I’m a Bloggess groupie; it’s not just because she’s a scream a minute, it’s because Jenny Lawson is such a plain Jane on the outside. You’d never guess that lurking inside her housewifey frame is a comical genius with a penchant for vicious-looking taxidermied roadkill.
That aside, the Bloggess is also the lady behind the ‘Traveling Red Dress’ (yes, spellcheckers – that single ‘L’ is Americanised). It is a gorgeous dress that hops, skips and jumps around the world, bringing a splash of pouting wanton and a corseted waist to many a frumpy lady.
The Bloggess wrote: “I want, just once, to wear a bright red, strapless ball gown with no apologies. I want to be shocking and vivid and wear a dress as intensely amazing as the person I so want to be. And the more I thought about it the more I realised how often we deny ourselves that red dress and all the other capricious, ridiculous, overindulgent and silly things that we desperately want but never let ourselves have because they are simply ‘not sensible’.”
Last week I came across the #23Dresses initiative on Twitter. It was started by Brittany Preece who is celebrating her 23rd birthday at the end of May. “Instead of my friends buying me presents, I’ve asked them to give me something that I hope will give girls less fortunate than me the opportunity to make their own matric dance memories. From now until my birthday, I’m making it my goal to collect at least 23 evening dresses for charity.”
This idea gets a big fat slurp of approval from the Lionhearts!
The dresses go to the It’s Your Turn charity that collects evening dresses and ball gowns and sells them to girls in the townships for R100. Matric dances in townships are just as over-the-top as in the larney suburbs. Expensive dresses, limos, getting your hair and nails did…
The peer pressure to keep up is huge, which means families who are already stretched thin, need to go without essentials to give their little girl her dream night. The funds raised from selling the donated dresses are used to buy school shoes and uniforms for those who don’t have any.
I donated a golden, satin Marilyn Monroe-style dress that I’ve never worn to #23Dresses. It was supposed to be my ‘going away’ outfit at my wedding in 2008, but the party got so carried away that I deposited my newly wedded (or should I say ‘sentenced’) husband into the passenger side of my Honda Jazz, and then stuffed my giant meringue dress into the driver’s side – and off we went to our hotel down the road! There were layers of crushed frock up to the roof of my car! I could barely see out the rear-view mirror.
Alas, I no longer fit into my golden dress (see my exploding bosoms below). But it’s nice to know that another girl will enjoy her Big Night wearing it! Rustle around in the back of your wardrobe and message @BrittPreece on Twitter, who’ll come and collect your dress.