Pitiful Proms

Every year, I get pictures of "ghetto Proms" in my inbox. This last round has left me wondering, "Are these pictures for real?" Every other dress, make that nine out of the ten, had open middles or skin showing holes down the side, some with cheap material stretched so thin over the offending flesh, they look ready to burst any minute. These girls looked like sausages ready to burst the casing. Does everyone at these high school suffer from a severe case of bad taste? Often, in addition to being half dresses, the dresses are really mini dresses with a train tacked onto the butt to make a part of the dress floor length. How many black women can afford to have ANYTHING tacked onto their rear ends? I know a lot of you saw the video of the young woman who was denied entrance to her prom in Houston last week, because her dress violated school policy. She caused a scene and the police were called, all over a dress that she'll surely (hopefully) be embarrassed that she even considered wearing in ten years. Or even two years.
This last email, the girls even had cheap looking garters on their exposed thighs. Let's say that none of these people in the dresses have any taste. What about the people they live with? No one said to them, "Sweetie, that just looks trashy?" Or "You look like a reject from a second class Carnivale."
Barring that, are there no mirrors in these peoples' homes?
I remember my prom. I was barely 16, and my very strict (too strict) father, didn't want me to go. In my house, I wasn't allowed to date yet. My older sister intervened, and my father broke down and bought me a dress, then drove me to the prom and promptly picked me up afterwards so that I wouldn't end up riding in a car with my already driving date. (I wasn't. We're talking New York here.)
The dress? I hated it. It was pink, and yes, ball gown length. And the only skin it showed were my shoulders, which by the way, wee elegantly covered with a lace shrug.
But I wasn't in any ghetto prom pictures.
I remember fighting with him in the store.
He ignored my pleas for a short, tighter, more exciting garment. Whenever I picked up something that he didn't think was appropriate, he'd screw up his face and say something like, "Hell, no." or "We don't have any hookers in this house." (Yeah, he was rough.)
I know that if we hadn't agreed on a dress, I wouldn't be going to the prom. Period.
But I don't cringe when I look at my prom picture today, nor am I embarrassed to show it to my kids.
I just say, "I hated that dress."
There's no substitute for parenting.


Anonymous said…
and i think you hit it on the head. it's not kids with poor tastes, it parents wanting to be friends to their kids or parent who let their kids believe that they are grown enough to control every decision in their lives but are not willing to give them the full responsibilities that come with it.

the boys are awful too in my book. never understood why so many boys still feel that "pimp" is an admirable way to look.

i do admire the creativity and freedom our young people show, but i wish they would mix in a little sense, self-respect and forward vision (that and some good parenting).

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