When Did Promoposals Become A Thing, Anyway? MTV's Newest Show Highlights The Over-The-Top Trend

Maybe it is because I am what's considered an "older millennial," but I simply can't understand the phenomenon that is the promposal trend. I just can't imagine having to go through all of the trouble that high school students go through today for potential prom dates. But, not having to go through it and just watching makes it a lot more fun. Luckily, MTV's new reality series, appropriately titled Promposal, follows high school students as they prepare to pull off elaborate asks-to-prom. The show is sort of My Super Sweet 16 meets prom and the premiere episode starts off with a seriously involved promposal setup.

The first episode focuses on high school junior Destini and her plan to ask her boyfriend Damon to prom in a way that will (according to Destini) show all of the girls in her class that he is her man. She comes up with, and actually pulls off, an extravagant pep rally devoted solely to asking him to prom. She has a drumline, cheerleaders, the school dance team, and the entire junior class in attendance. Meanwhile she sings a song to her beloved and then asks him to prom, as banners reading "PROM?" fall from the gymnasium rafters. I can safely say that my high school boyfriend put next to zero effort into his prom invitation. Hell, my husband's marriage proposal wasn't even that flashy.

I am tempted to say that, back in my day, things were much simpler. You see, the earliest that I can remember even seeing something resembling a promposal was freshman year of college during the first season of Laguna Beach in 2004. I remember all of my friends and I being extremely confused when the cast went to great lengths to ask each other to the big dance. There were banners, flowers, and gorilla masks and none of us could relate to it at all. We assumed it was a California thing that us East Coasters just didn't understand.


And, it seems as if the trend didn't start much earlier than Laguna Beach popularized it. According to a Washington Post timeline of the "promposal," the earliest known usage of the term came in 2001, when the Dallas Morning News commented on the unique ways teens were asking each other to the dance.

Now, here we are in 2017 and if your prom invitation doesn't include a skywriter writing "PROM?" across the sky as your date sings a song that he wrote about you, then the whole event is considered a dud. Hasn't this got a little out of hand? Does a school dance really warrant this kind of thing? After all, if you end up getting married later, won't your proposal possibly be kind of disappointing in comparison without the banners, cheerleaders, and school dance team? It just seems like a lot of unnecessary pressure at a time when there is already enough pressure on high school students.

Regardless of your opinion on promposals, they are definitely fascinating. Check out MTV's newest series Promposal airing on Sundays to see the lengths that students go to for their prom dates.