Monday, 1 December 2014

Dressember

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Mr Candytuft has this habit of showing me random videos, from social media, at the most inopportune times and about a week or so ago, just as I had settled down to go to sleep, he showed me this video:


I love the quotation at the beginning, from a speech made by the First Lady, and it was preceeded by the following words,  "You may not always have a comfortable life and will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but...

 ...don't ever underestimate the importance you can have, because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own."
Michelle Obama

It reminds my cynical self that, despite all the wickedness in the world, there is goodness and there is hope, and hope can be a powerful force. Sometimes hope is the only thing to keep us going,

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness."
Desmund Tutu

The message in the video and the ethos of the Dressember movement addresses the exploitation of women and asks that women commit to wearing dresses for the whole of the month of December, in return for sponsorship. This got me thinking about how I could participate as I loved the idea of it. Having three young children, a son and two daughters, who are growing up with loving parents, a roof over the heads, food in their tummies and the freedom to make their own choices in time, it made me consider that the exploitation of women and children does actually happen on our own doorstep. Labour exploitation, sexual exploitation, modern slavery, they all exist so how can we simply sweep it under the carpet without raising awareness and addressing the problem. Whilst the original Dressember movement is aligned with The International Justice Mission I wanted to use their idea and endeavour to raise money for a cause closer to home and I immediately thought of  No More Traffik based here in Northern Ireland, you can check out what they do on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too.

So for the entire month of December I will be wearing a dress or skirt for my very own Dressember and I will be cataloguing my daily outfits at the end of every week on this blog. Ok, so I have bent the rules a little to include skirts but seriously I don't have lots of dresses suitable for this time of year and I will do my best to be clever and creative in my choices. When it is so easy to throw on a pair of jeans I am under no illusions, I do think this will actually be more difficult than my normal everyday dressing which has trials of its own! I do promise however not to wear a prom dress to do the school run even though I may be tempted... I'd love it if you would follow my progress on my Twitter @CandytuftCakes and Instagram @candytuftcakes too and more importantly if you would like to sponsor me I have created a mydonate page linked to No More Traffik, I would really appreciate your support.

So with intrepidation I begin my Dressember journey, it may not be as adventourous as running marathons or climbing mountains but it will make a statement for me and remind me that I am fortunate to be a free woman, respected and supported by my family and friends. How many times do you hear an inspirational speaker, watch a "feel good" movie or even a short video that pops up on social media that makes you feel empowered and inspired you to want to do something to endeavour to make a change? We all have the courage inside of us to make a difference, no matter how small that may seem. I think Michelle Obama said it well (again!);

"As women, we must stand up for ourselves. As women we must stand up for each other. As women, we must stand up for justice for all."

 My three little ones are so excited to finally get to open their Advent calendars in the morning and begin, what will seem like a lifetime journey to Christmas Day for them. Whilst their excitment is based on the hope of what presents they will get and are too young to understand much more, the hope is still evident in their little faces, just thinking of what that hope means to them makes me want to give hope to those who may feel hopeless.

Kathryn xxx


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