Prom is Pretty. Pretty Expensive.

Art+credits+to+Divya+Agrawal%21
Art credits to Divya Agrawal!

Art credits to Divya Agrawal!

Art credits to Divya Agrawal!

Louise Choi ‘17, School News Editor

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A grandiose event hyped up by the media, prom celebrates the last year(s) of high school, allowing students to have one more enjoyable night with their closest friends and classmates while wearing fancy attire. Whether their memories of prom are fond or dreadful, many regard prom as a night to remember. Financially speaking, prom is definitely a night to remember for parents.

With prom dress Facebook groups created as early as January, girls hasten to find unique, possibly even designer, dresses before prom, which usually account for at least one hundred dollars already; according to Promgirl, the cost of an average prom dress ranges from 100 to 400 dollars [1]. A recent study from Visa claims that, after factoring in the dinner, hairstyling, makeup, transportation, and tickets, the average American family spends an average of 919 dollars on prom [2]. In contrast, the same survey also concludes that the average Canadian family spends only about 508 dollars, nearly half of the average American family’s budget, on prom this year. Although I recognize why people may view prom as a special night, wearing a reasonably priced dress and driving your car in lieu of purchasing a designer dress and riding a limo won’t hurt your overall prom night experience. Is prom really worth this exorbitant price tag for one night?

Katie Zhu ’17 asserts, “Just from the Facebook prom dress group, I can tell that a few students really splurged on designer dresses that rival those of celebrities, but you really don’t need to spend so much to get a decent dress. Honestly, my dress is under one hundred dollars and still fits well while looking great. I’d rather spend 900 dollars on a vacation to Cancun than on one night for prom.”

Because society has built up a more elaborate image of prom from the media, prom has since grown increasingly more expensive. Once a small banquet hosted by universities in a modest gymnasium, prom has now developed into an extravagant party enclosed with balloons and photobooths and held at luxurious locations such as hotel ballrooms or country clubs [3].

Jimmy Yu ’15 affirms, “Spending 900 dollars on prom is overpriced and absurd. This money could be spent on more significant things, such as improving the quality of education or donating to a charitable cause.”

So instead of saving up for a new hairdo on prom day, try to save that money by using a hair straightener or asking a parent or friend for advice. By enjoying a more fiscally economical prom, you could save that money for your college tuition, a vacation, or even a donation to someone who may need that money more. Although prom should be an entertaining experience, remember that you can still make lasting memories without the expensive price tags.

[1] “How Much Will the Prom Cost?” Prom Guide – Costs. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

[2] Kasperkevic, Jana. “Prom night can cost teenagers (and parents) a pretty penny.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 20 Apr. 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

[3] Suddath, Claire. “Brief History: The Prom.” Time. Time Inc., 17 May 2010. Web. 5 Mar. 2017.

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