In yesterday’s Sunday Review section of The New York Times, photographer Mary Ellen Mark documented the traumatic coming-of-age experience known as prom.
In the photographer’s own words, here‘s what interests her about prom:
I’ve kept several photographs from my high school days, including some from my time as a cheerleader, but the image that has intrigued me the most is my own prom picture. There I am, my hair in a perfect pageboy, wearing pearls and high heels. I’m in a beautiful white dress with pink flowers. I have a corsage and a gold bracelet on my wrist. Behind me is Stuart, my prom date. He was not my boyfriend, just a good friend. He has a white jacket and a perfect little bow tie. (He ended up marrying one of my best friends from high school.) Both of us have big, hopeful smiles. We were facing our perfect futures. The world was ours — or so we thought.
You can find a direct link to the slide show here.