Four or five years ago, my aunt started a social media challenge. She tagged a couple of her friends in her photo of herself wearing a dress and added hashtags, like #AcceptTheFakeChallenge, #InAprilWeWearDresses, and #DoWhateverYouWant.
I had not been wearing dresses. I worked with young children, was still breastfeeding, and felt rather frumpy. However, I was inspired by her. I decided to play along.
I couldn’t believe how simple and difficult this (fake) challenge was for me!
I had to find the dresses I owned, hope they fit, and then wear them. Some days I did end up wearing multiple dresses, thanks to baby spit-up or diaper blowouts. Other days, it was difficult to even feel motivated to put on a dress; pants are so much easier and comfortable (how did women wear dresses all the time in history?!) But, I had decided to participate to the best of my ability, and that is what I did. I think this first challenge she did was only for ten days, and I managed more than one day, so I felt successful. I even enjoyed the challenge to my creativity.
Now I look forward to Dress Month every year! We usually do it in April, and I do wish it were later in the year for me (she lives in Arkansas,) but I love participating now. This year, we did it for the entire month. #30DressesIn30Days #WearAsManyDressesAsYouWantInApril – you can see we get creative with our hashtags, too!
This year was the first year after I had learned more about using social media to both have fun and to influence others. I am still learning, but this challenge gave me something creative to think about during a very busy month at work. Also, others do notice you when you wear a dress daily; it really is different from how most dress in our area.
A co-worker commented, and I told her about the challenge. The next week she said, “You inspired me to try on dresses at the store over the weekend. I still don’t like how I look in them, but your challenge sounded fun. I’m not going to participate this year, but you made me think.” Score! That’s the power of social influence.
It doesn’t really matter what you do, because it is a fake challenge. No pressure! Just have some fun!
Here are some of the dresses I wore this month. Many I’ve had for a long time. Some were skirts and shirts. Once or twice I even added pants under a short dress because it was so cold that day! There were even a few days I wore the same dress or skirt with a different top. Because I do what I want.
It doesn’t really matter what you do, because it is a fake challenge. No pressure! Just have some fun! I challenge you to pick something and do it for more than one day. I’ve been considering something else I could show off for multiple days in a row–coffee mugs, manicures, hug a child, yoga pose, the cover of a favorite book, my lunch–the possibilities are endless.
Feel free to follow me on Instagram @pdawnc to see what I end up doing next.
What would you choose?