Oh, to be The Lady in Red. We admit it—we have a soft spot for the totally ’80s Chris De Burgh hit. We thought it would be oh-so romantic if it were the first dance at our wedding… when we were eight years old. Here’s your chance to be a real Lady in Red on Feb. 7, for National Wear Red Day.
It’s the eleventh anniversary of the American Heart Association’s national day of heart disease awareness. And of course, it’s not just a chance to look great in red—it’s a day dedicated to spotlighting the fact that heart disease is by far the number one killer of women in the United States. The majority of women are still unaware of this sobering fact: Heart disease kills more people than all cancers combined.
But progress has been made since 2003. Thirty-four percent fewer women now die from heart disease. More women are taking ownership of their bodies by developing healthy lifestyles, like quitting smoking, checking their cholesterol regularly and exercising more. Women no longer pay higher premiums then men for health care coverage, and twenty states have programs for low-income women to get screenings for heart disease and strokes.
Of course, more work needs to be done. Here are three ways to get in the spirit of the day and raise awareness in your community.
Get a Group to Go Red
Participate in the America Goes Red Challenge: Dress your kids in red PJs, round up some pals to wear red dresses for cocktails, or grab some coworkers for an all-red pizza lunch party. Document it while using #goredchallenge on Twitter and Instagram to enter the challenge.
Accessorize in Red
Show your support by buying items on the Shop Heart web site. The money raised goes to fund educational programs to increase women’s awareness about their risk for heart disease and cardiovascular health. In addition to the normal T-shirts and hats, check out the handy pedometer (track those 10,000 steps daily!), cute red Moleskin notebooks and a great year-round silk scarf.
Glam Up That Red Dress
Wearing any old item of red clothing will show your support for the battle against women’s heart disease. But you don’t have to keep it simple—this year, there have been lots of celebs sporting red on the red carpet this year. Get inspired by Lupita Nyong’o’s ultra chic Ralph Lauren Golden Globe gown, or go sultry Old Hollywood like Miranda Lambert at the Grammys. Wear something special out to dinner with your loved ones, and you can be just like the lady in red of your eight-year-old dreams.
Photos courtesy of Go Red For Women and The Heart Truth