The chilled air of December nips at my face as the covers shielded me from it’s grasp. At this point I’m calculating how to maximize the minutes I spend cocooned here before it slips into wasting time and missing deadlines. I rip the blankets off fast, like a Band-Aid and shiver as the turn in temperature has this California household in shock. The morning routine continues despite the chill and I reach for a dress for the day. Dress, leggings, fuzzy mismatched socks, boots, cardigan and we’re good to go. I look back in the mirror at my armor of choice for the day and despite the cold and cry for comfy, I am cloaked in dignity and justice. My armor of choice is a dress; my voice is through my fashion.
Welcome to the Dressember project.
I’m not wearing a dress every day for the month of December for vanity’s sake; I’m more of a leggings and dry shampoo sort of girl. I’m also not the only one doing Dressember, thank goodness for that or I’d be that crazy dress in December girl by myself. Allow me to introduce you to the Dressember project, and in effect introduce you to big part of my heart.
The Dressember website states their mission as:
“Dressember uses fashion to advocate for women who've been exploited. As women take on the creative challenge of wearing a dress for the 31 days of December, they are advocating for the inherent dignity of all women.”
Women rally together in the month of Dressember by raising awareness through their fashion choice. While committing to wearing a dress every day for 31 days fundraising occurs and supports organizations like International Justice Mission, A21 and the like. The funds raised go to combat human trafficking with a specific emphasis on sex trafficking.
And it starts with waking up and putting on a dress.
About four years ago I prayed desperately in a fight against apathy and despondence: “God break my heart by what breaks yours”. Isn’t it beautiful to serve a God who hears? I was aware of sex trafficking but after I uttered this prayer God gave me a fervent passion for this field. Since then, I have dedicated to studying to work in this field and to be a part of the movement against sex trafficking. I recognize I may sound idealistic, too dreamy, and naïve when I speak about this topic. And I recognize that in my life I will not see the end of sex trafficking. But I will continue to wake up every day like I could. And the greatest thing I have realized in my preparation is even if it was just one person victimized this way, we should be doing everything and anything to restore their dignity and free them from the bondage of sex trafficking.
Dressember picks up on the same note. Even if it’s just wearing one dress a day for a month, that matters. Because it’s becoming a voice for the voiceless. It’s becoming an advocate in the midst of whatever your job, your life, your existence is. It’s taking the symbol of women and declaring that this is beautiful, this is dignified, this is worth it.
So I put a dress on today. By putting on this dress I embodied Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity” because she is, even though her voice has been stripped of her and her dignity held captive. I invite you to join in being a voice of justice. We’re a little over a third of the way through but it’s not to late to dress for advocacy. It’s not too late to make a contribution to Dressember in lieu of a red cup holiday beverage from Starbucks. I invite you to be a voice of justice through the means of fashion, because it’s more than just a dress.
^^ my personal team but people can make their own or donate to any team