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School Proms - are they out of hand?

(101 Posts)
Grandmama Thu 29-Jun-17 19:14:58

GD1 is 16 and has finished GCSEs and it's the school prom this Friday. It is costing a fortune. The Prom ticket is £30. Two dresses are needed - the Prom dress (which I have shortened to save the cost of an alteration shop) and the dress for the after-Prom party plus shoes. There is the cost of two make-up sessions with a beautician. GD and some friends have had a practice make-up session with the beautician and she will do their make-up before the Prom. This will involve DD taking an afternoon off work because GD cannot get to the beautician's village on public transport. GD is today buying a clutch bag and possibly a necklace. Some of the girls are talking about a spray tan.
DD and SIL are not at all happy about the scale of the expense but there is so much peer pressure. For parents on a low income this must be really difficult. It's DD's first big 'do' so DD and SIL are grinning and bearing it because they don't want her to look back in future years and feel that she was the odd one out with her friends. What do other grans think?

tanith Thu 29-Jun-17 19:21:41

Its been OTT for a long time but if the parents buy into it then its going to continue. One of my GDs had a Prom dress but that was all the expense as far as I know and they didn't pay for tickets I think she shared a taxi with some friends who's Dad was the driver.

I think the whole thing is ridiculous .

phoenix Thu 29-Jun-17 19:24:03


Ana Thu 29-Jun-17 19:26:10

Paying for a professional makeup service is just ridiculous - as is the rest of it...!hmm

merlotgran Thu 29-Jun-17 19:29:17

DGS1's prom was four years ago. He hired a tuxedo (why aren't they called dinner jackets anymore?) and their transport was a stretch limo which he and his friends built themselves. It was 'driven' by all of them, Bugsy Malone style! grin

Lillie Thu 29-Jun-17 19:42:36

Your last sentence is exactly it Grandmama. She will look back in future years and remember the preparation, the fun, the thrill, the friendships. It's an important occasion for them all and it will be a lasting memory in their school lives, (forget the boring Maths lessons!).
It must be difficult for parents on a low income, but good on them for going along with it.

Eloethan Thu 29-Jun-17 20:40:15

How sad that memories now depend on the acquisition of expensive dresses/spray tans/make up/limousines, etc. etc. No doubt all to be reported on Facebook afterwards. Life as a photo shoot.

I think this is yet another example of opportunistic cashing in by business. A day that was formerly just a chance for young people to have a dance and a laugh has been turned into a massive commercial exercise. Every single significant event now seems to lack spontaneity and be accompanied by the spending of vast amounts of cash. It's horrible.

whitewave Thu 29-Jun-17 20:47:23

Just had a photo on face book of eldest GS looking self conscious but of course extremely handsome and lovely in his new suit, which he will grow out of in a few months!! Such a total waste of money, such a ridiculous Americanisation!

But something Nan stays schtum about except a bit of a tut!!

Ana Thu 29-Jun-17 20:50:43

Agree absolutely Eloethan. It's really sad.

Eloethan Thu 29-Jun-17 21:31:56

You can't say anything can you whitewave because the young people just see it as the norm now.

It is becoming more common now for young mums to hold baby showers - more Americanisation.

Nanabilly Thu 29-Jun-17 21:33:36

It's very American ..I dislike it , I was going to say hate it but hate is too strong a word for it but I do think the expense and showing off that some go to is ridiculous.
I sometimes think the parents are just as bad as the kids though.
Keep up with the jones's

Nanabilly Thu 29-Jun-17 21:35:44

Oh yes showers and now smash cakes at kids parties ..fancy having a cake made for a kid/baby to smash up just for a photo shoot ..... A professional shoot of course.

Eloethan Thu 29-Jun-17 21:47:45

I'd never heard of smash cakes - that is crazy.

whitewave Thu 29-Jun-17 21:58:02

My daughter thought it ridiculous. But the ticket cost £55. It was held in the hospitality suite of the football arena that plus new suit. Son said she could have hired a suit, but that would have gone down like a lead balloon. GS is now in Spain and on return doing some sort of government scheme for a month before going into 6th form.

No wonder both parents work these days

Welshwife Thu 29-Jun-17 22:10:04

The cake smash photo shoots are awful but the latest thing - the babies are in an outfit which is really just a coloured nappy with (for boys) a bow tie and a hat. They are sitting on a bare floor in a bare area and not sure who smashes the iced cake but it cannot be the babes - they are then encouraged to perhaps eat but to generally get in a mess with the cake. Everyone one (except DH and myself) thought it was great fun and the photos were really 'good' ! We just kept quiet! Thankfully we only saw t,he photos.

Luckygirl Thu 29-Jun-17 22:13:33

It is total madness. Something inside me squirms at this commercialisation and the pressure to keep up with the expenditure. What do families on benefits do? Children go through their school lives dressed in ghastly uniforms in order that there should be no distinction made between rich and poor; then at the end there is this mad mad process that makes the young people whose families are struggling stick out like sore thumbs.

I'm all for a jolly leaving party, but the values are all wrong here. It has got out of hand.

Signed: Crabby Old Bat

Welshwife Thu 29-Jun-17 22:26:22

I actually think that a simple uniform is good because the children will be dressed in similar clothes whether they are from a cheap supermarket or a more expensive one. It is often cheaper and many mothers donate outgrown uniform to the school to redistribute as needed. There is no argument in the mornings at home either!

I do not agree with silly expensive uniforms for young children as they spend much of their time on the floor wherever they are!

Coolgran65 Thu 29-Jun-17 22:52:28

My school leaving party was held in the school gym. I wore a tartan skirt and an aran button up cardigan/jacket with a collar. It was the best of what I had - do recall being very warm !!

Nanabilly Thu 29-Jun-17 23:05:38

I'd never heard of cake smash either until a couple of weeks ago and a neighbour had one for her one year old sons birthday. They also had a full on party with massive entertainment company with dj and Disney characters and coloured sashes round chairs like weddings.The birthday boy entered the room to drumroll. flashing lights etc sitting in a remote controlled car wearing a velvet cloak and a crown.
Poor thing looked bewildered by it all.

Nelliemoser Thu 29-Jun-17 23:22:44

*Nanabilly Thu 29-Jun-17 21:33:36
It's very American ..I dislike it,*
Me too I totally agree. angry

It appalls me that they get so dolled up. A party yes but having limos etc is obscene. My concerns are also for those children whose parents cannot really afford all this money.
Yes another American fad we do not need.

shysal Fri 30-Jun-17 09:59:58

My DGD had her prom on Wednesday. She saved her birthday and Christmas money to pay for the dress costing over £200. Ridiculous! Thank goodness there was no need for a second dress. She and her friends were transported in a decorated VW camper van kindly provided by a relative of one friend. I agree that the whole thing has got out of hand. Mind you, she did look fabulous!

shysal Fri 30-Jun-17 10:04:26

I was shocked to hear that there are now Proms for leavers of pre-schools and Primary schools!!!!

DanniRae Fri 30-Jun-17 10:21:57

It all sounds like a nightmare for the parents! Thank goodness this prom idea didn't exist when my girls were school age shock

Desdemona Fri 30-Jun-17 12:10:09

As others have said, a vile American import!

It wont go away until parents stop buying into the hype, and schools stop encouraging these ridiculously expensive events.

Nothing wrong with a disco in the school hall surely? I would hate to be the parent of a child who had no money and had to explain to their child that they couldn't go.

OurKid1 Fri 30-Jun-17 14:12:26

Not really on topic, but I was invigilating during a GCSE exam on the day of the school prom. We had to hid our smiles at some of the bright orange tans!!