Prom askings: confess to impress

Amy Miyahara, Editor-in-Chief

“Will you go to prom with me?” is something that many high school girls would love to hear and many guys have asked through posters, flash mobs, gifts and more. While these “promposals” started off as a simple way to express emotion, modern teens have taken them a step too far.

Askings are undoubtedly a fun, exciting way to get a date. They can be a romantic or friendly way to show that you value someone.

The issue is not the proposals themselves, but the culture they have created. Guys are under extreme pressure to create a promposal that is flashy and creative, even if they don’t want to. It no longer becomes an intimate gesture, but rather a pricey obligation and an unnecessary competition.

The askings also create situations in which the girl feels obligated to say yes, even if asked by someone she does not want to go with. A simpler one-on-one asking gives a girl the power to say no if she wishes. Even if someone has their heart set on carrying out a giant promposal, it’s best to ask the recipient ahead of time to make sure they’re comfortable with it.

Because of this culture, many may not be creating  promposals because they actually care about the person they’re asking, especially if it’s someone they have barely spoken to. A number of ulterior motives are taken into account, including peer validation and the chance to show off on social media.

Homecoming and prom seasons are definitely two of the most enjoyable times to scroll through social media feeds, but seeing poster after poster can be demoralizing to those who never get asked. Seeing other promposals can also cause girls to expect flamboyant askings for themselves. This either leads to disappointment on the girl’s end when their expectations are not met, or additional pressure on the guy’s end to outdo other promposals, continuing the unhealthy cycle.

Often times, guys are obligated to ask due to societal roles. Of course, girls can ask too, and all the more power to them if they do, but the reality is that many girls do not have the courage to take this action. This comes from the stereotype that guys are the ones expected to take initiative in a relationship, a phenomenon that exists not just with high school dances but in many other areas of society.

Aside from the petty issues promposals cause in high school, they signify a much greater issue of a male dominated society. While it would be irrational to obsess over this minor issue, it is important to be aware of the subtle sexism in everyday life.

Promposals are a highlight of the high school experience to many students and it is unlikely that people will break this enjoyable tradition. While there is nothing wrong with planning something memorable for a special someone, the extreme culture of dance proposals signifies a society that cares more about building self image than building real relationships.