Each year Spring brings flowers, the chirping of birds and the promise of warmer weather; but even more important, for hundreds of thousands of teen girls around the country- Spring means one thing: Prom.
Between finding the perfect dress and shoes, accessorizing, securing a swanky restaurant for dinner, and finalizing the all-important after-party plans, prom these days can easily become an affair that requires planning similar to a full-fledged wedding day.
“I went to at least 15 stores because all the dresses were cut different,” said Kionna Lawson, a junior at Parkville High School. "Everything was last minute, but I just kept a positive attitude," said Lawson, who suggests students start planning for occasion at the beginning of the school year.
Area high schools have already begun the prom season but the majority of the junior and senior prom dates have yet to be filled, as the typical season takes place from mid-April to late May. Ladies in attendance this year have come a long way from the homemade ankle length dresses of their grand and great-grandmothers who might have attended a prom. According to David’s Bridal, a leading company in bridal wear and accessories, trending this year are sequined or printed gowns and dresses layered with tulle complete with clutch purses. Daring blues, all shades of purple, fuchsia and orange are leading colors for dresses of all lengths. Locally, some high school students even have a tradition where junior girls sport shorter dresses as senior ladies attend in sweeping, floor-length numbers.
Though the festivities surrounding prom might be thrilling, they bring with them no shortage of stress.
“Adults sometimes think about teens getting stressed out about proms as trivial. The stress response that young people feel because of the situation is very real and adults might downplay that,” said Beth Marshall, assistant director for the Center for Adolescent Health of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Marshall says that it is most important for “young people to have the opportunity to talk about what is stressing them out and address it immediately.
Adults should listen to them, should be open, and make it clear to the young person that they’re supportive of what they’re going through.” Also key is to remember that “stress is contagious.” Marshall warns that parents who worry about covering the tab for prom or keeping their child safe on that night can easily transfer their fears and become a factor in their child’s tension about prom.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends planning ahead and budgeting to control anxiety levels that might be heightened as a result of prom costs and fees. To avoid disasters on the day of the event, test make up, lotions, and sprays on skin prior to the big day.
Ladies and gentlemen of this year’s prom season are also reminded that stressing over a personal date is not guaranteed to be any more exciting than attending with a group of trusted friends.