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:
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?