BY RILEY TOLAN KEIG
“You know I’ve never been to one of these things before and when I think about how many people wanted this, and how many people cried over it and stuff, I mean, I think everybody looks great tonight. Look at Jessica Lopez, that dress is amazing and Emma Gerber that hair do must have taken hours and you look really pretty. So why is everybody stressing over this thing? I mean it’s just plastic, it’s really just (she breaks the crown).” (Mean Girls).
Prom. A four lettered word, which some people dread, and others star in their calendars months in advance. Media plays into this. Prom scenes have been all the rage in movies. With the classic Prom Queen and King, and the illusion of perfectness.
Just think about your favorite teen chick flick. Mean Girls, for example, when Cady breaks the crown into tiny pieces and gives it to everyone in the crowd. Every kid watching at the moment probably felt inspired, and maybe even excited for Prom when they grow up. Then after that, everything is better. So ask yourself this: when does Prom occur in the movies? Usually, in the end. When all loose ends are tied up, and everything goes well. That is not real life though, because Prom is not the end for us high school students. We still have graduation, college, and many other things to look forward to.
Junior Ben Saul says that the media gives us false ideas about Prom. “There’s the whole perfect stigma that you’re in the gym and the most beautiful girl is the Prom Queen and the most handsome guy is Prom King. Now a days I feel like that stuff is not as prominent,” Saul said, “The whole stigma behind it with like you have to be perfect, it makes people stressed out and it ruins a little bit of the environment.”
Saul is currently one of three Junior Class Officers, who are working this year’s Prom theme. “We go to stores and, after we determine the theme, we buy the supplies. We also got the invites. So over the few months we’ll be constructing that stuff and getting it together. And eventually, the day of Prom, we will set it all up in the Ralston Arena,” Saul said, “I think it would be cool to know that I built that entire night for people to enjoy.” Which also brings up a good point. Prom doesn’t magically pop up on one night as it seems to do in the movies. It takes a lot of work and dedication, and all for one night.
Saul also went to prom his freshmen year. “I remember it was really crowded and there wasn’t much space to dance, but that year was really cool because the Prom King definitely wasn’t the biggest guy in the room,” Saul said.
Senior Brooke Tweedy also said that Prom is a lot different in real life than in the media, and wants to be nominated for Prom Queen. “I’m not really into that whole stereotypical Prom King and Queen, I want it to be different, I want to change it,” Tweedy said.
Tweedy, like Saul also said that Prom King and Queen portrayed in media is a little false. “I believe Prom King and Queen should be involved in extracurricular activities, but at the same time it doesn’t really matter.” Tweedy said. Which brings in an image of the football player and cheerleader as the King and Queen, which is sometimes-but not always-portrayed in movies.
Senior Agot Alier said that Prom is different in media. “Sometimes it’s so different. TV shows make it seem so much different,” Alier said. “It just matters that you have fun with the people that you’re with and you make the most of it.” Alier wants to be nominated for Prom Queen this year, but not for the same reasons as most people. “I don’t necessarily want to be Queen, but I think it would be fun to be on Prom Court,” Alier said, “You could look back on it later and be like ‘hey I was on Prom Court.’”
Even though we get many myths from the media about Prom, there are some things that are true. In Mean Girls when Cady broke the crown up into pieces, it was kind of dramatic, but it also had a good point. In the end even though we all have different friends and different interests, Prom somehow brings us together. “When I go to Prom, I talk to people I don’t usually talk to, because we are there as a school and not as individuals,” Tweedy said.