It’s that time of year when teen aged girls look for their perfect prom dress. It can be fun….but it can also be terribly stressful.
The Kidling will be 18 in three weeks. She is a Senior this year, and wants very much to attend her Prom. She doesn’t mind going alone. She just wants to go and have fun with her classmates. 33 years ago, I asked a friend of mine to go with me. I was dating someone at the time, but he was in the Navy… not only might he not have been allowed to attend because of his age (23, I think) he couldn’t have gotten leave for a prom…. and his sister got married the same weekend, in a different state.
No, for the Kidling, what could be the deal-breaker … and the heart-break … is the dress.
Like me, my daughter is short, big chested, and over-weight. She doesn’t want a dress that looks like it came from the local tent maker, nor one that makes her feel uncomfortable about her body. Originally, she wasn’t even going to consider a strapless gown, for fears of a “wardrobe malfunction”. Earlier this week, she had a complete breakdown, convinced there was no way she’d find a dress that fits properly, looks good, and is within our budget. I understand her fears. I’ve been through that. It actually hurts me more now, watching HER deal with that than it did back when I was dealing with it myself. And honestly, I think it is harder these days than it was when I was 18.
When I was 18, a size 16 was ‘large’, a size 18 was ‘extra large’ and plus sizes STARTED at 20. These days, a size 12 is considered ‘large’ and anything from 16 up is ‘plus size’. Honestly? That is screwed up. Most healthy females are NOT under a size 8. And it seems the sizes aren’t even consistent.
Then there’s the ads. We’ve been looking on-line, to get ideas. Even dresses that supposedly come in sizes 20 to 30 are shown on size 12 models, some of whom appear to have A-cup bra sizes. How a dress looks on someone like that will not reflect how the same dress will look on a larger girl … or how well it will cover “the ladies”.
The Kidling is back on an even keel now, and looking forward to actually going and trying on some dresses this weekend. It still upsets me that she ever felt so depressed about her body shape. She is a beautiful, fun, loving, intelligent, imaginative, creative young woman, and I am proud to say she is my daughter.