Today's Parents Are Spending $20K to Send Their Kids to Prom

Today's Parents Are Spending $20K to Send Their Kids to Prom

Prom spending has become an epidemic.

Published July 21, 2017

Prom season 2K17 may be a wrap, but not before teens across the U.S. left their Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat followers shook with their over the top prom extravagance.

From chartered helicopters and jets to designer and custom-made gowns and outrageous jewelry, prom has become a Hollywood level spectacle in suburbia. There seems to be no limit on what some parents will spend to make their teens' biggest night one they will never forget.

Clearly, the standards we knew for prom aren't going to cut it. And the crazy part is, it's not the rich and famous kids who are taking this prom extravagance to new levels.

Like basically everything, the culture of prom has significantly changed due to social media. Today’s stunt culture has teens competing for the most “likes” and “retweets” and the potential to go viral online. The tradition of prom has still remained the same with the gowns and tuxedos, but it has reached a larger scale. This is also becoming a trend in birthday parties, graduations and especially those horrific gender reveals. 

Teens are showing up and showing out for their prom with not only their fashion and glam aesthetics, but also over the top grand entrances. An expensive limousine rental is no longer considered the norm. The rate for a limo that could average a couple hundred dollars has now escalated to exotic luxury cars, helicopters and jets going for more than $1,000 for just one night. 

In total, this one night could cost around $20K or more and, at this rate, we can't imagine what these teens' weddings will look like. 


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Philadelphia teen Johnny Eden Jr. brought Dubai to Philly for his prom. He had three custom-made outfit changes for him and his dates and three foreign cars — a Lamborghini, a Range Rover and a Rolls Royce — for his night. Last but not least, he had a camel brought in for this special event.

His mother Saudia Shuler planned this $25,000 celebration because she wanted to plan a graduation trip for him to Dubai, but she thought why not bring it to his hometown with his friends and family.

Sydni Williams and her date posted a picture of the jet they arrived in at their prom. They received 5,317 retweets and 21,477 likes on Twitter. People responded with GIFs in comparison to their prom experience and questioning their prom expenses. While we don't know how much this costs, we can logically assume that it was a lot. One user even commented on their future financial aid applications. 

So the question is, what does the over the top prom culture tell us about society? Teens are relying on their needs to be fulfilled with material items to make them happy or to appear happy on social media to their followers. Researchers have found that these "high materialists are less happy in part because they find it harder to be grateful for what they have." Since these teens are given such extravagant prom send-offs, they basically think it is what they deserve and are owed by their parents. As they get older, it is an expectation to them to always get nice things.

According to the Daily Mail, teens are known for being “impatient and impulsive.” This relates to teens' need for instant gratification in their daily life and through social media. Experts have found this causes a high demand for instant results in the younger generation in all aspects of life.

So, that being said, when teens are used to living a lavish lifestyle, they believe it is something they deserve and they have a lack of motivation to work towards it. With exposure to something like an extravagant prom at a young age, it could have a heavy impact on their satisfaction with material items as they grow older. 

Written by Brianna Allen

(Photo: _cjkilla_ via Instagram)


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