Those of you who use Instagram might have seen a flurry of posts recently about an event called ‘Le Bal des Debutantes.’ 

This is an event held once a year in Paris, and harks back to the balls of one or two centuries ago in Europe and England, where high society families would ‘launch’ their daughters into the public eye at these balls.

Le Bal is considered to be a high fashion event, and one of the ‘Hottest Parties’ of the year.

The girl who made her debut would be termed a ‘Debutante,’ and was usually from a famous family- royalty, the film world, business, etc.

Le Bal supports various charitable causes, and makes donations to them every year. 

Famous participants from India have been Ananya Panday, Shanaya Kapoor, and Maharaja Padmanabh Singh of Jaipur.

Does it fit into today’s times?

To put it bluntly, this event is quite elite, and people can participate only on invitation. It’s expected of them to be rich, influential, and good-looking. 

Usually around 20-25 girls from various countries make their debut each year, accompanied by their fathers, and an equally influential young man known as a ‘cavalier’ who acts as their escort and dance partner.

This is one of the few such events still held around the world, as the whole concept of wealthy young ladies making their ‘debut’ in society has waned to a large extent compared to the times when most countries were aristocracies, and noble and royal families were more prominent.


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An extravagant affair

Needless to say, this ball is an extravagant event held at a fancy hotel, with the participants wearing expensive gowns and jewellery.

They are ‘introduced’ with a great deal of ceremony, and most of them are between the ages of 18-22.

I can’t help but raise several questions.

  1. What do these debutantes have to their credit to be so formally introduced into society, other than being the children of the rich and famous?
  2. What is the point of showcasing so much wealth and elitism? Is the selective nature of this ball meant to be a prestige tag?
  3. Wouldn’t it be better if event of this scale were held to celebrate people who had actually made a difference to the world, or better still, if instead of supporting a charitable cause alongside conducting the event, the proceeds used for the entire event were spent more constructively?
  4. In a world where climate change is a very immediate and pressing concern, doesn’t this huge event result in a lot of wastage?

Maybe this is just me speaking as a girl born into a middle-class family who had to work hard to have my talents recognised.

However, I know one thing for sure- most girls around the world from non-privileged backgrounds make their way through life after a lot of hard work and struggle.

For people like us, it’s somewhat disconcerting to see life handed on a platter to people our own age simply because of their parentage and family wealth.


Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: Wikipedia, NDTV, + more.

Find the author online at: @samyukthanair_


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