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1950s ’til Today – Prom: The Ages and Stages

Prom is an American tradition as true and blue as fireworks and corndogs. We can all look back and smile on the times of brace-faced kisses, first dances with “belt-buckles” rubbing into our crotches, and endless bottles of Smirnoff Ice. In American culture, prom is a rite of passage, a time to slut it up and break out our most stylish get-ups. Let’s take a little promenade to the proms of yester years …

Prom 1950

             

Photo source: ute_w68, David Zellaby on flickr (cc)

In the fifties, they slow danced under the disco ball to Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” and went home with their virginity intact. (So they say … )

Prom 1960

   

Photo source: lobstar28, David Zellaby on flickr (cc)

The hot song choice in the sixties was the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry, Baby” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by the Shirelles. The ladies’ dresses were purchased at Montgomery Wards and Sears.

Prom 1970

         

Photo source: vision63, Jack Russel Terror on flickr (cc)

The seventies was a time of big hair, big glasses, and big dresses. The buzzy and free-flowing teeny-boppers slow danced to Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now.” The sexual revolution made prom a lot, lot more exciting.


Prom 1980

 

Photo source: lobstar, treehorn on flickr (cc)

How I love the eighties! Prom was a time of huge bangs, coke-bottle curls, and poofy fluorescent dresses. The music was totally tubular from “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey to “Almost Paradise” by Ann Wilson and Mike Reno.

Prom 1990

         

Photo source: Jeffery Putman, Cherie Priest on flickr (cc)

The nineties—a time of neon colors and Boys II Men—they danced until “The End of the Road.” The dresses got sluttier, the cummerbunds got flashier, and the teenagers got drunker.

Prom Today

          

Today’s prom-goers wear as little as possible and grind to Usher, Beyonce, and Gwen Stefani. They get sloppy-drunk, pregnant, and make bad decisions. I can’t wait until it’s time for my little one to head to the prom …

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