The battle for the perfect prom dress has never been more cutthroat. In fact, girls are threatening each other with smackdowns if someone steals their dress idea. 

It used to be that girls wouldn’t discover that another classmate was wearing the same dress to prom, until they showed up at the dance. 

But in the digital age, the latest trend is for girls to post pictures on Facebook and Instagram of the dress they plan to wear. They like getting instant feedback, to help them make their decision. But even more importantly, they want to be the first to claim a particular style. In fact, a lot of girls will post pictures of their dream dress while they’re still in the dressing room. 

And these days, those pictures may contain an extreme warning in the caption. We’ve seen prom dress pictures that say things like, “Don’t steal my dress or I might murder your family.” 

Another picture said: “This is my prom dress, if anyone gets or has this dress, I will personally come to your house, and steal it."

And there’s even a Facebook page called: “Steal my prom dress and I'll knock you out.” 

Some parents and school administrators worry that the prom-dress photo trend could fuel online bullying – and escalate and turn into physical bullying. 

But for the most part – even if the threats are nasty, they’re most likely not serious. Family therapist, Dr. Karen Ruskin, says like it or not, that’s the exaggerated way teenagers communicate.  Ruskin also thinks that using social media to post a picture of a dress can be a positive way for a teenage girl to express her individuality - and prevent embarrassment later, if someone from school did want to buy the same dress.