Jazmine Persing, prior to Dressember, loved dressing up and taking on different character personalities while expressing herself through writing. She met our founder, Blythe Hill, shortly after graduating college, stayed in touch with her, and discovered Dressember through Instagram back in the days when it was simply a style challenge. She decided to participate because others around her were. Six years later and Jazmine is continuing to make a difference by wearing a dress.
Jazmine is encouraged by how far Dressember has caught on and taken off. Having been there since the beginning, she has been able to see the impact it has had on people's lives once they participate.
“Now, it just seems insane to think ‘Why would I stop doing this?’” said Persing. “It has become something I will always do.”
Jazmine delights in the process of Dressember and getting to know the woman in her life better by inviting them to be a part of it. She has been moved and inspired by the creative ways people participate.
“It’s a fun way to change the world,” Persing said.
When asked about a woman that inspires her, Persing explains how Carrie Fisher’s authenticity has inspired her as a writer and helped her understand what it means to be a strong woman.
“Being strong is different. You don’t have to adopt a different personality to champion the right sort of woman,” said Persing. “To be a free woman is to be many, many different types of women, beautifully different.”
Just as Carrie Fisher went through hard times and came out a survivor, Jazmine mentioned going through tough times herself and even recalls moments where she would not have gotten out of bed or dressed had it not been for Dressember.
“It can be overwhelming, but we can take the hope of what’s happening and use that to be a little braver to face the world,” said Jazmine.
It can be easy to think that there is so much wrong with the world, that you cannot do anything of value, but it’s a hopeful thing to see the tangible progress and how Dressember has grown.
Jazmine offers tips for first-time Dressember participants and those who are looking for new creative ideas!
You can get a lot out of one dress
Jazmine is inspired by Blythe’s confidence and fashion leadership with Dressember. She has become bolder in her fashion choices and more confident in how she looks because of the unique outfits she has been challenged to compile for Dressember.
Finding different accessories can be a challenge, especially finding ones that are fair trade. According to Jazmine, leggings, tights, and scarves are must-haves, but even a t-shirt over a dress or a dress over pants can diversify outfits.
Do different things with your hair
Changing your hairstyle for the day will help you take on different personalities with your dress. Jazmine utilizes her creativity to take on different character personalities.
Social Media Tips
Show the real you
You won’t look perfect 31 days in a row, so don’t try. With all the social media pressures, it can be intimidating to put yourself out on social media for 31 days straight. Most of the time, people post the best of themselves, but it is important to embrace the honest Dressember photo. It can be tempting to check social media too much, but show the real you and your supporters will be just as inspired.
Taking pictures every day does not have to be burden. Try taking pictures in different locations, bring in different members of your team, pose with different objects, and have fun while doing it.
Have a theme
Try dedicating each day to a different woman in your life, post about 31 things that remind you of what a gift it is to be free, or share the story of a survivor each day.
“I like some of the opportunities I've tried to make of it with what I write in the caption,” said Jaz.
Share what you’re passionate about and trust that people will give to support anti-trafficking organizations. Do not leave anyone out of supporting because people will always surprise you.
“Part of what I like about Dressember is that there are a lot of other people writing amazing things, it’s not just me,” said Jazmine. “It’s a chance to be inspired by different women and men.”
Jazmine encourages anyone who can, to participate in Dressember. The experience makes the world a better place and creates an internal impact.
Jazmine said, “We do have the freedom to choose what we wear every day, so trying to get into the mindset of someone that has fewer choices reminds us what Dressember is all about.”
About the Author
Kaitlyn Wanta is about to graduate college and face the real world. After learning how to stay warm in a dress during Wisconsin's winter, she is excited to hear and share the stories of fellow Dressember advocates. Her bucket list includes riding in a hot air balloon, finishing a cookbook by making all the recipes, and catching a fish larger than herself.