Every spring, there’s a new onslaught of viral stories in which some teen asks their favorite celebrity to be their date to prom. These displays are generally lauded as “adorable” and “heartwarming,” but apparently that positive reception is a privilege not extended to me. What structural flaw in our society perpetuates this inequity? Why is it that some 16-year-old from Rhode Island can beg Ariana Grande to go to prom with him, but I can’t ask Lakeith Stanfield to come to my cousin’s beach wedding?
The double standard simply doesn’t make sense. Why would a famous person want to hang out with a bunch of teenagers in a high school gym, but not want to go to my cousin Madison’s wedding which is on the beach and has an open bar? Besides, teenagers are boring! Would Lakeith really rather hear about the extracurriculars of some nerdy junior who can’t get a prom date than talk to me, an adult woman who needs a date to this wedding, stat? I would keep Lakeith engaged with thought-provoking questions like, “What was it like being on set for Atlanta?” “What was it like being on set for Sorry to Bother You?” “What’s being a famous actor like? Is it fun or no? It seems fun,” and so on.
Also, it’s so much easier to find a date to prom than find a date to my cousin Madison’s wedding! Like, ask literally any of your classmates, they’re all going anyway. If I ask someone who I know is going to Madison’s wedding, they’re going to be related to me. I can’t do that! Actually, maybe I could ask my second cousin David? That’s barely related and he is single and pretty cute. Hmmm. No, it would be weird. Ultimately, it has to be Lakeith.
Honestly, when a teen goes to prom with a celebrity date it’s just sad. Of course they’re going to be flocked with attention at the function, but that’s only because of who they’re with, not a true reflection of their popularity. Whereas if Lakeith came to Madison’s beach wedding with me, everyone would be like, “I guess she always was the more impressive cousin. Sure, Madison’s getting married first but just to Mike who is not a famous actor at all, he’s like a dentist or something.” And sorry, but that’s true.
All in all the idea that I can’t ask Lakeith Stanfield to go my cousin’s wedding is an injustice, and as we know, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. So, what I’m really trying to say is please retweet my invitation to him! Madison won’t know what hit her.