Prom Preparation: Differences Between Male and Female Routines

With fall prom season here, Isabella Courchesne investigated the difference between how males and females prepare for events like dances.


With Junior/Senior prom just having taken place and Cotillion (formerly known as Guild) in the near future, the school dances are all the talk here at Holyoke High School. However, with talk of prep time and appointments all about, it’s hard not to notice the difference between how males and females get ready.

While girls spend their free time talking about where they purchased their dresses and how they are doing their hair, the boys seem to be… less than enthusiastic about the dance.

From personal experience (being that I have a brother one year ahead of me in school), I have come to understand that boys don’t have as much say in what they’re wearing to the dance. Most times, they sit around waiting to learn the color of their date’s dress and are told what color tux, vest, shirt to get, and whether to wear a tie or bowtie. Sometimes, the only decision made by the boy is what socks to wear…and even that can be dictated by the print on a girls dress.

But after the tux is picked out, the socks are chosen, and the boys learn how to tie their tie, what do they do that so different from us girls?

So I decided to do a little research of my own. Not only did I want to know what men do to get ready, but I wanted to know if I was the only one who spent six hours preparing for a five hour dance; if I was the only one who spent days deciding what shade of red to wear on my lips; if I was the only one who drove to more than two malls to get my dress, and the results of my study were shocking.

What shocked me wasn’t the hours and hours spent by girls to get their winged eyeliner to perfection, or how much money they spent on highlighter, what shocked me was the polar opposite preparation by those of the opposite sex.  

You’d think that after being stripped of all decision making ability, men would at the very least want to spruce up their prep routine. Though I know that this study does not reflect all males and females (we all know that boy who slays the dance in his perfect contour and fur coat), it does reflect the ideals of the average teenager.

In my study, I interviewed ten males and ten females, all who attended our Junior/Senior Prom, asking them all the same basic questions, and a few obscure ones.

Here is what I found:

Male Subject #1: Routine?

“Umm… I got up at 9 o’clock I brushed my teeth, put in my contacts, showered, put on some street clothes, and then I showered and brushed my teeth again.”

Female Subject #1: Routine?

“I started getting ready at 9:30 AM. I showered, exfoliated, and shaved. I had a 10:30 nail appointment, and straight from there I went to get my makeup done at 2:00, and then I got my hair done at 3:00. I put on earrings, a bracelet, and then my dress.”

Male Subject #2: What was one weird thing you had to do to prepare for the dance?

“Well I went to the Whole Donut, ate some donuts, went home and drake a bunch of milk, worked out in my basement… not a good idea… and then took another shower.”

Female Subject #2: What was one weird thing you had to do to prepare for the dance?

“Around noon I had to try and cover all of my tan lines with body makeup, like my back and shins.”

… And those are just four of the responses. Other students went on to tell me how they cuddled with their pets, spent time in the woods, and went to the mall to add some final touches to their get up. However, one student remarked that he felt there wasn’t much more he could have done to get ready.  

All in all, my test proved my hypothesis: females spend more time getting ready for a dance/party because more is expected for them to do.