The price of perfect

Putting a price on the perfect Homecoming

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The price of perfect

Photo by Bear_Facts

Photo by Bear_Facts

Photo by Bear_Facts

Madi Klein, staff writer

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The week before the Homecoming dance, club members spend hours hanging intricate decorations on the whitewashed hallways and lockers. This decorative ritual is paralleled by girls every year. The day of the dance is jam packed with eyebrow appointments, to hair appointments, to everything in between as girls decorate themselves to varying degrees in preparation for the night ahead.

“I think girls put so much effort into how they get ready because this is the one night a year where their peers get to see them in a whole new way,” Penny Burke, junior, said. “I know a lot of girls will spend so much money and even an entire day of getting ready just for homecoming, but it really depends on the person.”

While a girl’s dance day tradition could begin as soon as sun rises, the months leading up to the dance itself is known as homecoming season for a reason.

“I usually start shopping a little over a month before. The idea is to get ‘the best dress,’” Ria Talukder, junior, said. “You cannot go too early, and you can’t go too early because they might all be sold out. You also do not want someone else to have the same dress. There is so much that goes into finding the right one.”
In the search of this special dress, millions of things have the potential to go wrong as individuals weave between clothing racks and run up or down escalators between department stores.

“Shopping is always super stressful for me,” Burke said. “One year, I put an amazing dress on hold and by the time I was sure that I wanted it, I came back and could not find it anywhere. I was about to leave when I saw the dress in another girl’s arms, waiting in the checkout line. I was devastated and so frustrated. I was basically ready to cry until I saw that she bought another dress, and gave my dress back to the associate to be put back. I have never been more relieved in my life.”

Although losing the right dress to a sea of other shoppers may not seem like a big deal, looking good at Homecoming can have major importance to girls in a social sense as well as personally.

“Homecoming is more than just a dance. Some see it as one of the only days in the school year where people actually dress to impress. Girls like to express themselves through their hair and makeup and dress choices, but I think the idea of having ‘the perfect night’ are especially ingrained in girls from a young age,” Talukder said. “Even shows and movies targeted at younger audiences have entire plot lines about the struggle to find the perfect dress, the perfect date, and have the perfect night.”

The pressure of perfection can become overwhelming, Talukder said. Comparisons between oneself, other peers, and even friends have the potential to make a dance night turn sour.

“I love Homecoming, so sometimes in all of the excitement I forget about how ridiculous some of the stuff I’m putting myself through is. No one tells me I have to put in a lot of effort, but I do anyway,” Talukder said. “You compare yourself with other girls, even your friends. You do not want to admit it, but there’s always hope you will look better than everyone else.”

Shoes of varying heights are as plentiful and unique as the dress es they’re worn with. Dean Tiffany Reagan said she is pleased to see that girls still have an overwhelming amount of things to worry about, but for many, blisters are not one of them.

“I see a lot more girls wearing shoes they’re actually comfortable in, which is great,” Reagan said. “I’ve seen flats and tennis shoes worn with dresses instead of heels in the last few years. Although, we still have a pretty large shoe pile in the gym.”

While most shoes, as well as some money and maybe a purse or two can be lost in the pursuit of a magical homecoming, a night of dancing, dresses, and dares can be the light at the end of the tunnel when homecoming week finally comes to an end.


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