Every high school kid dreams about going to prom. Well, at least most kids do. The end-of-the-year dance occasion is a time for students to spend time with each other one last time before they all go their separate ways. The teens typically reminisce with friends about their experiences over the past four years, enjoy romantic dinners with their dates, and take shots at true romance with their crushes. However, the high school prom has evolved so much over the years, and it no longer stays true to historical roots or a certain format. The prom differs greatly from one school to the next, and students use the opportunity to engage in some distinctly non-traditional activities. Is prom still the sentimental occasion it was meant to be, or has it lost its cultural significance?
As far as staying true to its roots, today’s prom has failed miserably. However, prom remains extremely popular with a younger crowd, and the event exists purely for entertainment purposes. Kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds are welcome to attend, and many spend big bucks on the occasion. Even during uncertain economic times, friends and family still dish out a lot of cash for their sons and daughters. Clearly, prom is still very important to countless teenage boys and girls across the country.
Prom no longer symbolizes acceptance into adulthood and the real-world as it once did. Instead, it is notorious for being a time when hormone-raging teens party and let loose. Many modern prom goers plan on illegally consuming alcohol, engaging in sex acts, and participating in other mischievous activities. Formal dress is often replaced by revealing and suggestive clothing, dancing is more sexual than ever, and people’s reasons for going lean toward personal pleasure rather than future benefit. Prom may be even more alluring and exciting to today’s youngsters than it has been in the past because they have more freedom to do what they wish. With fewer restrictions, many students leave school grounds to engage in activities that might not be approved by the school. The opportunity to “live it up” can be very hard to resist for a lot of high schoolers.
Prom and Home-Schoolers
Even though home-schooling rates are on the rise, home-schooled students do not miss out on prom. Many home school organizations plan lavish proms that are exclusive to home-schooled students. Smaller proms are also planned by home-schooled students and their parents for close friends and family. For those who want to experience the real deal, most public high schools will allow home-schoolers from the same state or local region to attend. For many home-schooled students, prom is still very much an accessible and exciting occasion.
Effects of Urbanization on Prom
The teens that are most likely to be deprived of prom are those who are poor and live in rural areas. However, more and more of these kids are moving into bigger cities with their families for better opportunities. Once they enter the public school system, these rural teens will have the chance to attend the same proms as the city kids. There is a positive link between urbanization and wealth, and those with lots of money have greater means to enjoy and attend extravagant events such as prom.
Will Prom Continue to be Culturally Important?
Prom will likely remain culturally important for several reasons. First, the occasion remains a huge tradition in the United States, and nearly every public high school holds a prom night at the end of the year. Most students look forward to the event for a variety of different reasons, and interest in prom remains high for the majority of eligible attendees.
Also, home-schooled students nationwide continue to get greater access to prom each year. Urbanization has made it bigger than ever. And prom means big business. Students and parents sometimes spend thousands of dollars on prom dresses, tuxedos, limousine rentals, corsages, food and drink, and more for the one-night occasion. Since businesses know that prom means profit, they will continue to mass advertise the occasion using all forms of media.
Frank Smithers is a freelance writer based in the greater metro region of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Those who still put stock in prom should consider these prom dresses Dallas.
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