UNPOPULAR OPINION: Prom King and Queens Shouldn’t Be a Thing
I might have an unpopular opinion here, but I think naming Prom King and Queens is simply a popularity contest.
When I was in high school, we had the infamous "yearbook superlatives". Who has the best smile? Who's most likely to succeed? Most likely to be famous? Best eyes? At the time, it was a fun way for friends to vote for other friends. If you were lucky, and that's a big if, you'd get your photo in the back of the yearbook with your new title underneath.
"Susie Q - Best Hair"
Ah, what an honor! As a high schooler, there isn't too many things better than being popular enough to win a yearbook superlative.
For the rest of us, with perfectly fine hair, we'd spend time - whether we liked to or not - comparing our locks to those of Susie Q. Surely no one thought our hair was anything special, and as vulnerable and hormonal teenagers, we'd believe that.
Now, I believe that in 2019, we're all a tad too sensitive. I'm definitely not trying to jump on that bandwagon, but I honestly think that both high school superlatives and naming prom king and queens is an unnecessary popularity contest. I mean it's TEENAGERS we're talking about. They're emotional, impressionable, and they care.
In high school, everything is a big deal. When I look back on the things I freaked out about as a teenager, I laugh now. But, at the time, it's very real and you want your feelings and emotions to be taken seriously.
*** This is a side note, but I think it's worth mentioning. In high school, I'd consider myself popular. I wasn't popular for sports or academics necessarily, but I was in the fun party crowd and it was a good time. So, I'm not writing this from a jealous perspective. I don't remember ever winning a high school superlative, but I was on the roster for queen of a couple different dances. ***
Somewhere along the way, yearbook superlatives got phased out of most schools. Good. But for some reason schools are still naming prom king and queens. In my honest opinion, superlatives and prom queens are very similar. They have one huge thing in common - it's a popularity contest.
If you aren't both pretty and smart, and being good at sports is a big plus, you more than likely won't find yourself in the finalist category of these types of things. Sure, there's exceptions to these rules and sometimes very deserving individuals are recognized in this way. Generally though, it's simply how well you're liked.
I see a big issue with this, especially now that I'm a mother myself. I'm trying not to be too sensitive, but I think it's important for every child to feel special and worthy. Teen suicide rates are at an alarmingly high rate, and most of the time you can tie a child's decision to end their life back to bullying and a lack of self worth. It's heartbreaking.
And now it's officially prom season. My timeline flooded with parent's pictures of their kids getting ready for prom, and I love seeing all their photos. Their sons are decked out in a suit, probably for the first time, and their daughters are glowing in gorgeous gowns and perfectly curled hair. Now, tell me why each of those children don't deserve to be crowed a king or queen? They're all dressed up, they feel handsome and beautiful, but at the end of the night, there's someone that's more popular, more beautiful, more handsome. And maybe I'm wrong here, but it has to hurt their ego.
Sure, some kids might genuinely not care, but I know I did.
So, with all that being said, I honestly think it's time to phase out the prom king and queen fuss. If we can get rid of superlatives, we can get rid of the crowning. Instead, let's focus all this attention elsewhere, like who did the most for the school this year? Who helped a non-profit? Who helped a friend? Maybe there's multiple winners, and there should be. Maybe that's all too much work, and if that's the case, nix it altogether.
There. That's my opinion.