Special Feature: Sweet Sixteen Birthday Parties
Today I'm gonna ride away
And feel the sun throughout my hair
Finally free to be who I wanna be
Who that is I don't really care
'Cuz I've got friends who love me
Blue skies are above me
My blonde hair is everywhere
Gonna spread my wings
It's my chance to shine
So much more to life
Drivin' down to the club where we go to dance
Radio is blastin' and the top is down
There ain't nothin' in my way
'Cept the traffic of L.A.
And I've got friends who love me
Bright stars shine above me
My blonde hair is everywhere
Mamma loves me and a sister who shows me, and a daddy's always there
I wanna know what it feels like
I need to see it from the inside
I can taste a bit of what I will find
So much more to life
Types of sweet sixteen party
A sweet sixteen party is a type of birthday party in the United States, usually celebrated for a girl on her sixteenth birthday. Sweet Sixteen parties were once given as a celebration of the girl's virginity,but are now more general coming of age celebrations.
A Sweet Sixteen, like a wedding, can be extremely formal, casual or semi-formal. Sweet Sixteens can range from a simple house party or dinner party at a restaturant to large affairs with a hired DJ, makeup and hair stylists and renting out yachts and hotel ballrooms. Large and formal Sweet Sixteens are featured prominently on MTV's TV show, "My Super Sweet Sixteen". This show is very popular among teenage girls.
At a Sweet Sixteen party, there is usually a candle lighting ceremony. This consists of the Sweet Sixteen birthday girl lighting up sixteen candles representative of sixteen people or groups of people, sometimes with a seventeenth candle for good luck. These candles can be standing independently in candle holders on a table, or placed on a birthday cake. Each candle represents a person or group of people who has impacted the birthday girl's life in a positive way, such as parents, best friends, siblings, grandparents, etc. Sometimes there is a memory candle, which could be the seventeenth candle or one of the original sixteen, that is lit in memory of a passed away loved one.
When the birthday girl announces each candle, she can add a poem, anecdote, or short speech telling the guests of why that person or group of people is important to her. The people for whom the candle is for then come up to help her light the candle while a song plays in the background. The birthday girl can also have a "candle buddy," usually her best friend or sister, who may light the candles with her throughout the whole ceremony while she reads her poem/anecdote/short speech.
The shoe ceremony is common at Sweet Sixteen parties, although they are more often seen in Quinceañeras. In this ceremony, the birthday girl sits down in a chair while her grandfather or father approaches her with high heels on a decorative pillow. The girl would traditionally be wearing flat shoes, such as slippers, and the father ceremoniously helps her into her new high heels. This is symbolic of the girl transitioning into a woman.
This ceremony is similar to the shoe ceremony, except the father/grandfather approaches with a tiara instead of shoes. He places it on the birthday girl's head to symbolize her becoming a woman. Sometimes this is combined with the shoe ceremony, so that two people approach the birthday girl, one with a pillow with high heels, and the other with a pillow with a tiara.
The Daddy-Daughter Dance is a tradition that is also frequently performed at weddings. The birthday girl and her father dance to a slow song while everyone watches.
At high end Sweet Sixteens, a DJ often brings along several televisions or a projector to show a video montage set to music of the birthday girl containing pictures starting from when she was a baby and getting older, usually ending with pictures of her in her Sweet Sixteen dress. This is either made by the DJ with photos provided from the family of the birthday girl, by the parents, by a sibling, or by the birthday girl herself. The guests can either sit down and watch this montage, or it could be playing in the background while the guests dance.
Many Latin American cultures celebrate a girl's fifteenth birthday with a Quinceañera (or Fiesta de 15). In Brazil, these events are called Baile de Debutantes (Debutante). In some cases, Brazilian girls have their own party, like the Sweet Sixteen, but at age of 15.
The Quinceañera or Quince años (from Spanish fifteen years old) is, in the Spanish Americas, a girl's celebration of her fifteenth birthday, which is commemorated in a unique and different way from her other birthdays. Technically a "Quinceaños," the term "Quinceañera" refers to the female celebrant, but in practice, at least in America, it has become synonymous with the celebration as well. A reception is held in the home or a banquet hall. The festivities include food and music, and in most, a choreographed waltz (Vals) or another dance performed by the Quinceañera and her court. The quinceañera, the young woman, usually wears a pink or white dress at the festival.
In traditional Judaism, girls reach the age of spiritual maturity at the age of 12 (with their bat mitzvah), compared to boys who reach the age of spiritual maturity at 13 (with their bar mitzvah). Many practitioners of Reform Judaism have adopted the Catholic custom of a confirmation ceremony, sometimes celebrated on the girl's sixteenth birthday.
My Super Sweet 16 is an MTV reality series documenting the lives of teenagers in America that throw huge parties for their coming of age. Parties include the quinceañera (a sweet 15), the sweet 16, and other birthdays including a My Super Sweet 21 (which was brodcasted during MTV's Spring Break party) and My Super Swag 18. The show premiered on January 18, 2005. The opening theme is "Sweet Sixteen" sung by Hilary Duff. The show, while popular, has also received its share of criticism for its portrayal of the girls as rich, spoiled brats. A UK version of the program was also produced, and also a Mexican version entitled "Quiero mis quinces" produced by MTV. In 2008, MTV launched a spinoff titled Exiled. On the show, a number of parents of participants on My Super Sweet 16 banish their teens to remote countries in order to see if their "sweet - sixteener" will survive the primitive conditions. Exiled features eight former Sweet Sixteeners, whose parents are fed up with their behaviour. They are sent on trips to places including Thailand, Africa, and the Amazon to see how others live without the luxuries they take for granted.
Other alternatives to celebrate a fifteenth birthday party in Argentina are:
- a special breakfast.
- a trip to a nice place (including Disneyworld)
- a fancy dress party.
There have been cases of girls (like the famous actress Luisana Lopilato) who have asked a silicone breast implant as their 15th birthday present.