Two Steps to Looking Great in Your Prom Dress


Lindsey DeBruin, Staff Writer

Spring means a multitude of things for high school seniors. With Prom, Graduation and AP Exams, this proves to be the most stressful, and expensive, time of year. While all of the preceding things can be the cause of mental breakdowns in the hallways and limited sleep due to worrying, Prom brings a different kind of stress.  There’s pressure to have the best time at your last dance before it’s all over. There’s pressure to nab the best date before your high school crush gets scooped up by someone else. There’s pressure to make hair appointments, makeup appointments, nail appointments, tux fitting appointments, tanning appointments, and party bus reservations. There’s pressure to look your best one last time before you never see any of your peers again.

But the stress that’s applied to primarily young women in our society to look perfect is magnified once prom season rolls around. The dialogue in the hallways suddenly consists of discussing the latest fad diet someone is trying in order to drop the weight they think they need to lose before the big day. Or one girl is distraught because she thinks she hasn’t gotten asked yet because she’s ugly compared to the supermodels in the magazines. Or how the hunt for the perfect dress ended in fits of tears on the fitting room floor because the florescent lighting made you look washed out and chunky. And then pretty soon the chatter in the hallways switches from, “I’m so excited for prom!” to, “I can’t wait for prom to be over.”

There are a lot of sources to blame for the constant striving for impossible perfection that myself and every other girl I know makes her goal, the most blamed culprits being advertisements and Photoshop. But there’s something to be said about the stress we put on ourselves and each other based on the power we are giving to the infomercials about a weight loss supplement or tabloids showcasing celebrity cellulite pictures on the cover.

We have become so brainwashed into believing the beauty standards set in place for the sole purpose of selling products that we are applying them not only to ourselves but those around us as well. Side comments made at the lunch table like “She does not have the body to pull that off,” or, “She needs a bigger butt if she wants to wear that skirt,” or, “Her outfit was way too tight today,” is the result of the bombardment of advertising which then in turn switches our thinking from maybe sharing a compliment to tearing someone down because they don’t match the display mannequins in the mall.

We as girls complain about how unfair it is that we are considered basically worthless without being attractive in the eyes of advertisements and media and yet the majority of the critiques I hear about another woman’s outfit or body comes from other women. If we want to change the way things are currently we need to start with ourselves. This means instead of criticizing the way Sally’s dress clings to her middle, make note of what a pretty color it is with her skin tone and, most importantly, how happy she looks wearing it.

So what are my two steps to looking great in your prom dress this spring? 1) Loving the way you look in the dress you picked out because I promise you self-acceptance is the best accessory and 2) complimenting the girl in your calc class on the dance floor about how much her dress flatters her because the smile she’ll flash afterwards will make you both feel beautiful.