Senior Moments Column: Dressing for Confidence

Photo by Yves Monrique

“Every woman in this world wears a little sparkle, some in their dress, and some in their eyes.”

This quote by Shahla Khan sums up the vision girls like me form in our minds when it comes to homecoming. Whether a girl decides to stun the crowd with the most glamorous outfit or captivate them with her eyes of excitement, every girl wishes to show off her individualistic sparkle. How exactly they get there, though, is quite the journey.

A few weeks ago on the last day before I went on Christmas break, my school announced each of the homecoming attendants. They began listing out the freshmen, followed up by the upperclassmen.

The first queen candidate was eventually announced with loud cheering, then the next.

At last, there was one more name to be called. With bated breath, I waited anxiously, until I heard a very familiar name — mine — announced over the intercom. With that, a small swarm of friends hugged me as we all screamed, jumping up and down in excitement in the middle of the lunch line. Little did I know, this exciting moment was just the beginning of what was to come.

The next two weeks became a very hectic time, as we had to get together all of my essentials for the dance. I had to get shoes, appointments for hair and makeup, and most importantly, the dress. That's what I was most excited about. I would get to show up in an extravagant gown decorated with glitter from head to toe, which sounded like absolute heaven to me.

When the day finally came to go dress shopping, I began to fill with nerves. I wanted to find the perfect dress and had no idea whether or not I would find it. My best friend, my sister, my mom and I all piled into our van to head to the first shop.

Once we walked in, hundreds of glittering dresses seemed to jump out at us. I felt quite overwhelmed, but before I knew it, each of us girls had grabbed many dresses for me to try on.

One by one, I was met with disappointment. Either they did not fit, were inappropriate or were not the most flattering.

I had begun to think maybe it was time to go onto the next place, because no dress quite made me feel beautiful. Then, all of a sudden, I passed it: I found the most sparkly and beautiful light blue dress I had ever seen. I put it on, and when I looked in the mirror, I felt like I had never felt before. I had thought only 10 minutes before that it must have been a mistake to become a homecoming attendant, but the confidence the dress gave me washed any feeling of doubt away.

As soon as we bought the dress, I began gushing about how magnificent it was. My best friend agreed, but stopped me before I could continue. She told me, “It is quite beautiful, but if it had not given you that sparkle in your eye like you have now, it never would have worked.”

Even now as I prepare for the upcoming homecoming dance that will occur in a few days, I constantly think about what she said. I had been so worried about finding the perfect dress I hadn’t realized there is no such thing. This dress only felt that way because I was finally able to feel confident and happy with myself. It did not matter which dress I would have chosen, as long as I let the sparkle of confidence sink in and finally outshine all of my insecurities.

Lilly Johnson is a senior at Charleston High School in Charleston, Mo. She has lived in Southeast Missouri most of her life and loves to travel with her youth group, jam to musicals and BTS, and paint during the late hours of the night.