Cultural and religious beliefs make it tough for many high school girls to attend the sort of prom depicted in the climactic scene in teen movies. It's hard to date when you're not allowed to date, difficult to wear a revealing dress and get your hair done and dance around when your religious beliefs bar revealing clothing worn in front of men, showing your hair to men, and dancing with men. But instead of sit at home on another prom night, one girl in Michigan planned a separate prom for the girls who couldn't or didn't want to attend a co-ed dance. And it seems like it kicked some ass.
The New York Times' Patricia Leigh Brown went to Hamtramck High School in Hamtramck, Michigan, where she met Tharima Ahmed, the senior behind an all-girls prom called Once Upon a Dream. Ahmed, who is Bangladeshi American, had dreamed of attending prom since she was a freshman, but knew that her culture and traditional American prom culture were incompatible. For the last seven months, she and a committee raised over $2,500 for the event, mostly through bake sales, and over 100 girls, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the event.
It was pretty adorable — the girls bought all pink decorations and added pink food coloring to a decorative light up fountain and pretty much covered everything in glitter, which sounds like what a lot of high school girls would have done if they could plan an all-girl dance party. For many attendees, this was literally the first time they'd ever let their hair down in front of their friends, the first time they'd seen each other without head scarves and modest clothing. The DJ played both American pop songs and international music, and the party went on constantly until a 5 minute break for prayer at 8 pm, followed by more dancing and the crowning of prom royalty. According to the Times, when Tharima Ahmed was crowned queen, she cried her mascara off.
I miss high school about as much as I miss not understanding how to properly use tampons and the only dance I routinely do is The Sarcastic Robot, but this prom sounds awesome. Who doesn't like getting dressed up and dancing around with your girl friends? Boys who feel left out can organize their own event if they'd like, but I'm pretty sure that a No Girls Allowed dance for high school boys who want to get dressed up and bro down in stereotypically masculine ways already exists, and it's called football.
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