It’s official, Prom season–or as I refer to it as–Prom mania has begun. At Scottsboro High School, Prom is the biggest event of the year bar graduation. The highlight of the Scottsboro High School social calendar deserves a great dress. In some ways, Prom dress shopping displays the best and worse parts about Prom.

Going Prom dress shopping can be an exciting and fun bonding activity that creates memories that girls will share with their family and friends. It can also be a nightmare. The dresses are almost always overpriced. They also definitely don’t hinder the materialism of Prom.

The one you want rarely fits without the need for alterations. People get frustrated with the store, sales attendant, their bodies and other people among many other things.

I get it. Prom is supposed to be this special night and everyone has expectations about what they want Prom to be like. I think these expectations of a perfect night with a perfect dress and a perfect date sometimes hinder the enjoyment of Prom. Partly, it’s not our fault. American culture has oversaturated our collective conscious with images of proms and school dances.

Whether it’s Cady giving everyone a piece of the Spring Fling Queen tiara in Mean Girls, the hand jive scene in Grease or the ending of Back to the Future, teens have been submerged in Prom culture long before the tickets went on sale.

For girls, the dress is the biggest part of the Prom experience. I wouldn’t have even gone to Prom last year if my little sister hadn’t dragged me to the formal wear section in Dillard’s to “just look.”

Some people spend months searching, drive to different states and spend a small fortune for the perfect dress. Somehow, I have avoided doing any of this in my two years of Prom dress shopping. I am always interested in people’s prom dresses and shopping stories. While it can’t be guaranteed that everyone will have a unique dress, it can be guaranteed that everyone will have a unique story.

I went Prom dress shopping last weekend. After much deliberation, I picked a dress. This particular dress and matching shoes were both on sale, which leads me to believe that it was the one meant for me. Of course, it’s not perfect and will need some adjustments due to my lacking in height but I love it nonetheless.

I guess this means that I have bought into the Prom experience, even if just for a small part. If a dress can make you feel confident and beautiful, even just for one night, it’s worth the time and effort put into finding it.

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