February 26, 2013

Teen Talk: Dress stress, bossy friend influences decision

DEAR KELLY: I'm a junior in high school and have a group of six girls who are best friends.

DEAR KELLY: I'm a junior in high school and have a group of six girls who are best friends.

Junior Prom is coming up in April and it seems to be a pretty big deal for everyone.

One of the girls in our group, I'll call her "Mac," has always been kind of bossy, but we all just accept her and just roll our eyes. Mac and her mom were in L.A. a few weeks ago and Mac found her prom dress. Apparently, it's like orange and some other color. Mac thinks it's the best dress in the world, and that she's going to have the best dress at the dance. She won't show it to anyone because she wants it to be some big surprise.

Mac started telling everyone in our group that no one can wear orange (or any shade close to hers) to prom because of her dress. She made it seem like none of our dresses would be as great as hers, so don't do orange because it'd be disappointing for us to not look as good as hers.

Again, everyone just rolled their eyes at her. I found a dress last week online that I love. It's so pretty and has a different shade of purple in a really pretty pattern. I posted a picture of it on Instagram and said "Like or Don't Like." So many people hit "like" and told me how much they liked it, except Mac!

She posted, "I like the dress but it would clash with my dress so bad. We could never stand next to each other in pictures."

I was so mad when I saw that so I mentioned it at school. She totally blew me off and acted like her comments were no big deal. She said that she was just trying to make everyone look their best, and if I got the dress it'd be hard to take pictures together because our dresses would look so bad next to each other. She said that I had two months to look and I shouldn't just take the first dress I find.

We had all planned on getting ready for the dance and taking pictures together. I'm so worried that if I get this dress, Mac will make things miserable that night because our dresses will clash.

I'm confused and I don't know what to do. My other friends are divided, so they aren't much help.

People don't want to upset Mac, and my friends are nervous that she'll ruin everyone's time if she is angry about our dresses.

I need advice and I need it fast. What should I do?

– Stressed For Prom

DEAR STRESSED: Sometimes the easiest answers are the ones right in front of us. Your answer is easy, but the backlash may not be.

You can't live your life afraid of other people's reactions and change your choices to please them.

You will face other "Macs" in your life; you need to have a good game plan on how to deal with them.

Mac sounds like a pretty forceful and crafty person who is trying to bamboozle you into changing the dress you want simply because it doesn't match hers.

Stop and think about how silly that sounds. Does Mac honestly think no one else at the dance will wear orange? Or that no one will wear a dress that doesn't match hers?

She seems selfish, and you need to stop rolling your eyes and letting her have her way. Stand up for yourself and let Mac know that "Promzilla" will not be tolerated anymore.

Get the dress if you like it. Don't worry about Mac and how she will handle it.

Do what you want. End of story.

Let Mac know ahead of time that you chose the dress you wanted and if she has a problem with pictures, she has two choices – she can not come or she can come and let it go if your dresses don't match. Don't allow her to make you feel bad for wearing what feels right to you.

It is your prom night too, and no one should tell you what you can and can't wear. If Mac wants to be stinky about the whole thing, just make sure when you take pictures the two of you bookend the other four girls. This way you don't have to stand next to her and hopefully can avoid any comments from her.

Be confident in your dress decision. It is important for you to learn the skills of speaking up for yourself. There will always be people like Mac in your life who want to control you and your decisions.

Use this as a lesson to find your big girl voice.

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