Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Seventeen Prom Gets It Right (Mostly)

I went to no less than 20 bookstores to track down a copy of Seventeen Prom, which was published months ago-- months before I even thought to start planning for The Most Important Night of My Teenage Life. Every store I went to said they hadn't had the issue in stock for months. I finally got a copy of it from a friend of a friend who heard through a friend that I was looking for the magazine. Talk about luck!

My prom is this Friday, and I am one of few people at my school who appears to be relaxed, or even excited, about the event. Conversations seem to skew more toward, "Lauren is crying because we invited Mike and Sarah to be in the limo with us," than "I'm looking forward to dancing and having a good time with my friends." Also popular topics of discussion among my peers: worrying about table seating, worrying about plans for acquiring post-prom booze, and worrying about the humidity on prom night. (Okay, that last one might just be me.)

Nonetheless, I am actually excited for the evening. Today I conferenced with my date about corsage/pictures/transportation. My hair/nails/makeup appointments are booked. Everything seems to be in line for a good weekend. I practically feel like a normal teen. I'm a sucker for rites of passage, though.

And so are a lot of other people, presumably, judging from the nearly 400-page length of the 2010 issue of Seventeen Prom. Surprisingly, the magazine actually gets a lot right, much more than their non-prom counterpart Seventeen, in my opinion. Seventeen Prom has lots of reasonable advice on how to do prom in a way that's low-cost, high-glam, and surprisingly unconventional. Here are a few things that stood out to me:

The Good
This hair is so cute! Definitely not the typical half-up half-down curling-ironed look that 90% of everyone I know will probably sport. Just cute natural hair, times THREE.
These nails are really cute-- fun and subtle! (two words I don't often put together to describe Seventeen)This picture! A well-dressed couple goofing off and having a good time. Sort of personifies my opinion of what prom should be.
Conceding that there were some good things in this magazine, though, does not mean that it is without flaws. A few things were downright bad, but most were just weird.

The Bad
Lots of dresses in the issue were really ugly or really bizarre. Seventeen calls this trend "High-Low" but I think "Mullet Dress" would be a more fitting name.
Maybe I'm conservative, but a silver lamé bikini does not a dress make. I can't imagine dancing in that. Same goes for the super tight, super short, super gaudy red minidress, which is so short that the model needs to hold the hemline down just for the photo shoot.
This dress itself isn't that bad in my opinion, but I am curious to hear the thinking behind putting a cutout in a place that most people work diligently to camouflage. The model looks good in it, but I don't really know anyone who is looking for a dress with a love handle window.
I don't see anything wrong with the dress in this one, I just wonder, WHERE IS THIS GIRL? There's a stage, there's a disco ball, and there's an..... exercise ball? This appears to be shot on the set of a bad 80's exercise video.
Speaking of bad 80's things.... this hair looks a little Dynasty to me.
There were, of course, lots of bits in the magazine about dates and dating. This blurb itself actually addresses something that a lot of people in my school have been discussing. The example of a romantic prom proposal, though, seems likes its really setting the bar low. (That is, unless Craig and Emily are huge stoners, which in that case, the McDonald's breakfast might just be the holy grail of romance.)
Prom Sex is one of the hugest teen movie clichés of all time. Googling the phrase brings up some really entertaining advice forums. Lots of things in the magazine allude to doin' it, some not so subtly....
....and some REALLY not so subtly.
If you think teenage boys struggle with bras, you'll get a huge kick out of watching him struggle with this number before your Prom Sex:
Overall, the magazine was pretty good. It delivers what it promises.... advice on hair and makeup, and pictures of dresses. I think that niche magazines such as this one do a better job of actually giving people what they want in terms of content. In attempting to provide one been-all end-all magazine for lifestyle, fashion, and beauty, normal Seventeen ends up tackling each area poorly.