I do not really like to bring any sort of attention to myself and I do not like to have pictures posted of just me anywhere so this is a huge step out of my comfort zone. Ever since I was a young girl I have HATED wearing dresses. They were constraining and I couldn’t run “fast” in them or play in the mud in them.
To “say yes to the dress” without anyone I knew around me doing the same (people I see on a daily basis) was something I knew I was going to need emotional support on, but how was I supposed to talk about it without seeming arrogant or self serving? I had been thinking about doing it since the beginning of November. I finally made the decision the week before Thanksgiving. I didn’t talk about it until after Thanksgiving and had signed up for my donation site.
I talked a little bit about it with my daughter and her friend. They were both very supportive and excited about it for me. I talked a little bit about it with my BBF’s and of course they were excited for me to partake in this event. But even I still didn’t (and maybe still don’t) fully understand what it was that I was going to be undertaking.
I have plenty of dresses so that wasn’t a problem. Last year I seriously thought about participating in Dressember but talked myself out of it due to the temperature of the month of December and it was a commitment I wasn’t ready to take. This year the decision came fairly easily. I sort of told myself I was going to commit and I signed up as a participant and that was that.
The harder part for me I think are the comments that may come during the month. Don’t get me wrong, I am not anticipating nasty comments, but the “you look so beautiful, you should wear dresses more” or “oh, are you doing this with such and such?” I am a little defensive about things and these comments would make my defenses pop up like red flags.
I need to back off, I need to “take a chill pill”, I need to not think “so much of myself”. I NEED to remember that I am not doing this for me or any discomfort or personal gain. I am not doing this so others can identify me as any particular type of person.
I have decided to take a picture for the next 31 days and post them here, on my facebook, twitter, & instagram to get the word out about the cause. I have decided to give up my vanity and make sure to have a picture a day taken of me, IN A DRESS! I will share links and bring awareness.
I will talk to my students about the venture. They complete a research paper that is built around social justice. It will be good to hear about an organization that started as “a quirky style challenge” turned into something much larger than just fashion.
I will constantly remind myself and others that I am doing this because there are those in the world who don’t have the freedom to speak, let alone choose what they wear (among relatively minor prohibitions).
Most of all I will do this to take the focus off of me. I am going to try writing a blog or two about this experience without using the word I or me. Put the focus out and on others so that minds and lives can be transformed.
I am doing this because the world needs change.
Every starfish deserves a chance, but that is a story for another day.