Yesterday, I received several messages from people expressing their dismay with the above YouTube video of 17-year-old Lexi Thompson — wearing a hat with the Red Bull logo — soliciting a high school prom date.
While good intentions were likely the case, it sounded a little creepy. Well, I finally got around to watching it. Then, I spent the next two hours picking my jaw up off the ground and trying to process the whole concept. I still haven’t figured out how this stunt was approved through the ranks and multiple parties (which doesn’t include Lexi because she’s a minor and a nice girl — to be clear, my reaction to the video isn’t an attack on her).
Lexi isn’t looking for just any regular Joe to take her to prom. In the viral video (which in theory sounds brilliant in this day and age) she asks 18- to-20-year-old military men to post their pictures on her Facebook fan page and provide a compelling reason for her to pick him.
“I’m looking for somebody special and somebody I can respect. That’s why I’m choosing a guy from the service,” she says.
Obviously, it’s honorable she wants a military man to take her (she’s donated $20,000 to Wounded Warrior project). No one can dispute that, but it’s a tad weird that Red Bull, one of her sponsors, is essentially exploiting a minor who was a home-schooled prodigy and — for lack of a better term — feeding her to the wolves. The company is handling the social media promotion on Facebook, not to mention taking care of expenses and the super special prom-related details.
“They’re just making a fun way to get me to go to prom and just having a fun date,” said Lexi when asked if it was a PR stunt after the second round of last month’s Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Well, if it’s not a promotion, then what is it?
“I guess a way for me to just (have) the most fun night ever, to get me to experience prom.”
Look, I sympathize with Lexi. She’s a minor and it’s the adults in her life that should prevent her from being exploited like this.
I get that she just wants to go to prom, but honestly, mine was pretty forgettable and I know I’m not alone.
Teenage boys are surely intimidated by her (does she even know that many?), so that’s probably why no one bothered asking her.
“Maybe (they’re scared of me), but I’m really focused on my golf right now,” she said at the Kraft. “I guess they’d be afraid to ask right now when I’m playing in tournaments and stuff, which is understandable.”
Yes, it is. I mean, would most even know how to get in touch with her?
She’s not actually a student at this school. She’s a child prodigy and didn’t have a “regular” kid experience, but this contrived prom date makes it more awkward and just underscores how far removed her life is from the average 17-year-old. If you think about it, she’s basically crashing the prom of the high school she would have attended.
Lexi already stands out, especially at 6’0″, but throw in some glitter, along with — what I’m presuming — an entourage that includes a camera crew and I imagine it’d create an even stranger situation. Or the first word that comes to mind: creepy.