Cleveland High School in Johnston County, North Carolina has a strong, simple motto: Be on time, Be on task, Be on target. But when it comes to prom, which is happening in late April, the school has one more message for young women attending the dance: Be “Prom ‘Propriate.” What does that mean for the female student body of the educational facility? No short dresses, no backless numbers, and never, ever cut-outs of any kind. What does it mean for the male student body? Nothing. Because dudes are always ready for prom and don’t have to worry about people falling over in their chairs if they see a guy walking in wearing a tux that just might be cut off at the shoulders.
In the video (which is also accompanied by a lengthy slideshow that points out exactly what will and won’t be tolerated), a male student acts as the host of a mock game show called So You Think You’re Prom ‘Propriate, which introduces a panel and rating system that lets women know whether their dress is in or out of style and whether they’ll be allowed in.
According to Tracey Peedin Jones, the school district’s Public Information Officer, the video was made in response to problems (not elaborated upon) that occurred last year. “The prom’s such a special event for our children,” Jones told me when we spoke, “that we wouldn’t want it to be ruined by any confusion.” And while the rules in the video are credited to a teacher, Jones told me that the video was student-run and organized. Are there rules for young men? Sure, but according to Jones, their attire wasn’t addressed due to the fact that it wasn’t problematic enough to warrant a lengthy multi-page slideshow.