Young ladies who turn 18 are sometimes called debutantes, though some believe it’s no longer applicable since the title denotes the practice of traditions. Actually, the concept of recognizing an 18-year old girl as debutante has changed through the years, making the title still appropriate for young girls who reach the age of majority.
More so now that mass gathering and celebrations are not allowed. Even families who can afford to spend on debutante balls have to celebrate by way of a debut party to which only close relatives and friends are invited. Besides, in the YouTube and Instagram Age, deb parties are celebrations that give families and friends a chance to create happy memories in celebrating a daughters’ coming of age
Traditional Debutantes vs Modern Day Debutantes in the U.S.
Tradition-wise, debutantes are young ladies of reputable families who were presented in what was called the “polite society” or the elites of a community.
In the past, young women are deemed qualified for marriage only if they have been introduced to the members of high society. The announcement and presentation is carried out by way of grand debutante balls to which the creme dela creme families, particularly those whose scions are of the marrying age are cordially invited to attend.
In the United Kingdom, debutante balls were abolished by Queen Elizabeth in 1958, while countries in other parts of the world including the United States still held on to the tradition. However, through the years debutante balls in the U.S. underwent changes as far as the purpose of the social gathering was concerned. The changes gave modern debutantes a distinction from the debutantes of the old ways.
Modern Debutantes in Southern States
While the gentry in most southern states in the U.S. continue to hold debutante balls, the purpose of showing off their daughters is no longer focused on marrying them off. Southerners have always been known to have a good reason to doll up and party. Yet when it comes to holding a debutante ball, the event is more like an annual assembly.
Nowadays, every single formal debutante event in the South always has a charitable aspect. The balls are still grand since funding could come from different groups, clubs or organization to which the debutante’s parents are active members. Yet we don’t get to read or hear about them because these kind of sponsored events are usually unpublicized and are not publicly announced the way they do with their weddings.
Furthermore, Southern debutantes are generally obliged to accomplish a specific number of hours doing community service. Some debutantes even continue their community work by setting up their own charities. Mainly because modern-day debutantes in the South are expected to give back, even by way of selling tickets of the debutante ball. The proceeds of which will be donated to a charitable institution supported by the group or organization that sponsored the ball.
Modern Debs in Other States
In other American states, the popularity of debutante balls was affected by the generations of different eras. During the 1960s through the 1970s, debutante balls were often snubbed and given the cold-shoulder treatment. Back then organizers were ready to believe that the deb hype was already on its way out.
Yet in the 1980s during the Reagan administration, debutante balls made a comeback. It was a time when many welcomed the opportunity to show off their wealth and popularity. In the decades that followed and with all the financial scandals and resulting economic hardships, most teens rejected offers of lavishly celebrating their 18th birthday or even participate in grand and pompous debutante balls.
For whatever reasons and in whatever manner, 18-year old girls are still debutantes What is important is that at that age they already have an idea of their purpose in life and how they want to achieve them. At heart, they are still young girls who would be delighted to receive birthday gifts that show how well the people she loves and cherishes. As an aside to this article, readers can find excellent gift suggestions for debutantes in this web page: www.medium.com/@playtime/best-gifts-for-18-year-old-girls-405beb274afc.