Earlier this month I wrote about participating in #Dressember. A world wide movement of women (and men) who were dresses every day in December to raise awareness and money in order to restore dignity to all women. I wrote about it on one of the first days of December, I think. Anyways, it’s 17 December today, so we are a little over halfway. So here are some of my personal reflections.
1.It’s really not that hard.
At first, I doubted about participating due to the cold December weather that was coming up. But seeing the pictures on Instagram from women who go snowboarding or hiking in dresses, gives me positive energy to keep going (or I am just very susceptible to peer pressure). I’ve done job interviews in dresses. I’ve been very sick, but still put on a dress. I’ve biked around and visited an abbey, all in a dress. It’s really not that hard.
2. It’s made me think about freedom.
Wearing the clothes you want is essentially freedom. The topic of fair fashion has been with me for a while now. It has brought me to Bangladesh. I have seen children make clothes. Children that should be in school or playing on the street, not in a steaming hot factory behind a machine that can easily chop off your fingers. I’ve experienced how our fashion industry is completely corrupted and simply making money because we only want cheap and new stuff every month. Dressember has brought me back in touch with activism around clothes, but in a way that is much more positive and it has made me smile, instead of cry.
3. Don’t walk away from brokenness.
Yes, I believe this is a positive campaign. It’s a fun and light way to raise awareness for a good cause. However, the cause in itself is deeply broken and hurts. We live in a world with more slaves than ever. Then we are talking about slavery in a form of oppression in labour, the sex industry and so on. I don’t even believe we are talking about slavery in a more abstract form, in which women and men can be slaves of media images, body shaming and addiction. This world is a broken one. It’s not going to be fixed by wearing a dress every day for a month. But it does ask you to open up your eyes for slavery and brokenness every single day. That’s why I am wearing one of my favourite, but broken dresses today.
4. Being an advocate is a choice. But once you are, you will never not be one.
I believe that activism or being an ally or advocate for a cause is a choice. You might not always participate directly with a campaign, but even liking, sharing and talking about it, will make a difference. I have learned that true advocates are the ones, who cannot stop and will not stop. They will always find a cause to fight for. They will always try and change the world just a tiny little bit. And yes, it can be as simple as putting on a dress every day in December.
It’s not too late to join. It’s never too late to join.