Girls going ‘doe’

Girls pressured to find a date to prom.

Editorial Board

While most juniors and seniors attended the enchanted evening-themed prom Saturday night, some decided to stay home due to their lack of a date.

For some teens, finding a date for prom can be even more important than finding the perfect dress, but the embarrassment and humiliation that some teens face by not having a date can be harmful to girls’ confidence and self esteem.

Prom is not simply a formal dance to commemorate the end of the school year, but for many is an important tradition up to par with many weddings. Prom-themed banter, planning and worrying can be heard around school for months prior to the big day, and the stress of logistics can even surmount concerns of finals and AP testing.

The growing popularity of elaborate “promposals,” the often extravagant proposal to take a date to prom, further evokes the growing social standard of going to prom with a date, usually of the opposite sex. But as the tradition becomes more integral to the high school experience, many are left to feel excluded from the festivities if they choose to go without a date.

Being part of an all girls community, we are often encouraged to exert our independence and potential without the direction of harmful and exclusionary stereotypes to guide us. While “going stag” may not be the ultimate testament to these values, girls should not be pressured into feeling like they must attend with a date to have a fun and fulfilled experience at prom.

The various lists of “Who goes with whom” and Facebook promposal groups that make their rounds throughout school, while harmless in their intentions, elevate the significance of attending prom as a couple and isolate those who want or are going to attend prom alone.

This social ideal can lead to a negative mindset for girls who do not have a date for prom and jeopardize their decision to attend and enjoy the night on their own. In some cases, the desperation of finding a date can become so severe that teens will turn to friends of friends or people they do not know personally just to attend prom with a date.

While there is no right or wrong way to attend prom, whether a girl attends as half of a couple or on her own, the event should be a celebration of community, not an opportunity for rejection and social isolation.

Prom is an opportunity to put your best self forward and enjoy one another before the school year concludes, and it should not be distorted with negative social standards made to exclude those who refrain from conforming. In order to fulfill the values of community and inclusion instilled in us as students of the Sacred Heart, it is important to support our peers in whatever prom path they choose to take so that they can become confident, independent and positive individuals.
Whether you attend by yourself or with a date, we want you there.