Tuesday, 16 July 2013

High school proms in England? I hate them. The end.

Got mixed up with a prom, by accident.

Not the Royal Albert Hall prom, the pop-culture prom. The American High School prom.

Your local primary school, like ours, has probably skimmed off the most superficial layer of this culture and slapped it around the backstreets of Luton Bessie Juniors with glad abandon and extra sequins.

As usual, we take all the showy elements of a culture and doll ourselves up in them with great enthusiasm. Okay, it turns the junior school into a down-market copy of a Las Vegas strip specialising in under-12s girls, but so what? It's your school prom and we're proud of it!

Tonight I passed a line of 12-year old girls wearing thick make-up and professionally arranged acrylic hair pieces, trailing wag dresses and brandishing sparkly plastic handbags. At first I thought some bizarre streetwalking protest was going on. Then I clapped eyes on the mamas who followed, tittering. I can imagine a few covert martinis down and they'll be at the back of the school hall nudging each other and pushing together Brad and Bradella for a photoshoot (would look lovely for everyone's facebook page). Either that or squaring up to each other like bulldogs in the school yard because Bradella spilt that lemonade and dammit it was no accident!

I am trying to think of something kind to say about this aspect of English culture, but I'm struggling. All I can think is that I hope you school-choosing parents are not coerced into it. Not least for the obvious cost of 'the prom dress'. Teachers too, you should rebel when the head thinks it's a great team-bonding experience. I hope a large number of you are refusing to engage your dd or ds into this awful transition ritual as they move from one 'high school' to another.

It is a horror show, sexualising children, pretending they have adult sensibilities and responsibilities when they do not, and reinforcing unacceptable expectations about what it is to be a woman. I am so dead against it, that give me two more minutes and I shall find a link between your Junior School Prom and the unnatural deaths of kittens.

What is in its favour? If there is anything, I need to know and soon, before I clap eyes on another one and it finishes me off.


Anonymous said...

Struggling to find a positive too.

higglepea home ed said...

Completely agree.

Many former home ed young girls I know have returned to school stating the 'prom' as one of their reasons for such a return!

I am quite at a loss to think why it's such a lure?

Grit said...

for the teenage lassies i can imagine cheap booze, barely-there frocks and a room of blokes might be part of the deal, but for the junior school to engage in it? i'm not so happy about that.

but maybe we home ed mamas should get in on the act. i can do fake beer, torn clothes, and come-hither eyeball rolling (a technique i am mastering on the craft stall). we would make it deeply unfashionable and sure to put off the 12-year olds.

Rachel M. said...

"Mama! What funny? Mama! WHAT FUNNY???" says the two year old as I read this and snort coffee through my nose.