by Molly Bandelli and Erin Malley
Vegan. Gluten-free. Non-GMO. And a side of five miles on the treadmill. For some, these habits are part of a healthy lifestyle. For many senior girls, though, these are the extremes taken in pursuit of the perfect prom body. While a healthy diet and exercise are positive life choices, the expectations associated with prom today are provoking unnecessary and unhealthy behaviors in many teen girls.
“One to two weeks before prom is when people start taking extreme measures,” said senior Rachel Geskin. “I hear of people who are planning on going on juice cleanses or girls who just say they’re not going to eat at all the week before prom.”
Whether or not someone decides to diet is completely their decision. The most important thing is that a person feels comfortable in their own skin. We all want to look the best we can at prom. However, it’s necessary to keep in mind what is healthy. Unfortunately, in many cases, dieting has somehow transformed into avoiding almost everything in the refrigerator. Skipping meals and removing key food groups from your diet may lower the numbers on a scale, but isn’t healthy in the end.
Also, there is a gender gap in the way teens prepare for prom. While many boys in our school continue to watch their weight or work out, the reason is typically for fitness, not for an event. Senior Matt Busardo said: “I want to look good for prom, but I’m not motivated to work out for anyone but myself.” While fitness is fine for girls or boys, holding yourself up to an ideal is not, no matter your gender.
Prom is a memory you’ll look back on for years. But honestly, what’s important is keeping yourself healthy. Because all in all, prom isn’t about your dress size; it’s about celebrating four long years of high school with the people you have grown up with.