Friday, June 15, 2012

June Bella

The Traveling Red Dress

If you are not familiar with Jenny Lawson (a.k.a. The Bloggess) and The Traveling Red Dress, take a moment and look her up online.  I’ll wait.

Are you done yet?  Are you as inspired as I was?

Jenny started the Traveling Red Dress after she fell in love with a red ball gown.  

“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 realized 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”.  Things like flying lessons, and ballet shoes, and breaking into spontaneous song, and building a train set, and crawling onto the roof just to see the stars better.  Things like cartwheels and learning how to box and painting encouraging words on your body to remind yourself that you’re worth it.” – from

I have never considered myself beautiful.  When I get dressed for work, my goal is presentable.  When I get dressed for errands on the weekend, my goal is to not be naked.  That is how much preparation goes into my daily appearance (not much, admittedly).

Then I read about The Traveling Red Dress on Jenny’s blog.  I followed it over to Facebook and found women offering up dresses to share.  I posted that I was looking for a dress and within 30 minutes I had one promised to me.  I had no idea what the dress would look like, and I opened the box from Brooklyn with some trepidation.  What if it is ugly?  What if it doesn’t fit?  What if it shows my legs or my wobbly bits?!  And the dress was perfect in every way.  

You may think it is a little narcissistic to play dress up and pose for professional shots.  But it wasn’t that way at all.  For one afternoon, I felt beautiful.  I felt like anything was possible.  If I could take myself (with all of my self-consciousness and insecurities) and strut the streets of Lynchburg in order to pose for photos; I could do anything.  

I am my own worst enemy.  Nothing holds me back more than myself.  On the inside, I am creative and colorful.  But my outside is reserved and wants to blend in with the background.  For a couple of hours in March, I let my inside out.  It was difficult for me to let go.  But it is even more difficult to hide when outside in 50 degree weather in a shockingly red strapless dress. 

From this experience I learned that I need to let my outside show more often.  I need to take chances and do what I want.  I need to stop holding myself back.  I need to be me.

If you have the opportunity, get your own red dress.  Be true to yourself for one day.  Realize your potential and worth.  And maybe, just maybe, you might find yourself being a little more open and a little less afraid.

A big thank you to April Moore of April B Photography and Lindsay Benoit of Artistic Trendz in Lynchburg for a day of magic.  You can find more of April’s wonderful work at