Alternative prom provides modest option for youth

Congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hosted an alternative prom in an effort to provide a controlled and safe environment for Houston youth.

Ten stakes were involved in planning, hosting and carrying out the prom. A stake is made up of five to 12 congregations, and participating congregations ranged from League City to north Kingwood and Cypress to the Katy area.

Though the dance was geared for Latter-day Saints, everyone was welcome to attend as long as they agreed to follow the modesty standards and code of conduct for the dance.

Alternative prom provides modest option for youth

Photo by One Shoulder Bridesmaid Dresses

Girls were expected to wear knee-length dresses with a high neckline that covered the shoulders and back. Boys were required to be well groomed with combed hair and clean shaven and to dress formally. No sexual behavior or dancing was permitted and alcohol and drugs were prohibited.

Noble Dunn, a student at Summer Creek High School, said of the night’s standards, “It makes the dance better.”

Though the idea of “modest” has been considered old fashioned by some, a modesty movement in the fashion world is helping classier, conservative looks make a comeback. One-piece swimsuits, loose tunics and boyfriend jeans have become commonplace amid fashion trends that used to push the envelope in skimpiness.

Bekah Pence, recent Ms. Virginia winner and Latter-day Saint, incorporated modesty in her platform during the April pageant. “I’m a firm believer in not just being modest, but you can also be absolutely, drop-dead gorgeous, not just beautiful,” Pence said. “I feel like girls don’t feel that way. They think that it’s a step down if you’re modest. They don’t think you can be absolutely gorgeous, but I felt that way.”

Dixie Dunn, a youth leader for the Church of Jesus Christ in the Summerwood area, said of the prom, “We want the youth to see that they’re not alone in their standards and see how big the scope is.”

Girls attending the dance used a variety of styles to meet the modesty standards, including boleros, wraps, sleeve alterations and even custom dresses. Victoria Villareal, a senior at Channelview High School, said, “I got my dress handmade by a family friend. She made the whole dress. I told her what I wanted and that I wanted it modest.”

In order to keep the dance free for attendees, each stake donated money to cover the cost of decorations, food and photographer. Youth church leaders volunteered their time to decorate for the dance as well as chaperone the evening.

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