Manners: How For & Why For


I recently read a thread from the CTcon forums about Lolita. The debate? How to act in Lolita. Do you curtsy to everyone you meet, should you flip off the postman who brings your packages? Does being a Lolita require tea, or is it perfectly acceptable for you to slurp your favorite soda?

The thing to remember is that Lolita should not be restrictive. It should be fun to do, fun to wear, and give you a bit of a mental boost. Most people say they wear Lolita because it makes them feel beautiful. You should never feel boxed in or trapped inside your subculture or style. If the definition starts to feel tight around the edges, then you need to redefine who you are and how you see yourself.

The problem is the misconceptions people have about ‘behaving like a Lolita.’ Even seasoned Lolitas, lifestyle or not, can get fuzzy in this area. They rebel against what they think they are ‘supposed’ to do, when really no one is molding them into anything. It is true that Lolitas try to follow some basic guidelines, but these are things polite people should do period. Politeness, courtesy, and being well-behaved – classy – is important, no matter what you wear. And this is what they’re talking about in the Lolita Handbook (important! please read if you haven’t!).

Acting a certain way because you ‘should’ isn’t the reason behind Lolita manners. Lolita manners, however trite they may seem in the modern world, have stayed alive because they serve a purpose. Just in the same way that Lolita fashion makes you feel beautiful and raises your attention to your appearance – say, carefully detailing your outfit versus throwing on a t-shirt – manners make us pay attention to how we act. What we say, how we interact with others, are all important things. In a world where apathy is on the rise, drawing our attention back to small things is almost meditative.

‘When you stand up straight, you feel more energetic, and when you write a kind thank you note to someone, you’ll actually feel like you’ve truly been able to express your gratitude.’ -Lolita Handbook


I think this is the point behind special Lolita manners. Just as it’s not necessary to wear these frilly, fairy-tale like dresses, it’s not necessary to act like your notion of perfect Lolita. But it is fun to do, and in its own way, fulfilling! For example, I like to send my packages with little hand-written notes on Sanrio paper. Finishing the note and sliding it in, pink ink on pink paper, feels good – because you know you’ve done your best to add a little beauty to it. And that’s the real secret to the Lolita lifestyle. Sew frills onto the hem of your heart!

Some Lolita Charm official business also!

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