FB dress groups prom-ote unity


Michelle Lum, Editor in Chief

As January rolled around, my Facebook feed became inundated with photo after photo of the dresses that girls would be wearing at prom. The unwritten rule to not wear the same dress as another girl had sparked the creation of junior and senior prom dress Facebook groups to avoid any wardrobe clashes. Whoever posted a dress first would be the only one who could wear it, so many girls had already begun posting months in advance of prom. I, too, was quickly swept up in the prom dress craze.

After seeing so many prom dress posts accumulate, I felt pressured to search for my own dress. So, forgetting about the piles of math homework and history notes I had left to do, I began spending hours browsing dresses online. Like every other girl attending prom, I was on a mission to find a dress that would be affordable and, of course, unique. Worrying over which dress would best match me, I scoured websites filled with prom dresses of every color and style, looked at numerous customer reviews and spent long hours discussing dresses that appealed to me.

When I finally found my dress, I was eager to claim it first by posting it in the junior prom dress Facebook group. I responded to positive comments and shot back at snarky jokes from my friends and then sat back. I believed that having claimed my dress, I would now have one less thing to worry about.

I soon realized, however, that we, as in my friends and myself, were not only admiring the dresses that had been posted, but also criticizing some of the dress choices for either of two main reasons: being too similar to other dresses or just simply not matching our own tastes in fashion. There was even some conflict over the similar dress issue, and because of what we had been saying about dresses that had been posted in the groups, others had been hurt.

Recognizing that I was giving into negativity, I tried to distance myself from such a judgmental atmosphere. By being critical of others, I had been using these Facebook groups differently from their original intention, as safe zones of expression. Placing so much weight on not having the same prom dress as another girl may seem superficial, but to many, having a unique dress is incredibly important. Prom dress Facebook groups are a way for girls to feel special about their dress choices in a healthy environment.

And for the most part, these groups do achieve this goal. Most posts come with positive words of encouragement and numerous compliments, helping foster stronger friendships between individuals. Personally, my friends and I have bonded over searching for dresses together and providing each other with thoughts about each other’s choices.

Despite the occasional disagreement that may arise over prom dress choices, prom etiquette holding that girls should not wear identical dresses allows them to feel unique on the day of prom. An integral part of this tradition, prom dress Facebook groups serve as positive environments where girls can provide each other with uplifting encouragement. I’m glad that these groups have allowed me to find my perfect dress while pushing myself to be more positive and considerate of others.