Homecoming: a long-honored tradition that inevitably leads to a plethora of posters and flowers at the start of each autumn. But have homecoming proposals become more about the bravado and competition rather than heartfelt sentiments? And does the overwhelming publicity of them add more unnecessary pressure to say yes?
All of the students interviewed unanimously agreed that there is an immense amount of pressure on a girl to accept, because, as Luisa Taverna explained, “with the proposal being public, it is hard to say no.”
“You don’t want to seem like a jerk or that you think less of everybody,” agrees another freshman girl. “But when it is not public, there is less pressure to say yes because if you reject them, you don’t embarrass the other person and you don’t seem mean.”
But girls aren’t the only ones who feel the stress of public homecoming proposals. According to Dougherty Valley High School students, guys are expected to make their proposals public, and are judged for not doing so.
“I’m pretty sure that guys are asking their friends who they are asking out, so other guys feel they have to ask someone out.” reasoned one freshman. “If you don’t do it publicly, then I think people would see that as lame and that the guy is really nervous and not confident.”
“There definitely is pressure for asking out someone, ‘cause you may not get a yes,” another concurred. “Everyone else does it publicly, and if you don’t, it seems like you’re scared.”
While both genders were in agreement on how non-public proposals might be received, they were divided on their views about the actual purpose behind flashy and overt homecoming proposals. While guys saw it as a way to be thoughtful and caring, girls thought of it as a status symbol and a bragging right.
Andres Ibanez stated, “It’s about making a moment to remember.”
“It’s about having fun and being creative.” said Julian Torres.
“[It’s] so you can show you care.” another freshman guy commented.
However, Luisa Taverna argued that it’s merely a way “to capture the attention of bystanders” and that “boys are more obligated to do flashy proposals because they believe it convinces the girl to say yes”.
“[It’s] entertainment and a show of bravery.” another girl explained. ”It is almost like a competition. They need to show how much they worked on the proposal and how good it was to their friends.”
The majority of the males polled also agreed that a girl asking a guy out is seen as a turnoff, and that it makes a guy seem more emasculated and weak.
“It makes you less of a man.” stated one freshman guy, matter-of-factly.
“It’s kind of weird and scares guys away.” another admitted.
However, one girl disputed that, “It shows bravery. It’s really cool when I see another girl going against traditions. The feminist in me makes me proud of girls that have more bravery than the guy.”
Andres Ibanez and Julian Torres stated, “It’s fine if a girl asks a guy out. It might be kind of awkward, but it doesn’t matter.”
Whatever your stance on homecoming may be, let us come to an agreement that public proposals add too much unnecessary pressure to an already nerve-wracking experience.