In the United States, a prom, short for promenade, is a formal (black-tie) dance, or gathering of high school students. It is typically held near the end of the senior year. —Wikipedia. “I've always been interested in photographing traditions and customs—especially in America. The prom is an American tradition, a rite of passage that has always been one of the most important rituals of American youth. It is a day in our lives that we never forget—a day full of hopes and dreams for our future. Before I started this project I photographed several proms around America in a documentary, caught-moment style of photography using medium-format and 35 mm cameras. I was fascinated by how the dress and behavior of the prom-goers reflected their socioeconomic and cultural differences. For example, at a prom for Peabody High School in Pittsburgh, middle-class white girls bought their dresses at the same local department store, while the African American girls had their own original ball gowns custom made. Their gowns were unique and surprising, while the store-bought dresses were very much alike.” – Mary Ellen Mark. A remarkably visceral photo book.
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