. But
during the 1950s, the excitement
around prom became what it is today.
The origins of prom court are
unknown, but from the 18th century
type-proms, one could infer
that the royalty in attendance tried
to best each other and it resulted in
the need to label one as the best of
them all.
In general, a high school prom is
viewed as a wonderful way to celebrate
the end of the school year
and a way to enjoy school spirit
with your peers. It’s an opportunity
to work up the courage to ask
out your high school crush or enjoy
an evening with an already existing
partner. Students get to dance, eat,
drink (punch) and party chaperone
style. The anticipation and preparation
keep everyone motivated
to push through the last leg of the
school year.
Traditionalism is usually associated
by a huge price tag. Hundreds,
if not thousands, of dollars are spent
by students to make themselves and
their partner look as good as can
be. Renting something as fancy as
a limousine seems like an amazing
plan, but in reality, it is a laughable
practice. Money down the drain for
a minute’s drive to and from the
venue.
Prom encourages attendants, especially
females, to outdo everyone
with their clothing and accessories.
Classified “prom dresses” cost hundreds
and most consumers only
wear the dress once. The culture of
defining beauty and luxury is held so
high up in society, that it becomes
overused and unnecessary for a high
school dance.
Typically, guys ask the gals to go
to the dance. There’s peer pressure.
The awkwardness of either getting
rejected or going with someone you
don’t know very well is unpleasant,
to say the least. Why the need for
this strange mating ritual? Why not
have everyone who wants to attend,
attend and dance with whoever
comes your way?
Boys are also “supposed” to buy
dinner, tickets and provide the ride
to and fro. While many classify this
as a gentleman’s gesture, nowadays
it’s seen as old fashioned and unnecessary.
Why shouldn’t the man
and woman pay for their own tickets,
split the bill at dinner and both
pitch in on transportation? If both
are actually equal in a relationship,
why does one take on more responsibility
than the other?
These are the kind of questions
that upperclassmen, or the occasional
freshman and sophomore
invitee, should ask themselves and
each other. Prom might still be a
worthwhile activity, for those who
are living in such an unrealistic state
of mind that their expectations for a
glorified school dance are extraordinary.
But for those of you who questioning
conforming to a traditional
waste of a Saturday night, spread the
word and end the unglorified high
school prom.

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