6th form ball drama #socialpressure

Its that time of year again, when exams are starting to finish and the focus has turned to the end of year ball. Well that’s what Facebook must be thinking as they are flooding my time line with suggestions for ball gowns. But oh how wrong they have it. Most students have already bought their dress, in fact they may have bought it months ago.  This is the story of ball preparation.ball

January – the Facebook group is formed.  Students from the U6th and L6th join this page and post pictures of the dresses that they are thinking of getting so that the other 90 girls in those year groups don’t by it. Apparently there is an unwritten rule that the L6th girls go short and understated and the U6th go bling and long ( and sometimes wide, depending on fashion).  Some students do spend a lot, others buy from Mataland.  There doesn’t seem to be a social divide on how much money you have spent, it is defiantly about how you look.

February – there is a bit of a fall out because one student has posted a picture of 4 dresses and then decided over half term to get a completely different one and someone else really liked one of the 4 she had saved but have now bought their dress! ( I suddenly feel like I am in an episode of Made in Chelsea)

March- most students have bought their dress and are now shoe hunting. Pictures of these don’t go on Facebook but there is lots of discussion about height, breaking them in etc.  Our students have a entrance, its not normally that fancy ( although we have had a helicopter) but they will borrow a tractor and trailer between 30 of them and arrive together.  Or my favourite buy scooters and arrive in convoy.  Deciding what the entrance is going to be like is therefore important when deciding the shoes.

May – hair appointments are booked ( best friends are sometimes the best hair dressers but they have to get ready as well, so planning is needed) and practice runs have been started.  Spray tans are booked as are nails and if you don’t know what silicon Chicken fillets are when it comes to dresses, I will leave you to look that up on the internet. All that is left is the makeup and jewellery to sort out oh and exams.

Exams over – practiced hair, makeup and walking in the shoes we are ready to go. Tit tape is always the last minute purchase and we are ball ready.

Now I haven’t even added in the diet and worry about the idea that students have look a certain way ( some are brave and wear jumpsuits or something outside of the box, but only a few) but add that in and think of all the pressure that the students are put under for what is meant to be a celebration. I really enjoy the events but I do worry about how much effort they put into this one perfect night.



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Assistant Head ( DSL) at a boarding school. Interested in all PSHE and safeguarding topics.

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