Wednesday, April 9, 2008
It's Prom Season!
Saturday morning I took my daughter, who is a senior, out shopping for a prom dress. I'm glad we went early, by the time we finished up at around noon there was a line to use the fitting room. She tried on about 10 dresses, and the one she chose was not in my top 3. I tried to gently tell her that it was not one of my favorites. But it was the one she wanted, and it was pretty modest (which I cannot say about many of the dresses on the racks now, more about that later.) So I decided not to push or cajole, I figured it is her one and only Senior Prom Dress, and so long as her flesh is not hanging out all over the place, I can live with that.
Since the dress we got was returnable (with the tags and receipt), I told her I'd take her shopping one more time, just to see if there was anything out there she liked better (plus, it was an excuse for more shopping, which I really don't mind.) When we went shopping just 2 days letter, I was glad that we had gone early on Saturday, because the racks were just empty. Apparently, everyone had shopped this weekend. We found just one dress for her to try on, the others were either ugly or inappropriate (since when does a girl need to look like a Vegas night club act to go to the prom, or worse, a transvestite Vegas night club act.... but I digress....)
As she tried on the one and only pretty dress in the store, it was a little snug, and I figured we'd be going with the original dress we had already bought. Daughter confessed that she had tried that dress on the day before in her room and now really did not like it...
And then I heard those little words that every mother LOVES to hear (but figures she never will, not while still alive, anyway), "I should have listened to you." Excuse me, what? I'd better sit down now. To my credit, I did not say, "I told you so." I did not do a little happy dance. I did not even smirk. Not one bit. I think I said something very kind and compassionate like, "Don't worry. They still have plenty of nice dresses left. We'll find you one that you really like." (And let me just say, I don't think I can take full credit for my calm and humble demeanor, I'm sure the Holy Spirit had something to do with it.)
So as it turned out, we did find a dress that day that she really likes, and I really like, and everyone is happy.
And in it she does not look like a girl in an MTV video. So can I just ask, What is up with fashion today? Why are we trying to make our girls look like, well, you know what I mean? What is wrong with a 17 year old girl looking like 17 year old girl? Do we really want our daughters leaving the house half dressed, with men and boys leering at them and thinking and imagining God only knows what? Sorry if this sounds like a rant, but I guess it is. We let our daughters dress provocatively, and then wonder why all of their fragile self esteem and self worth is based on their appearance and sexuality. Something is wrong here. (Please let me say that I am not a prude, and I do appreciate fashion. I do not have a problem with spaghetti straps, or even strapless dresses. I do have a problem with prom dresses featuring necklines that plunge to the navel or skirts so short that a bathing suit would probably cover more.)
So please forgive my rant. But it is Prom Season, and when I go to the school that night, I'm sure I'll see plenty of those awful dresses, off the racks and being worn (kind of) by girls, mere girls.