I have to admit I haven't been prom dress shopping in a long time. A REALLY long time. And man, oh man, am I surprised by how much things have changed ... and not exactly for the better. Do you remember pregnant prom dresses?
Me. Neither. But here we are in 2014, and the pregnant prom dress is an actual, bona fide thing. Even worse? Prom dresses for pregnant girls aren't something being propped in a corner of the maternity store this time of year. They're being advertised directly to teenage girls.
Take the ad on LovingDresses.com, a site my teenage babysitter was perusing in the hunt for the perfect gown. She selected the prom dress category only to be given 14 categories to narrow down her choices -- everything from "luxurious" to "backless," "fast delivery" to "plus size." And there it was, right slam in the middle of all the choices: "pregnant."
And to think people accuse MTV of glamorizing teenage pregnancy? Methinks they're pointing fingers in the wrong direction!
Now, now, I don't mean to pick on the folks over at Loving Dresses. They're far from the only perpetrators of this startling trend. We found similar choices on "BrandPromDresses.com" and others -- all specifically geared to prom, an event that is intrinsically tied to the high school experience.
I don't think it's reaching to say the "pregnant" dress option sends kids a bad message. It seems to put a stamp of approval on a particularly bad choice for teenagers and makes the baby bump look like just one more accessory for your big night.
Hey girls, don't worry about birth control, you can still go to the dance even with a bun in the oven!
Really?! Aren't we supposed to be DISCOURAGING teen pregnancy, not making it easier on these girls?
I should back up a moment and say that I'm not against pregnant teenagers attending their high school prom. This is 2014, not 1964. We don't need to shun these girls and send them away for nine months to an "aunt's" house.
But the fact is, they have options already to make it happen. There are pregnant bridesmaid dresses and plenty of dressy options already available in the aforementioned maternity stores, places that do not cater to a teenage clientele, places that aren't going to confuse teenagers with mixed messages.
There's a vast difference between allowing pregnant teens to attend prom and making the baby bump look like it belongs on the dance floor. Advertising pregnant prom gowns crosses the line big time.
What message do you think this is sending to our daughters?
Image via Jerry Heist/Flickr