Viral videos of teens proposing to prom dates, with everything from singing acapella in school hallways to organizing elaborate schemes to have the entire student body in on the special moment, has teens scampering toward a new trend known as "promposing."
“It’s a fascinating trend,” Kate Mason, a global communications and public affairs spokesman for YouTube told IBTimes Friday. “Over the last couple of years it has become more and more elaborate."
According to Mason, YouTube users have uploaded an estimated 150,000 prom proposal related videos to date; a quick search on the site presents viewers with over 450 “promposal” clips to chose from, all uploaded this week alone.
“Part of the fun is in proposing and the other part is the joy in sharing it that is fun,” said Mason, confirming the site witnesses a spike in uploads during prom season.
The latest craze, which consists of concocting the most unique ways possible to pop the question to potential prom dates, has become an extravagant and sometimes costly expenditure. One teen told the New York Post he convinced officials at his Long Island high school to allow him to pop the question over the school’s PA system. Another teen, Joseph Barone, admitted he waited until a school trip to Florence, Italy, to prompose to his girlfriend, Ashlyn Cossack.
According to the report, several teens have utilized the centerfield video board to prompose at Yankee Stadium this season, with each announcement costing $100. Daytona Beach, Fla., aerial message worker Remy Colin said renting plane banners for $1,000 a pop has also become a popular choice for high school students.
“It started last year,” said Colin. “I’ve been in the business six years and we had never sold a prom banner before then."
While the trend is heating up, many school officials are giving the cold shoulder to the idea. Solomon Schechter School of Westchester, N.Y., banned the proposals in April after deeming the practices counterproductive to student learning processes. One anonymous teacher from a different facility claiming the practices are a subject of annoyance.
“A student asked me if he could interrupt class to stage a mock sword fight, after which he asked a girl to prom,” said the unidentified educator.
So what’s the reason for the sudden peak in extravagant proposals? One psychologist says it plays into the generation's extreme levels of narcissism.
“Like it or not, teenagers are inherently and developmentally very self-centered,” said Manhattan-based family psychologist Kathyn Smerling.
While "promposal" clips are flooding the web, some are gaining more attention than others. Maryland senior, Bobby Chin, serenaded his girlfriend of six months last March in the hallways of their Centennial High School in Maryland singing a unique variation of Jason Mraz’s hit song, “I’m Yours.” The video gained international attention and 1.8 million views.
Teenager Senn Way uploaded his "promposal" video under the YouTube name “McKane Andrus” early last month. Mason said the popular clip caught the site's attention, not for the teen’s now famous twerking dance that got his prom date to say "yes," or the gold booty shorts he sported with the words “PROM” across his bottom, but for the estimated 12,000 hits the video received in 12 hours. The clip currently has more than 7.3 million views and counting.
“I’ve seen some of the other ‘best yes’ videos and its just like they’re asking to marry them or something," said Way, who said he decided to try out the trend and film it as satire. "It's silly and outrageous."