Imagine being teased, taunted and even physically abused every single day for five years. Then imagine feeling so isolated and alone that you become severely stressed. So much so that your face begins to break out and you feel like you can’t even leave the house.
Well, that’s what happened to Paige Harker. Throughout her time in education, the 16-year-old had been plagued by bullies who would spread vicious rumors about her, kick her and trip her up. And it all stemmed from the now defunct social media site, MSN Messenger.
Paige was in her first year at Charlton School in Staffordshire, England, when she had an argument with another pupil about MSN. And following this, stories about Paige began to make their way around the school. Paige’s mom, Hayley, tried to step in and resolve the situation. But unfortunately, things only became worse for her daughter.
As the bullying escalated Paige began feeling increasingly alone. Indeed, at one point, Paige claims classmates even tried to push her down a stairway. As a result, the young student became severely stressed. And as it all became too much, she began to develop stress acne.
A build-up of stress can be detrimental to our pores, causing the pore walls to break down. These inflamed pores then become red and infected, forming spots. And Paige was so distressed about her break outs that she didn’t want anyone to see her. Indeed, she didn’t attend school for a whole month and so struggled to keep up with her studies. Consequently, her mother, a single parent, forked out over $2,500 for a maths tutor to help her daughter catch up.
As a result of the constant bullying, Paige began to resent school. In fact, she told her mom she wanted to quit and never go back. And she even considered giving up on education altogether and not moving on to college, simply because of the bullies. If she didn’t go to college though, Paige wouldn’t be able to pursue her dream of becoming a beautician.
So Hayley had to devise a plan to ensure Paige stayed in school. She established an elaborate scheme to try and convince Paige to finish her education and not give up. She told her if she stayed in school, she would have an elaborate prom as a reward. And from then on, the date was set and the pair began counting down the days until the special night.
Furthermore, prom night would be the start of a new life for Hayley, as the end of school and the years of torture it had brought. Plus, the event is often considered a landmark event in a teenage girls’ world. “I just wanted Paige to have what she wanted, she deserved it and I had promised her all year she could have an amazing prom- no expense spared,” Hayley told the Daily Mail.
So the year before Paige’s prom, Hayley started saving. And to ensure that Paige had the perfect prom, her budget was over $1,000! That’s almost three times the amount that most teens spend on their big night. And of course, the first thing the pair began shopping for was the dress.
The mother daughter duo, who are best friends, set about designing the perfect gown for Paige. The dress was handmade six months prior to the event to encourage Paige to continue her studies. And the pair took their time picking the perfect fabric.
Eventually, they settled on a gorgeous blue color. They then sent a piece of the fabric, along with Paige’s measurements, to a company in China. This would ensure that there was no chance anyone could have the same dress as her. Especially as most of the other prom goers had chosen straight up and down dresses.
But Paige knew exactly what she wanted and that was something different. She wanted to stand out, so she chose a dress with a bigger, bolder design. Indeed, her custom-made design featured eight hoops to give it a full bodied aesthetic. After it was finished, the $300 dress was then sent from China to England.
And that’s not all, because every princess also needs a carriage to take her to the ball. Indeed, Hayley’s biggest expenditure by far was the £600 horse and carriage. The Cinderella-like transport took the 16-year-old on the 30-minute trip across town to the Whitehouse Hotel in Wellington, where her prom was held.
Although the pair knew the transport would be expensive, the prices varied depending on the color of the carriage. Nevertheless, mom Hayley claims that she didn’t regret a thing. “It was all worth it to see her dressed up and happy,” she told the Daily Mail. “I was welling up.”
Not only was the carriage expensive, but it had previously been used by some well-known faces. Although now separated, model and British TV personality Katie Price, aka Jordan, used the carriage when she wed singer Peter Andre in 2005. And on her special day, Paige’s carriage was pulled by two gray horses who were adorned by royal blue plumes to match Paige’s dress.
As soon as the carriage arrived outside the Harkers’ house, all the neighbors came out to take pictures. Indeed, the teen said she felt like a celebrity. Especially as people were even asking Paige if they could take pictures. However, the attention didn’t stop there. As the carriage made its way through the town, everyone stopped to stare.
Moreover, Paige was not alone in her carriage. Her four-year-old sister Miley accompanied her on the journey. Unfortunately for mom Hayley, this meant forking out another £40 so that little Miley could also have a new dress like her sister.
Indeed, poor Hayley might just have to do this all over again. Paige is certain that little Miley will want just as elaborate a prom as her older sister. However, according to Paige, her little sister is something of a tomboy, so she might reconsider the mode of transport.
By the end of the night Paige was worn out, particularly as she’d carried around the weight of the dress all evening. Nevertheless, both mother and daughter thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Indeed Hayley told the Daily Mail that “it was worth all the money.”
And following her amazing prom night, Paige was relieved that her school years were finally over and she could begin her new course at beauty college. Now, she following in hairdresser mom’s footsteps. Hayley, meanwhile, is thrilled that her daughter no longer lives in dread. She told the Daily Mail, “Now that she has had her perfect prom and closed that door, I am so pleased she is looking forward to the future.”