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The Priscilla Ball

October 10th, 2008 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Oh, the Priscilla Ball… fodder for HBS scandal and lore.  Despite only being a “tradition” for the past 10 years, this event has probably made more headlines than any other of HBS’ extra-curricular activities.  I’ll reveal the dirty secret: it’s a costume party where some of HBS’ male students dress up like women.

There’s definite appeal.  It results in a group bonding experience similar to hazing.  Everyone is forced to let down their pretensions and pride (just a little bit of those at HBS) while sharing participation in an embarrassing activity.  In other words, offering a chance to laugh at and be laughed at with no fear of condescension or reprisal.  I’m all for this… I love the idea of costume parties, embarrassing theme or no.  This particular one is a bit more dangerous.  Bonding and laughter are much more difficult to translate over the internet than a particularly scandalous photo:

Priscilla Ball

Priscilla Ball (Unidentified HBS Students)

And as we all know, the internet never forgets.  I think most HBS Sections are careful about where the photos from this event end up, but it’s a bit difficult to control these things.  I guess it’s good to give journalists something scandalous to write about… I’m more curious what will happen 15 years from now when the up-and-coming CEO or Senator finds himself with an interesting internet photo-history.  It’ll definitely make elections more interesting, won’t it?

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