As homecoming season approaches, the spark of excitement in Seoul Foreign High School only escalates. Once the theme for the year is determined, the plans for the dance commence: the frantic search for the perfect dress and the hours of discussions about who is going with who begin, and so do the preparations for homecoming by the Student Council.
At most schools, the homecoming dance is an annual event that welcomes back alumni. However, the occasion seems to have taken on a new meaning since its inception as many students today regard homecoming as a fun get-together with friends or a chance to get to know that special someone better. The latter has been, and still appears to be, the more popular choice of the two.
Notwithstanding enormous strides taken towards gender equality, it is generally expected that the guy asks the girl to the dance, which leads to the inevitable increase of gender stereotyping. The social stigma of girls asking boys is, even up to this time, prevalent at Seoul Foreign School. When a girl is the one who prepares the homecoming proposal, it might be seen as unexpected or even a bit unusual.
An attempt to break these stereotypes came with the incorporation of a Sadie Hawkins-style dance, which is when the girl asks the guy as a date to the dance, into the theme of homecoming. As a tactic to encourage more girls to do the asking, Sadie’s is brought back to homecoming every few years — it was last implemented in SFS in the year of 2013. But rather than having the presumed impact of challenging the social norm, the theme has stirred reluctance to participate altogether, especially since Sadie’s may appear as an obligatory move that must be made by girls.
Despite the unintended backlash, the purpose of Sadie’s is never to forcefully shove people out of their comfort zones. As both genders are still free to do the asking, it serves to empower and boost confidence in those who wish to find a homecoming date and are willing to take initiative first.
Whether this year is Sadie’s or not, both genders have the freedom to do what they please. The role of homecoming is to welcome alumni back and to and show school spirit, so the main goal of it is for everyone to simply kick back and have a good time.