First world problems – we have all said it in self-mockery at our materialistic or superficial reality. This was exactly the thought that ran through my head when my alarm went off at 6:30am on SATURDAY. No one should be awake that early – it should be a crime. Yet, my alarm was definitely buzzing. I quickly shut it off and lay back down keeping my eyes perfectly closed to avoid accepting that I was conscious.
Instantly my brain purred into life, evaluating whether I did have to get out of bed or if I could roll over and fall asleep again. This was my first world moment – I was deciding between sleeping all morning or getting out of bed to participate in the One Girl Charity event – Surf in a dress. After all its not everyday that you get to see people surf in school dresses – it would be just another adventure.
When I broke it down like that, I really didn’t have a decent reason to stay in bed. Me getting out of bed and donning a school dress for a couple of hours on a Saturday morning can help send a girl to school… how could I sleep – it would be a guilt riddled sleep.
Up and at it then! I decided to enjoy the most of the early morning by walking the coast path from Coogee to Bondi… apparently so was half of the eastern suburbs. I kept thinking “What’s wrong with these people, why aren’t they in bed” – it was strange phenomenon and I am very glad I saw it, hopefully I won’t see it again anytime soon.
Let me quickly tell you about the charity called One Girl. It was started by David and Chantelle after a visit to Sierra Leone where they discovered that a girl was more likely to be sexually abused than ever attend a day of school. As shocked by this as I am sure you all are – they decided to take the next step. Once they found out how much it cost to send a girl to school in the area they started building programs to help, and not just in Sierra Leone. However, their approach has been to also raise awareness of the situation as they raise the money. By asking those involved to don a dress while participating in a stunt they have created an enthusiastic following and community of supporters. These stunts have been everything from bake sales to surfing to sky diving – all done whilst wearing a dress. Hoorah GO TEAM!
As we all stood there dressing up in our school dresses you could see the expressions of the locals as they walked past, some stopped to chat, some hurried away – more than a few laughed. One participant turned up on a bike with his surf board under arm wearing the dress his girlfriend wore the night before (he was under strict instructions to not ruin it) and sporting one of the best full length beards I have seen in a while. Another group of guys turned up with their hair in pigtails sporting long white legs underneath their dresses.
After about an hour of watching everyone mingle and take photos I came to the conclusion that all men secretly relish the opportunity to wear a dress. Some said it was liberating giving me curtsies and annoying me with the fact that they looked better in their dress than I did in mine. Still a few pretended to be embarrassed, proclaiming that they couldn’t wait to get out of it – but we all saw them not so secretly checking themselves out.
More than anything I was impressed by the amount of people who turned up to help and donate to such a good cause. These were people who didn’t decide that sleeping in was more important – they said goodbye to sleep and dignity and came out into the sunlight dressed like girls. It was impressive.
I need to mention that it wasn’t just guys in school dresses but also more than a few girls as well. And they all looked fabulous!
Posing in a dress is one thing – surfing in a dress is another. Now all surfers will know that there is a strict code of conduct when catching a wave. However, I think our group was in luck – all codes of conduct disappear when you are in a dress! Within moments several of our group were up and cruising through the waves with their dresses flapping behind them.
It was a good morning, full of laughter and men in dresses – the best type of morning. Most importantly we gave up a small amount of our time to help out some girls who don’t have the same opportunities in life that we do.
- One Girl- Changing the World, One Girl at a Time… (brainsb4beauty.wordpress.com)
- The Importance of One Girl Cutting Through the Clutter and Getting People to Act (prwarrior.typepad.com)