Taking out a loan to go to the prom. How much will the average high-schooler spend on prom this year? According to a survey conducted by Visa, $1,078 bucks. That’s up from $807 bucks last year.
Jason Alderman, director of Visa's financial education programs, says "This is social-arms-race spending. It's extreme.”
Television and social media have combined to drive expectations of the prom experience through the roof. Linda Korman, advertising director of Seventeen Prom magazine says that teen girls' attitudes, in particular have been heavily influenced by celebrities walking the red carpet.
And some teens are ditching traditional dates and attending the big dance with--- believe it or not--cardboard cutouts of celebrities.
One teen brought a cutout of Justin Bieber to her prom. Another took New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. Some experts are concerned.
Dr. Nancy Irwin, a Los Angeles-area psychologist, says "Having a cardboard cutout in your bedroom can be OK, but to simulate a date or 'real' relationship in a public place doesn’t allow real flesh and blood humans—who are not airbrushed or PR'd—to interact with you,"
“To replace a human being, especially one that is idolized is making a statement that your peers are not good enough for you."
Stories like these demonstrate how critical it is to teach our children what’s most important in life. The media and our consumerist culture hammer home to our kids that you money, looks and popularity are the most important values in life. But Jesus teaches us--through his life and his sacrifice that it’s not “all about us.”
I’m Bill Maier for family-friendly, commercial free WBCL.