It’s prom season. I don’t even know people. My mind has been flipping around thoughts, that happen to run into my emotions and then I find myself confused and disgusted and convicted all at once. The Prom, which is another fancy and loaded word for High School dance, is a time where students spend now on the average of $1100 to go hang out with the same friends they see all the time, every day. Yes, $1100. A house payment.
Now before I go on I have a few things to say :
1. I never went to my prom, and to this day I have no regrets about that. I didn’t keep in touch with friends from high school ,really. Most of my friends were upper classman, so I don’t feel I really missed anything . I went to the prom after parties with my older friends, so that’s honestly all I really cared about at the time–the after party!
2. I don’t think the idea of Prom is horrible or evil. I love the idea of my kids hanging with their friends, doing life, making memories.
What I do have a problem with is the cost of this high school dance, the pressure on girls, and the obligation of parents. I posted my frustration on my Facebook Status today and found that I am not alone. Girls are spending anywhere between $400-$600 on average on their dresses. Then add the cost of shoes and accessories, Make up and hair-dos are approximately $200-300. Then there is the limo service and the fancy dinner. Parents are selling kidneys to make sure their girls get what they want.
There is even a boutique at a local mall that will record which dress you purchase and which school you attend to insure that no other girl will have your dress.
I want all three of my daughters to feel beautiful and magical. I want all of my daughters to love dressing up, and to embrace the fun of womanhood. I want my daughters to appreciate the uniqueness of being a woman, and growing into sophisticated and loving red lipstick.
But, the pressure people. The pressure is real.
We are a fairly minimal family. We don’t have a lot of “things”. We buy what we need when we need it. We stretch our times between haircuts and buy the groceries we are going to eat. My husband is in social services, I am in ministry. We have learned over the last 10 years of our lives that there are more important things in life than things.
Even if I had hundreds of thousands in the bank, I would not spend $600 on a dress for my daughter to wear. I love her, but no.
I can’t help but think of the long term, detrimental character flaws we are encouraging in this generation of girls. I see women in the store wearing $2 t-shirts, $5 sunglasses, and carrying Michael Kors $300 purses. We, too, are guilty of overpriced and overpaid for cell phones. (I’m not perfect, people!) We all are throwing water and are creating little Gremlins.
Our baby girl-gremlins, who think that $500 for a dress isn’t “that bad.” Or paying $90 to have someone put mascara on you is normal. We are creating environments where each of these girls are pitted against each other, wondering if money really CAN make you look better….even worse…if money CAN really make you FEEL better.
Will the girl in the $600 dress FEEL more beautiful than the girl in the $100 dress?
The answer: It depends on YOU.
It depends on how YOU raise your daughter.
Are you raising her to reflect the beauty of her spirit? Are you challenging her to see that kindness is more beautiful than MAC makeup? Are you helping her to develop the glitter in her smile, and the sparkle in her eye because her actions and words are based on love? Are you teaching her biblical truth about jealousy and envy, and the importance of building people up and not tearing people down?
Yes, it’s just a dance.
But it matters.
It matters that your daughter doesn’t just look beautiful or even feel beautiful. It matters if your daughter KNOWS she is beautiful because she is created by a God who took the time to fashion her every curve, the lines of her smile, and the crescents of her eyes. Your daughter needs to know that our physical beauty is fleeting, but the beauty of our souls, the love of our hearts is what truly defines us.
Even the most “Christian” girl, in the most loving environment can struggle to embrace the truth of who she is in Christ. It is our jobs as moms to help them fight these battles, to not stand down to the enemy who seeks to destroy our daughter’s self worth. Every exultation from other girls about money spent, and things acquired can threaten the truth deep in our girls spirits.
Fight for your girls! Tell them that they are perfect, just as they are. Hug them and love them and prepare them for the difficulties that come. At midnight, when it’s all over, and the dress goes back on the hanger to never be worn again, we want our girls to have character, and class and truly reflect God’s glory.
What is your favorite PROM memory? Comment and Share