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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Frederick's of Hollywood meets Prom 2012

It's been about twenty years since I attended my first prom. I looked over the (now gaggy) pictures in magazines, drooling over which one I wished I could get. The strapless blue sequined one was my favorite, even though I would probably never dare (even then) to be seen in anything strapless. A pipe dream - considering I looked in several stores and never saw anything close, not that my mom would have bought it anyway. In other words, it just wasn't happening.

AquaNet reigns supreme
This was what my fantasy prom world looked like in 1992. Kind of short, strapless, yes; but I can't really remember any of the girls at any of the proms I went to looking even remotely like this. Maybe their moms wouldn't let them out of the house, either?

Even so, you'll notice that scalloped-edge neckline is going up, not down. No cleavage here, still managing to be fairly tasteful, even by 1992 standards.

I guess we've come a long way. All I can say is, based on these photos I'm glad my daughter is only in kindergarten.
Marketed as prom gowns, I'm sure they'll draw every eye in the
room, all right; for all the wrong reasons. 
The majority of these "designs" come from someone called Sherri Hill, who looks like she has serious issues. Either that, or no one on the design team has teenaged daughters.

We frequently bemoan the overt "hypersexuality" of teen girls and marketing them to look like they work for an escort service. Parents wring their hands and ponder teen pregnancy rates, birth control pills and abortions while watching the train wreck that is 16 and Pregnant and vowing that their daughters "would never do something like that! My child is an absolute paragon of virtue!" Or, they see nothing wrong with the fact that their daughter is showing the same amount of cleavage as someone well beyond her years and cannot logistically sit down wearing a dress that looks like a glorified band-aid.

Slightly reminiscent of my blue sequined prom
dress dream days, I'm wondering what
happened to half the dress here. 
The company makes dresses for all occasions, but I made sure that the ones I included were, indeed, marketed as "prom dresses." They were nothing short of eye-opening, on many levels. One thing that did not go over my head was the fact that many of these would probably get you sent home to fetch something more appropriate. The "girls" featured in many, if not all of these photos, were provocatively posed and looked well beyond the age of anyone attending a prom. 

While still as strapless as the dresses in 1992 were,
something about these seems different. The plunging
necklines, the deliberate attempts to flash
as much cleavage as possible, and a
bodice (the top part) that gets
smaller and smaller.... and smaller.... 
I don't know about anyone else, but I wasn't exactly tiny in high school. The pressure to be thin and look like models has always existed, and takes root in our teenage years. What do you do if you're not a svelte size 2 with DD breasts? Stay home and cry? Show up in sackcloth? Does Sherri have a dress for you?

I'm sure she only *looks* 25 instead of 16...
And speaking of which, yes, how do you sit down in a dress like this? Should you just hang out in the back, standing the entire time in killer heels? I wonder if Sherri has thought of that. On her website, she has many beautiful designs - but I think even she knows she's pushing it, as many models are hiding their excessive cleavage and skin under mounds of long hair, styled just so.

This looks like something from
Mean Girls: "Can you believe
that b!tch showed up in
something not from Sherri Hill's
collection? Oh look at how
pathetic she is! Hahahahaha...."

Again with the ubiquitous hiking up
the dress thing. What's up with that?
"Eww, breastfeeding in public
is so gross! But doesn't this dress
make my boobs look great?!"
If you have trouble sitting down,
your date could always unzip you
a little from the back...
Some of the dresses are decidedly beautiful, but I doubt there's much room for debate that they're a little racy for the younger set. And just because you can wear it doesn't always mean you should. I wonder what prom fashions will look like in ten years when my daughter is old enough to go? Topless? Nudist? 

And while we're at it - why do all the guys' fashions look so clean cut, proper, and fully clothed? Why must women be exposed in order to look attractive, or sexy, or be worthy of attention? I'd like to hear what Sherri has to say about that...

More reading:
Kendall Jenner's Glamourous Prom Night! featuring Sherri Hill's design
A video featuring her children's pageant dress line 


AmandaRuth said...

this post is awesome! i love yoru blog : )

The Deranged Housewife said...

LOL Thanks. :)

Trbobitch said...

When I was in HS, we saw prom as a time to wear long, flowing evening gowns or big fancy ball gowns... People wore shorter dresses for things like homecoming. This is just bizarre to me that it's turned from having the biggest, fanciest dress possible to the shortest, sluttiest dress possible. That doesn't even seem like fun to me!!