Dressed in a ruby red, full-length dress, she looked incredible. But I felt a twinge of sadness when I read the caption.
Angie lived in the UK and had been planning to go to a charity awards night with work, but it had been cancelled because of COVID-19.
The whole country had gone into isolation, and Australia was heading the same way.
My hubby, David, and I were trying to stay positive for our four kids, Max, 15, Zoe, 13, and twins Zaac and Mia, 11.
So had Angie by the looks of it – she’d decided to put her dress on anyway.
You look lovely! I commented on the photo. It’s such a shame you didn’t get to go.
Then I thought about a conversation I’d recently had with Zoe.
I told Zoe I was going to wear everything in my wardrobe when we go into lockdown, I typed to Angie. Maybe we should start a movement?
Angie thought it was a fabulous idea.
Seeing the comments, our good friend Alison wanted to get involved too.
So the three of us set up a video chat to brainstorm.
Eventually, we decided we wanted to encourage people to dress up when they were doing mundane household chores.
‘Everyone is going to need some cheer!’ Alison said.
It was something silly people could do in their own homes that was happy and positive.
Plus, it gave them a reason to get out of their pyjamas in the morning!
Setting up a Facebook group, we called it, Put Your Bins Out In Your Ballgown.
Then we planned to post photos of ourselves every day, dressed to the nines while doing boring things such as vacuuming, cleaning or taking out bins.
I’m quite a casual dresser and usually live in pants and polo shirts, but luckily I had a few special occasion frocks that I dug out from the back of the wardrobe.
On the first day, I slipped into a gorgeous blue dress.
‘Wow, you look so pretty Mum,’ Mia gasped.
I’d never felt so glam!
The kids loved taking the pictures. David just looked on with bemusement.
At first, we invited friends to join, but numbers quickly grew as people shared it.
By the end of the first week, we had 10,000 members – all posting their glamorous pictures!
It wasn’t just Australia and the UK either, we had photos popping up from Canada, West Africa and all over Europe.
One lady was hanging out the washing, while another washed her car.
Some women whipped out their wedding dress, saying it was the first time they’d worn it since getting married.
And blokes were getting glammed up in wigs and their wives’ dresses!
One man squeezed into a pretty red number to do some drilling in his workshop.
We started receiving lots of positive comments too.
I’ve been struggling, and this is bringing me so much joy, one new mumwrote.
This has put a smile on my face! a man typed.
Wanting to inspire others to think outside the box, Alison, Angie and I started to pick daily themes such as movie stars and characters.
For movie night, I searched the kids’ rooms and opted for Planet of the Apes, donning an ape mask while clutching a globe!
As the weeks went on, people got more creative with their outfits.
There were drag queens, inflatable unicorns and hula girls, all parading the streets with their bin in tow.
I even did a tutorial on how to make a gown from old bedsheets!
Best of all, little kids to 94-year-olds took part.
Slicking on a bit of lippy and getting dressed up – even for 10 minutes – can boost your mood.
And it’s given everyone something to look forward to in this rather bleak time.
We want people to live in the now.
If you’re saving a special candle, bath bomb or glam heels for a rainy day – this is the rainy day, get it out!
Let’s live and enjoy our best china or sparkling wine.
I know myself that I’d be mooching about in trackie daks every day if it wasn’t for the movement.
We now have over 14,000 members and it’s growing all the time.
‘I’m so proud of you, Mum,’ Zoe beamed at me.
I’ve even chatted on a few news programs about the movement and the kids all shout, ‘Mum, you’re famous!’
The group is a diverse mix and everyone is so accepting of each other, which is incredibly heartwarming.
It’s a shame it’s taken a pandemic to do this, but I hope when it’s over, we can continue the kindness and fun. We need to live life to its absolute fullest.
For now, we’ll keep dressing up and spreading joy from the safety of our homes.