High school dances were the nights many of us waited for all marking period long, so they had to live up to expectations. There was so much to think about, from what kind of sateen, mature-looking dress you were going to wear, to the contents of your purse. Planning to attend a high school dance was like a military operation, and if you were someone who was a member of a girl gang, or you had loads of BFFLs, you might have started getting ready for your next dance before you'd even left the current one.
As much as I hate to admit it, Mean Girls was correct to an extent. Girl World had many rules, particularly during high school. Thankfully, if you had a nice bunch of friends, they probably didn't assign you specific days during which you had to wear certain garments — like pink on Wednesdays. But it was still in your best interest to be super considerate of your gal pals. For example, you would never wear the same dress as your bestie, you wouldn't complain about shopping to help them find their outfits (even if you'd already found yours), and you definitely would not dance with your BFF's crush. Ever.
So in the name of nostalgia, let's travel back in time together and take a peek into our high school dance purses. These are the things that probably lived in them.
1. Oil Blotting Tissues
There was absolutely no way we were going to get caught with a mere droplet of sweat on our faces, or worse, an oily forehead. The school dance was one of the most important nights of the year and we were not about to let perspiration ruin it.
2. Lancôme Juicy Tubes
If you didn't have at least one Lancôme Juicy Tube as a teen girl in the '00s, you just weren't worth knowing. This was peer pressure at its finest. Having insanely sparkly lips your friends could see themselves in was the look we were all after.
3. Body Glitter
It wasn't just your lips that were sparkling. Your entire body was gleaming, too, because of roll-on glitter. It felt so weird at first, like someone had just wiped their nose on you. But once it had dried, you were a sparkling sight to behold.
4. Glitter Hairspray
It didn't just stop with our bodies, either. Once we'd covered every inch of our skin in glitter, we moved onto our hair. We would make periodical trips to the bathroom in packs — because large numbers meant safety — to spray even more sparkle in our manes. It's a wonder we didn't exhale glitter.
5. Extra Hair Spirals
On the topic of hair, our locks could never have enough going on. We wanted our tresses styled immaculately with added sparkle, butterfly clips, and on special occasions like the high school dance, with hair spirals as far as the eye could see.
6. Lip Smackers
As well as the aforementioned Juicy Tube, you definitely needed a tasty Lip Smacker in your purse, just in case your crush suddenly noticed you and whisked you off into a corner for a make out session. You had to be ready for anything.
7. Perfume Testers
Perfume was expensive for your high school self. If you were too young to have a job, you'd usually have to beg for a spritz of your mom or older sister's perfume. If you were very lucky, they'd also gift you their unwanted testers and teeny sample bottles. You'd save all of these up and bring them with you to the dance, just in case you needed to mix up your signature scent halfway through the night.
8. An Old Condom
It's very likely that you packed that one condom they gave you in Sex Ed class. You could just never know, right? You also got extra cool points when you accidentally-on-purpose flashed the contents of your bag to the popular girls in the bathroom, just so they got a quick peek at your vintage. You probably weren't losing your virginity that night, but no one needed to know the truth.
9. A Small Water Bottle Hiding Peach Schnapps
If you were a rebel, you probably snuck in some clear alcohol inside a water bottle. However, the adults soon wised up to this, and bottles of any sort became banned.
By the time the night was over, we had usually forgotten all about the stuff we'd brought with us anyway. We were all danced out, high on endorphins, and we had all the drama to discuss the next day at school. It wouldn't be until we got home that night that we realized we'd lost our Juicy Tube and the world as we knew it would fall apart for a few minutes.
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Images: StudioCanal; Relativity Media; Working Title Films; Stan Rogow Productions; Disney Channel Original Productions