Battle of the sexes

Seniors everywhere are waist-deep in it, parents shake their heads at it and inevitably it will come to an end this spring. But for now, “prama” (prom drama) is a very real thing. What causes prama? Dress copycats, seniors who invite juniors and after-parties that fall through. Here at The Mash, we realized there’s a divide in the prama that girls and guys go through. We asked senior reporters Veronica Hannsberry from King and Brian Loomis from Hersey to break down these issues and tell us what’s really going on with their sides of the argument. We’ll let you decide who’s got it worse.

By Veronica Hannsberry

Finding a date:
While some girls can rely on going to prom with their boyfriends, single ladies must endure the search process. The requirements for a date are tough: He has to be fun, willing to wear what you like and the right height. I would argue that girls have it way harder in this category. Creative promposals are expected these days, but guys are definitely the hot commodity on the prom market.

Prom will always be about the dress. Although there are lots of fashionable guys out there, most of the male population will follow their date’s lead when it comes to the promfit (prom outfit). Plus, guys don’t have to worry about accessories. In order to find the perfect prom dress, I started looking last August.

Planning the night:
Since guys are generally lazy in this category, most of the planning falls on the girls. Planning the perfect night can be very stressful. In order for everything to work out, we have to start planning months in advance. Getting a group of girls to agree on anything is tricky, trust me.

Picture time:
Taking pictures before prom is exhausting because you’ll be smiling for at least 30 minutes straight. For the girls, this is when your makeup starts to fade, your curls start to fall and your lipstick gets on your teeth.

School rules:
There are only a few rules at my school. The most important one is making sure you don’t have the same dress as anyone else. Rule No. 2: Don’t wear an ugly dress. Rule No. 3: Don’t let your date outshine you.

Last-minute issues:
There are a lot of things that could go wrong for girls at prom. Your dress could tear, get spilled on or stepped on with a dirty shoe. Your hairstyle could fall apart. You and your date’s family might not get along. Your phone could die. It could rain. Bottom line: Girls have more stressors the day of prom.

The after-party:
After prom, the possibilities are endless as most of us don’t have curfews. Girls usually struggle with whether they should hang out with their friends, their dates or both. For us, it’s all about making the night special and memorable. Because of this, there can be some stress involved when planning the after-party.

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By Brian Loomis


Finding a date:
Guys know that this part should be done at least three to four weeks in advance. Single guys have to consult their potential date’s friends. There’s nothing worse than being turned down. On top of everything, we have to ask in a really creative way—or at least that’s what the girls say. And no, writing “Prom?” in pepperoni on a pizza won’t cut it.

The only thing guys have to do is rent a tux. You can’t go wrong with a classic black tux, but it’s key to have some color coordination with your date’s dress for the best results.  After all, they go through a lot to find a dress.

Planning the night:
Guys get to sit back and relax while the drama—or prama—unfolds. Leave the decision-making to your date and agree with everything she says. There will be plenty of issues that come up along the way, like figuring out your group, transportation and photo arrangements. Taking her side will be easier on you in the end.

Picture time:
Guys, here’s my advice: Just smile and wave. It’s important for us to prioritize during picture time. We take photos with our dates first—it’s less hectic that way. Then it’s time for the big group shots. Guys tend to just do whatever the parent in charge says. Yes, your cheeks will hurt after 15 minutes. Suck it up.

School Rules:

Every school has its own rules. Abide by them, especially if you’re a junior. There’s no need to step on someone’s toes. For guys—no matter what school you go to—the rules are easy: Be a gentleman and don’t overdo it on the dance floor.

Last-minute issues:
Guys have to worry about two things in the hours leading up to prom: the tickets and their tux. Our only other concern is our dates’ stress level. Guys usually step in as the support system to calm the girls down about a variety of issues: hair, dress and nails, to name a few.

The after-party:
To be honest, guys tend to let their dates figure out the plans. All we have to do is get ourselves and our dates to the after-party safely. Oh, and we’re concerned about post-prom food—that responsibility should definitely fall on the guys.

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PROM DRESS FINDER: Still looking for the perfect dress? We’ll point you in the right direction. Click here.

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About The Mash

The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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