Jiang Photography

We are launching a new theme for our high school Seniors!

Be Your Own Prom Queen(King) – Embrace your unique abilities!”

Be Your Own Prom Queen!

When shopping for my daughter’s prom dress and seeing how elegant and beautiful she looked in front of the mirror, I told her that I wanted to do a project related to prom. My daughter asked, “Mom, could you call your project ‘Be your own prom queen (king)’?”

I immediately fell in love with the project name, but I wanted to hear what she, as a high school senior, thought about the project. This is what she wrote in answer to my question:

Ordinary Is Not Extraordinary!

I became resentful of my introversion at a young age, blaming it for my inability to fit in. The common stigma of introversion that I encountered caused me to associate my quietness with a lack of confidence and, thus, inferiority. The guidance of adults reassured me that by pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I could work on my quietness. Despite my genuine best efforts, I was still the elementary school girl no one talked to on the bus, the middle school girl who sat alone at lunch, and the high school girl who never raised her hand in class. My childhood was a constant battle with myself, a battle against the voice telling me to try harder, that I wasn’t enough. Alas, the prospect of embracing my silence never crossed my young mind.

Fortunately, downloading social media allowed me to start fitting in, posting only carefully curated highlight reels, like everyone else. With each post, the growing likes and comments affirmed my sense of worth for the first time. It fostered a belief that I was growing and rising above my introversion.

Unfortunately, reality eventually caught up with me. Society was congratulating this fake version of myself, causing me to resent my genuine self even more. When this cycle of living for others and losing myself put me in a darker headspace than before, I decided to try deleting my social media.

Upon reflection, I am incredibly grateful for social media’s exhausting toll, as it gave me the perspective that living any authentic version of yourself always feels better than living an unauthentic version (even if accepted by others). This shift in perspective allowed me to view my introversion’s unique and unpopular nature in a bright light, appreciating it for setting me apart. I may not be the typical girl, but my distinctive silence has allowed me to accomplish what typical girls do not. Overall, my silence allows for thoughtful intention, contributing to an actual impact. If I had continued to live up to the standards of others, I would have never realized that I could use my innate traits to not just fit in but to rise above. I now love what I hated most about myself, seeing quietness as a less common form of confidence and power.

The notion of a single prom queen only promotes a similar obsession with conforming to social media. The influence to strive for a standard set by external circumstances risks losing oneself and disliking one’s authentic self even more. Is a queen really a queen if she does not feel like one to her core? Societal standards are ever changing , but the only guarantee in life is that you will be with yourself forever. Why do a disservice to your future happiness only to please this impermanent standard or person?

Don’t forget that the essence of a queen is that she stands out. Never let your impermanent external environment cause you to look down on your individualized traits and be hesitant to embrace them. I may not do what’s most popular or be the most popular, but my unique qualities make me feel special, like a queen—a true queen who knows herself to be one. Be a true queen... be extraordinary, not ordinary!

Be Your Own Prom Queen(King)!

I would love to photograph the authentic version of you!