Far Out Friday: Proms for four-year-olds – cute or creepy?

by Heather Jane08 Jul 2016

They might not be able to read, but children as young as four are donning tuxedos and formal dresses and heading off to their school prom in limousines.

Like it or not, it’s the craze that is sweeping across America, with parents posting images of their dapper dumplings up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the world to see.

Some of the toddlers are shown accessorizing with pocket squares and sunglasses, while others go so far as too match their dates' dresses with complementary ties and vests.
 
However, while this trend might seem cute to some, it has others worried that kids are growing up too quickly – particularly when it comes to the kind of clothes young girls wear on their prom.
 
“My daughter’s school hosts a prom for the graduating class every year. But for some reason I thought that the kids dressed in cute party outfits. Boy, was I wrong,” one parent wrote on a BabyCenter blog.
 
“I found out that most girls wear non-age appropriate gowns and makeup.”
 
She added that she saw pictures of little girls in surprisingly low-cut dresses.
 
Hollee Actman Becker from Parenting magazine echoed these concerns, saying that while the boys looked “pretty dapper” she got “a real ‘Toddlers and Tiaras’ vibe” from the girls, dressed in their crowns and gowns.
 
Dr Sanam Hafeez, a New York-based psychologist, agrees.
 
She told CBS News: “One of the biggest consequences is that you are missing out on the innocence of childhood; of just playing around, and not having to think about what people think of you, about what your hair looks like, or if this dress makes you look fat.”
 
And the parents of these tiny tots aren’t immune from the stress of these proms either.
 
Between searching for outfits, doing hair, and even renting limos, some parents find they're expected to splash out big bucks and dedicated long hours to coordinate these big days.
 
“May we be the first to say ‘please stop’. Four-year-olds don’t need tuxedos, prom gowns, and limos. I mean come on,” wrote Maria Guido at Scary Mommy.

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