Is Your Daughter Wearing a Tux to Prom?


Prom season, and girls are in tuxes! Maybe we’re okay with it when it’s a celebrity like Ellen Page — or Tatum O’Neal who first rocked a tux at the Oscars in the 70s (photo below). But when it’s girls who dress like boys the rest of the time too, parents may not be too happy about it. This doesn’t fit their dream for their little girls. Especially when their little girls are lesbians.

So what?

You are not the one going out or attending prom, your daughter is. Seems pretty clear it’s her choice.

I have never liked tattoos, and both my sons (over 18) got them without my knowledge. (I think it’s about being easier to ask forgiveness than permission?!?) Now, well, I love their tattoos. (Hey, it’s not my arm being stuck with the same design forever and ever…)

My daughter wanted three piercings in one ear. I thought they were faddish. But it is her ear. Having now seen several moms my age with multiple ear piercings, I no longer care. My youngest daughter wanted to cut her long, beautiful, lovely and feminine hair shortand shaved on one side. Yep, she did it… and it’s beautiful.


My friend wanted to wear a dress that was popular that prom season, but her mother made her wear her older sister’s, which was seven years out of style. And no, it wasn’t a money issue – it was just what Mom wanted. My friend still remembers.

I have made plenty of mistakes as a parent. I’m much better now, especially now that I have given up control of how my children turn out. (See my book, How Not to Lose Your Teen.)

It’s tough because much of the church teaches us to coerce and manipulate, I mean, train and guide our children, so they will be “upstanding and righteous.” It’s easy enough when our children are babies and depend on us for their every need. But these things (piercings, tats…) are a little more than we (thought we) bargained for.

The more Real Life washes in, the harder it is to avoid those sinkholes. We can’t even see them! And sure, they remind us of the sinkholes we dealt with at their age. But that was different! That was us. Not them. (Nevermind that those situations drove us to our all-loving and all-powerful God!)

I was in Turkey with my daughter ‪Annie and she wanted some of those baggie harem pants, and I talked her out of them because they were “unflattering.” (Too much fabric!) I have since regretted not letting her have what she wanted during this once-in-a-lifetime trip.  (Yes, I have since apologized for it.)  What was my big issue? I mean, really… so what??

We need to encourage our kids to be themselves – not confined by others’ opinions.

This week we talked about going to our child’s gay wedding. I talk a lot about letting them be who they need to be, who they are. If your daughter wants a tux—or your son wants to wear a rainbow—please let them. It’s their prom. It’s their life. If it’s your reputation you’re concerned about, just give that up. That’s a good practice anyway!

They need your love and support. Tell them they look gorgeous… friggin awesome. Take way too many photos. They are so beautiful and handsome – not because of what they wear, but because of who they are.

Man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.

3 thoughts on “Is Your Daughter Wearing a Tux to Prom?

  1. I have VERY distinct memories of picture day in 1st grade. We had to change into our ‘picture’ clothes in a classroom with other kids. My mom had brought this dress that was really too small and I HATED it. I was so traumatized by having to change into a dress in front of others. I’m not certain, but it might have been one of the last dresses I wore for picture day. I do know that by middle school, I was wearing pants and some kind of top for my pictures! 🙂

    Thank you, Mom, for giving in to what I wanted to wear!

    • SO SWEET! Yes, and I made so many gaffs — as we all do. I’ve cried bitter tears over my mistakes. PARENTS, don’t beat yourself up over anything. We all only do the best we know to do. And we don’t even know how things are affecting our kids. I guess that’s the point of listening! My mother dressed my sister and me alike occasionally (like Easter) and I LOVED it, Katie did NOT! (She was older – you want to identify up in age, not down!) Life is NOT about making everybody happy all the time. But it IS about listening and yielding and not forcing our will onto others, even our kids. 😛 Bless your mother for raising such a beautiful daughter. :))

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