And for once I was SuperMom

Monday, January 19, 2015

More Than Just a Dress

My first day in public wearing pants was January 1st.
My last day wearing a dress was December 31st.
The jeans were a little tight that first day.  I'm not sure if that is because I have grown unaccostumed to denim or because I've spent the last week of December in my kitchen, hiding from my children and eating all the candy that my family sent me.  Which I am sure is a diabolical scheme to make me the chubbiest person in the family.
Or because I spent an entire month in leggings and yoga pants.
In fact the first time I pulled on a pair of leggings in early December I thought, 'I hope this doesn't backfire.'

At some point I realized that I was going to become a rock star to my 'I must wear a dress' five year old daughter.  I inwardly cringe every time my little girl insists on wearing something super pink, sparkly, and girly.  I fight with myself over how often to re-direct her or just give in and buy the copies of Fancy Nancy.  I have realized that her insistence on pink is a form of feminism.  'I am a girl and I will wear pink!'  A celebration and an assertion of what she believes defines female.

A few years ago I was running errands with a friend for her wedding.  When we visited her tailor, he made some off hand comment about women how sad it was that women, 'didn't want to wear foundation garments anymore.'  I felt a little embarrassed for womankind when he said that.  Like we were all collectively losing our classiness.
Now that comment makes me more than a little bit angry.  How would he feel if he was required to pour his portly figure into some Spanx or a bustier.  Uncomfortable?  Would he be in pain?  Probably.  Which is why women don't want to wear 'foundation garments.'
I am thankful that I live in an age wear daily wearing of a corset is not expected.
Where fashion's ideas of what is beautiful is not deforming my body.  Or some fat old tailor's ideas of what a woman's body should look like.

Once you become focused on what a person wears, to cover up or increase their attractiveness you begin to deny them of their humanity.  They become an object to control shape or form rather than an actual person.

Each selfie that I took I was pleasantly surprised that I did look good.  When I caught a reflection of myself out of the corner of my eye I was pleasantly surprised at the form I saw.  Dresses are flattering on women.  Our body shape makes sense in them.  I became a little more gracious to my form.  Everyone has a bit of a muffin top kind of crease when tights or leggings cut into their midsection.  Be nice to yourself.

I didn't find myself counting down the days to wearing pants, maybe because I allowed myself to wear pants in my house.  I actually thought I would incorporate dresses and leggings into my everyday wear.  I haven't.  Jeans and yoga pants are just too damn convenient for my life right now.  A side effect of this challenge is that now that my wardrobe has been opened back up from the three dresses I could wear to all the clothes I have I suddenly feel like I have an insane amount of clothes.  I found myself wandering around the mall with those crazy after Christmas sales, gift cards in hand, thinking, 'but I don't need anything.'  When does that happen?
But the challenge to wear a dress every day of December was not just a clothing challenge

I did find myself thinking about other women.  Hoping that this would all amount to something.  I find myself so powerless in the face of injustice.  The main thing that grieved my heart about leaving Kenya was the loss of ability to personally empower people.  We were able to give our houseworker a job when we left, we were able to send our guard to mechanic school for a hundred dollars, and we can't do that anymore.  That is what I miss.  This challenge gave me a taste of that again.  Of course I have to turn the money over to International Justice Mission and hope for the best, but I do hope for the best.  I do trust them as an organization.

I was able to reach my goal of raising $300 and my team was able to exceed their goal of $1000, and raised $1,100.
While I know that is only just a drop in the bucket, it's more than there was before, and more that I've ever rallied for an organization.
A very good start.

No comments: