Prom dress controversy

Alex Francisco, Sports Editor

Shopping for a prom dress is something that most girls at Ludlow High School take very seriously. They begin searching up to six months before the event to ensure that they find their perfect style and color dress before anyone else has a chance to get their hands on it. Once they do find that dress, girls are willing to drop anywhere from 100 to 600 dollars, not including their hair, makeup, nails, shoes, or bag which also need to be paid for.

God forbid two girls pick out the same dress. When I found out that someone else had ordered the same dress as I did, I cancelled my order right away. Having the same dress as someone else was simply not an option.

The reason us girls seem so obsessive over our dress is because prom is such a special night, and getting all dolled up may be even more fun and exciting than the actual dance itself. For one night we get to feel like a celebrity and truly feel beautiful and glamorous- if you don’t have the perfect dress or if someone else is wearing the same thing as you, all that confidence goes out the window.

After weeks of searching and two incidents of trial and error, I finally found my dress. I had walked into Just B with intentions to show my mother a completely different dress, however, my mother wasn’t very impressed. Instead she asked the saleswoman to show us the most extravagant dresses they had in the store.

The woman brought out three dresses, but I knew I only needed to try on one of them: a white Jiovani gown with beautiful gold beading detailed around the neckline and also on the flattering open-back.

The feeling I got walking out of the dressing room was one of pure joy. I was complimented by every single person in the store at the time about how the dress looked on me and I felt like a Grecian goddess while wearing it. The fabric was the perfect weight and the color scheme was the perfect complement to my tan and hair color.

This was the dress.

My mother and I paid for the dress and signed on the dotted line. I had officially purchased my dream dress to wear to my senior prom and I could not be any happier.

However, my bubble burst when I, along with many other girls, heard rumors about how administration had deemed certain styles of dresses as inappropriate. The word in the hallways were that girls who showed up in dresses that were strapless, had open backs, cutouts, or slits would be send home or forced to wear something to conceal themselves.

The rage spread like wildfire and girls were furious at the thought of not being able to wear a $400 dress that was already purchased and could not be returned. The ladies of LHS then devised a petition against this school’s policy and dropped it into the mailbox of Principal Lisa Nemeth.

Mrs. Nemeth’s response to this petition came early the next week, proving all the hype to be an overreaction.

In her response she wrote, “Relax!! You are all making this a big thing.” In correlation to the ban of certain styles of gowns, she assured that  “there is no problem with backless or strapless gowns as long as cleavage is not hanging out and the backless dress only extends down to the midback,” and “as long as the slit does not pass a girl’s fingertips when she stands with arms fully extended downward, we are all set.”

She also stated in the letter that she has no doubt that the dresses chosen by the ladies of LHS are “elegant, classy, and appropriate.”

After reading her letter I realized that I would be fine, and most of the other girls should be fine as well. In reality, most of the restrictions we heard about were nothing but fabricated as a result of a game of high school girl’s telephone. All the rumors and hype were really blown out of proportion.

Whether or not the prom dress code is necessarily clear in the handbook or if administration legally has the right to censor our attempts at freedom of expression at an event since it doesn’t disrupt the learning process is questionable. However, most of our dresses will be appropriate based Mrs. Nemeth’s response to the petition, so why stress over it any further now that we’ve been made aware of the true restrictions?

I will still be able to wear the dress of my dreams to my senior prom, so I’m not going to fight the matter of the dress code any further. If you find yourself still apprehensive about the gown you’ve selected, I’m just going to go out on a whim and assume that the gown you’ve selected is inappropriate and maybe even trashy.