Six years ago this weekend, I reached a high school milestone. I went to my prom night. It was a night I was looking forward to ever since I stepped into high school. I used to look through prom magazines, getting inspiration for both the cloths that would embrace me and the makeup used to create my mask.
I went from a floor length, pale pink, strapless, flowy dress, to a hot pink dress with orange straps for inspiration, to a simple little black dress for my final decision.
There were many other dresses in mind, but I could not get the zipper to zip up past my broad shoulders. If my shoulders weren’t the issue, my muffin top was. If neither my shoulders nor my stomach was the problem, it was my larger-than average-chest. Of course, there were times when all three were a problem.
It’s a struggle I face, as a short chubby woman. However, I know anyone who has tried on a dress knows the game.
You see all of these cute dresses that you imagine can fit on you, but when you do, it’s just a game of “what can I fit in today”? Of course, you still play the game with different types of clothing, but either way, you pretty much have no choice but to try it on.
When you find a dress that you love, it’s a dream come true. When you try on a bunch of dresses and none of them fit or look nice, it’s a nightmare.
After searching every store, and my friends returning home, I gave up and went to the first store I went to that day. I had my eye on the dress, but I wanted to see what else was out there. I tried it on. It was really classy, especially with a diamond broach, but it was so simple. A bit too simple.
I asked the sales associate for her completely honest opinion, and she gave it to me. She told me that out of everything I tried on that day, I looked the most comfortable and confident and that dress.
That was really all that mattered by the end of the night anyway, that I was comfortable, so I said yes to that dress.
During this time, I was also freaking out over things I would normally not freak out about. Once, I was in the drugstore, asking my mom what lip gloss would go best with my dress, although I just usually grab whatever is on the bathroom counter and go with it.
It was an understandable concern because I had silver jewellery and matching princess like wedge heels to go with my classic number. I had to make sure my makeup matched too. I went with a glittery silver eye and a guava shade of lip gloss, that promised to be “super stay” but did not do a super job of doing so by the end of the night.
The other aesthetic I was freaking out about was my hair. Anyone who knows me knows that I usually rock a few hairstyles on a daily basis: brush and go, messy bun, and ponytail. Obviously, I wanted to try something different for prom, so I went to the salon and had some curls done hours before I was supposed to meet my friends for the special occasion.
When I was waiting at home, I had company with the summer heat. The worst enemy of unnatural curls. They were starting to unravel, and I was panicking. My mom had her trusty curling iron. That day, I discovered something about my hair: one side is better at curling than the other. As one side kept the curls intact, the other side of my hair kept on going straighter and straighter.
I was horrified, and I had a bit of a meltdown. I became what one may call a “Promzilla”. I could not go to the prom with two completely different hairstyles, no way, no how. I made that very clear to my mom, who did feel sorry for me, despite that she knew this wasn’t the norm for me.
“When you get married, you are getting an updo!” She replied.
My best friend’s mom picked me up, and we went to the salon my friends were getting dolled up. The stylist, who cut my hair plenty of times after that, fixed my hair at no charge. When we got dressed at my friend’s place, I had some jewels attached in my hair, and a bit of sparkly eyeliner.
Once I was at the prom? I didn’t even care what I looked like at this point. I was having a great time dancing like there was no tomorrow, focusing on having fun. My colleagues told me I looked fantastic, so it didn’t even matter. Besides, I washed it out when I went home from the after party anyway.
I know that teens all around the world are freaking out about prom night, and how perfect they want it to be.
Prom is a major night for adolescents, but by the end it’s exactly that; it’s just a night.
So if you are going to prom, if you haven’t already, stay safe, have fun and dress in a way that makes you feel amazing. Because in decades from now, when our own kids are going to prom, we are going to look back on our pictures and think “Dear God, why did I wear that? What was I thinking?”