This is my mom at her senior prom in 1956. Even though it isn’t very clear, it is still one of my favorite photos. There are so many parts of this photo that are classic 1950’s: the microphone, the dress, the backdrop, her glasses. I truly wish I would have grown up in that decade or just to be able to transport myself back to that time for a just a bit.
With all the proms going on this spring, it caused me to bring this photo out at one of our family events and show it off. Mom had just turned 17 and was the only girl in her senior class of 5. Yes, she went to a very small school and luckily there were girls in other grades so she wasn’t always outnumbered. My mom graduated shortly after prom, went on to be married to my dad that summer and then just a year later lost her mom (my grandma) to cancer. But, what mom remembers most about this photo is how she was so excited to have this dress, but it was originally strapless. My mom told how her parents were in no way going to allow her out of their house in a strapless dress. So, my grandma, took some of the tulle from underneath my mom’s dress and made sleeves so that she was “covered”.
In looking at prom photos over the last few weeks, I noticed that the modesty from the 1950’s has gone by the wayside. I saw many beautiful gowns with beading and sequins. Many in bright colors, some long, and some short. But, I also saw many that could have used a little more…ahem……coverage. I am certainly glad I wasn’t shopping for my daughter this year as I think it would have been very difficult to find a dress I would have deemed appropriate. I am hoping over the next 8+ years the dresses go back to a little more modest styling. And when that time comes, I am going to remember the actions of my grandma and make sure our daughter looks as beautiful as my mom did nearly 60 years ago.