Issues with Promposals

The Pros and Cons of Promposals


Kianna Koeppen and Colby Peck’s promposal.

Kianna Koeppen, LETH Editor

Promposals have received much more attention lately for the issues they present towards females.

Promposals are a method of asking someone to prom in a public. They are often flashy and usually involve posters and balloons that make it obvious to onlookers as to what is going on, attracting attention to the asker and the recipient. Traditionally, a male student proposes to a girl, often his girlfriend or friend. After the fact, many people post their promposals on social media, and most view them as a harmless display of affection between two people that care for one another.

“Promposals, as a whole, are a sweet thing people do for the memories and the experience,” Paloma Felix, a senior at Woodside, said. “They are usually super cute and fun.”

For such a positive display of affection, some may find it surprising that so many see it as something completely different.

“Promposals, while they are really cute, there can be a lot of problems with them,” Hali Newman, a sophomore at Woodside, who is attending prom, told the Paw Print. “If it’s not predetermined that you’re going with this person that you’re trying to ask, then it could be really chaotic because someone could say no.  Then you’re just there with a poster, some balloons, and maybe a bouquet of flowers and you’re just standing there like, ‘what now?’”

Many people believe that agreeing beforehand about attending prom is an effective way to avoid a potentially awkward situation.

“What needs to happen, instead of the big promposal [is that] there needs to be a one-on-one asking the person if you want to go to prom,” Woodside English teacher Lisa Prodromo proposed. “You ask them first and, if they agree, then do your promposal. I think if it’s between two people then it should stay between two people, and if that sort of contract is established, then do a promposal. It goes along the same lines of consent.”

If people do not predetermine whether they are going together before the promposal, many issues may arise. Some believe that promposals can be disempowering for women because girls are expected to immediately agree to attend prom with whomever is asking them.

“I think it’s a feminist issue- maybe it’s not a feminist issue, but I see this [as an issue mainly associated with] girls,” said Prodromo. “We’re sort of conditioned as girls to be nice to everybody and to not hurt people’s feelings. What happens with the promposal is someone comes in and asks you to prom in a very public way, and you’re almost obligated to say yes- especially if you’re a female and you’re conditioned to not hurt people’s feelings, it can be a public humiliation.”

What needs to happen, instead of the big promposal, there needs to be a one on one asking the person if you want to go to prom.”

— Ms. Lisa Prodromo

The feminist issue within promposals exists beyond just the response of girls. Many female high schoolers are wondering why they cannot be the one to ask their significant other to prom, and why the stereotype of a male asking a female exists.

“I would very much appreciate it if girls just ask guys,” said Newman. “Personally, while I’d love to be asked, I think that girls should be allowed to ask guys, or girls can ask girls, or guys can ask guys. Anyone should be able to ask anyone without getting shamed or made fun of for it, because it’s your own life and you can do whatever you want.”

Despite the many perceived issues regarding promposals that remain unsolved, all can agree that a promposal is generally a tremendous public display of affection between two people.

“I mean, every promposal is different,” commented Felix, adding, “I think they should stay unique to the people that are asking and being asked.”