Inside the world of UNC debutante moms

Mother knows best

You’ve heard about dance moms and pageant moms, but debutante moms are by far the most over-the-top bunch. Just imagine a group of upper class young women making their “first appearance” into society. Of course there’s a lot of drama.

Debs buy extravagant white gowns, leather gloves, hand-made stools and jewelry, and their mothers are pushing them every step of the way. Many daughters who participate in the “coming out” ceremony have a lot to say about their experiences dealing with the mothers who want the night to be absolutely perfect.

We asked girls in the 89th annual North Carolina Debutante Ball about how their mothers handled the stress of the event.

Katie Dixon, Chapel Hill

“My mom told me I looked like a tramp when I got black toenail polish before the ball.”

Elizabeth Beecy, Charlotte

“My mom drove all the way to Spartanburg with 22 dresses in the car for me to try on.”

Charlotte Hunt, Rocky Mount

“The events didn’t start until Thursday, but my mom got there Wednesday. She made me buy my dress in a certain store all the way in Houston, Texas, and she made me figure out who I was going to share a room with for the night all the way in May [the dance is in September], as if it made all the difference.”

Camille Russell, Greensboro

“We were about to leave for the ball and were already in the car when I realized I forgot my gloves. I thought my mom was going to have a heart attack.”

Carter Chambliss, Durham, and Brittan Harrell, Raleigh

Carter said: “My mom would send me tons of texts with different ‘crucial’ things I had to get done before the week of Deb. This consisted of shoe shopping, getting my hair cut and figuring out my plans. I eventually just told her I did it all to make her stop.”

Brittan said: “Five minutes before we were going to the Raleigh party, I was wearing a long formal dress and I spilled orange juice all down it as we were walking to the car. The dress was a nice silky material and my mom was not happy. Freaking out, my mom tried everything to get out the stain – dabbing it with towels and even using a blow dryer to dry it. She then tried insisting that I wear one of my old prom dresses. After all that, the stain did come out.”

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