So, to set the scene:
After the first speech, this song played:
Then I did my speech about The Princess Project (see transcript below):
Transcript of The Princess Project speech:
When I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a princess. A warrior princess who can protect her dragons against idiots. As a tween, I redefined this as being Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I never really grew out of that. I even got the chance on occasion to dress up and go to balls. But not all girls get to do that.
The first time I heard of the Princess Project, I was in Matric and we were all excited to go to the Matric Farewell. We even had an awesome theme: The Phantom of the Opera. I didn’t pay much attention to the whole there are others who don’t have dresses, shoes, accessories, jewellery issue – teens can be selfless and self-absorbed at the same time.
I did know, though, that having evening wear, jewellery, accessories and awesome shoes is the mark of success. Let’s not blame television, books, movies and magazines – that will take far too long and is an issue for another time.
Throughout my teens and twenties, I amassed a great amount of drool-worthy shoes, gorgeous dresses with accessories and jewellery to match. Some I never wore. Some I wore to award events. Yes, yes, I’m an award-winning author. Shh. But did you know that having a closet full of clothes you’ll never wear again doesn’t bring you happiness? It only gathers dust. And I’m allergic to dust.
Last year, I took stock of my life. It’s something you do when you reach a certain age. I have awesome fur-children – you can see photos of them on Instagram – I’m fairly successful in my career, I have great friends and family. I’m a fully functioning person according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Do I really need gorgeous high heels that Caitlin wants to destroy and I can only wear on special occasions? Sure, but I don’t need a closet full of them. The same for the dresses, jewellery and accessories.
But I didn’t want to just silently donate them. No. I wanted to make a statement. I wanted others to get involved. The idea for tonight’s event simmered until I was ready to do this on my own.
And here we are. My wonderful guests have all brought something to make a matric boy feel like a prince or a matric girl feel like a princess for one night. Much like Cinderella. FYI, if you need a fresh take on that fairy tale, check out “Once…” – I’m sure you’ll like Carina and her issues with getting the right dress, staying out of the hearth and not marrying the prince because it is what is done.
Back to the donations tonight: I’ve gone through my closet and removed 90% of my evening wear, 90% of my high heels and other evening appropriate shoes, 90% of my jewellery, and 90% of my accessories to go with these outfits. 10% of everything is more than enough for me. I even sewed a couple of extras to donate tonight…
I would like to thank you all for your donations and support tonight. Here is Melloney from the Princess Project to tell us a bit more about where our donations are going.
“An unusual idea, but (hopefully) one of great importance. I started the year with determination to REALLY make a difference in someone’s life – Came up with the idea of sponsoring less privileged – (in fact they have nothing) – matriculants that long to feel like a princess at their matric farewell, but do not have the financial capacity to “get dressed” for the occasion. The reality is that they do not attend a function, rather than feeling not ‘fitting in’. The idea is: Let’s all donate ex-evening outfits / wedding dresses / ball gowns, matric farewell outfits (that don’t fit anymore, and you don’t anyway want to be seen in it ever again), etc”
The late Helga Leurs
The Princess Project is now proudly a registered trademark.
Books from the launch:
I hope you enjoyed the speech, songs, photos and the links to more information. I’ll share the next speech and more photos with you later in the month.
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