American teenagers have gotten so worked up about prom that their parents are spending more on it than they have did before. With the end of the school year fast approaching, tans are being perfected, dresses are being purchased and the several different business categories that make up the prom economy are about to rake in over $4 billion dollars.
And that’s because parents feel more and more pressure to give their children the kind of fairy tale experiences they never had as kids. A Good Morning America news story reports that some girls buy their prom dresses six months in advance and start tanning and exercising in January to look good at a dance that won’t happen until May. There are girls who get breast implants to fill out dresses some grown women have no business wearing.
Prom is an important and fun thing when you’re in high school. (We’re really excited for our own prom, which is happening later tonight.) But what concerns us is that what used to be fodder for teen comedies is now just another way to get people to spend money on sparkly dresses and ephemeral and unnecessary cosmetic procedures. Does the amount of money parents spend on prom send a bad message to their kids?