Before I left for work this morning, I watched a segment on the Today show about prom dresses. There were about six girls modeling Oscar-like knockoffs in front of a grocery store backdrop. The dresses were very glam and almost wedding-worthy. A far cry from the Gunne Sax dresses that were standard at my prom.
A couple years ago, I was taking the M14 bus to the East Village. It was late on a school night and I was sitting behind a high school girl who was talking on her cell phone to her mom. She needed at least $550 for prom, she said. Why, mom asked? Because the dress is $300, the hair is $100, the nails $50, the shoes $50 and the ticket to get in is $50. Mom then turned the conversation to college applications. No, she had not applied for college (this was in February). She only wanted to go to one college and they have rolling admissions. This is the only college in NYC with her major, Mortuary Science. So don't worry, mom. Fork over that $550.
I know, I know, I shouldn't mock people that I don't know. You had to be there. Anyhoo, for the high school outcasts or consciously alternative, there is for some the Anti-Prom, where "attendees protest what they regard as the kitsch vanity, the orgiastic excess, and the suffocating conformity that the prom culture demands from students." Wiki.