Bitch, Don’t Steal My Dress

School Formal season is once again upon us, and I always reflect on a time where formals were fun, rather than a competitive sport that they seemed to have morphed into.

Gone are the days when you and your mum would flick through the large pattern books at your local fabric shop, squabbling over the style of your formal dress. Once you reached an agreement as to how low the sweetheart neckline was acceptable and how puffy the sleeves should actually be, you would then select which colour water wave taffeta your creation would be, pay for it and drop around to Mrs. Gascoigne’s place so she can make it for you.

Once the dress was completed, you would borrow a pair of your mums court shoes. The ones with the one centimetre heels. You would wash and brush your hair, decide that now was a good time to experiment with coral lipstick and VOILA!

You were good to go to your formal. In the back of your Dad’s car.

These days, things are done a little differently. The Modern Formal has lifted the expectation bar so high; you need to really squint to see it. And with my fuddy duddy hat firmly pulled down over my ears, I have got to wonder when the madness will end.

Maybe it will end with a Brazilian? I just cannot imagine a Mum saying to her 17-year-old daughter… “Darling, you must not have any pubic hair at your formal!”

But before you even THINK about ridding your body of pesky hair, you must think about what you should be covering it with. Enter….


Bitch, Don’t Steal My Dress are Facebook Groups that girls set up for their specific school that you can join and upload a photo of your dress, so that other young ladies from your place of education will know not to dare show up in the same frock.

Holy Hemlines! I wish I were making this up.

But at least you do not have to worry about planning the event anymore. Gone is the Spit Roast and Salad option. Now there are specialty organizations that will take care of the lot for you. Including, but not limited to the following.

Individual cupcakes, Chair covers and sashes, Table Linen co-ordinates, Balloons, Big Screens, Comic, Magician, Flash Mob Dancers, Flowers, Long Stemmed Red Roses for each girl, Video Kiosk, “Selfie” Booth and perhaps my favourite. Etiquette Training.

This is the only inclusion conducted at school BEFORE the School Formal. We send out a trainer to bring your year into line with polite society before the night. AKA Do not drink straight vodka on the way to the event.

Because it would be just too much to expect your parents to address this issue, as they are too busy working their asses off to pay for the disco stretch hummer, that will transport you to the Hilton.

Aren’t I sounding old and bitter?

The thing is, I worry about the expectations of the future generation. They are growing up in an extremely narcissistic environment driven by celebrity endorsements and giant, shiny fake boobs. They are the generation that thinks that this existence is normal, inspirational even. Fake tans, fake nails, fake eyelashes. It is all normal now, not to mention the eyebrow obsession that is not going away anytime soon.

They are a sophisticated people, the teenagers of today. But I for one think that they might be missing out on something. That longed for night, the right of passage that means you go to the school formal with the son of a family friend, sporting a full bush that no one has a chance in hell of seeing, while wearing a dodgy dress.

The school hall hosting, the Mobile Disco screaming out the tunes while the ever-creepy geography teacher dances by himself in the corner.

And no one is going to publicly shame you on social media if you turn up to your event wearing the same dress as the alpha female. Considering I wore a variation of this…

I am putting money on the fact that I would not have faced the wrath of the Queen Bee.

Tell me all about your Formal?

Was it just like Pretty in Pink? I am still jealous of Andie Walsh’s dress…