This video popped up on my dashboard a few days ago, and I was fascinated by it. Not just because I’m a Kawaii TV addict, but because this specific clip is about ‘lifestyle lolitas’, though they call it simply the lifestyles of lolitas. I expected another bout with the typical KERA! and Gothic and Lolita Bible models, like Misako Aoki, AMO and Midori, but mixed in with a few celebrities (Kokusyoku Sumire, Maki and Asuki in the background I think?) were a few ordinary, regular lolitas. At a group interview, Kawaii TV shows glimpses into the worlds of both dark, gothic lolitas and cute, romantic sweet lolitas. I’ve heard many girls say that in Japan, there isn’t really a ‘lifestyle lolita’, that this is more of a western construct within our society, the idea of ‘living’ like a lolita. So I was surprised to see girls that really do live a lolita lifestyle in Japan! (Or maybe it seems so obvious to them that it doesn’t need a separate category? Hard to say.) One of the gothic girls wants to draw and paint; she spends a good deal of her free time at an antique doll museum, taking inspiration from their cold, unblinking faces. A sweet lolita is going to school for fashion design; she has sketchbooks full of her watercolored princessly designs, that she then creates and wears on the streets of Tokyo. It was so fascinating to see that gothic lolita lifestyle girls really exist, without eating Spam at midnight (for those of you who have read the older GLB ‘Day in the Life of a Gothic’, you get my joke.) And these lolitas loved their styles, but they were also serious students with talents and career paths in mind. 2-D characters? I think not.
It seems some girls wear lolita full time, though the majority of them don’t. Having worn lolita exclusively for a while… it is not easy! And I was really pleased to see the hostess note that, the effort and bravery it requires. ‘I admire you,’ she says. Dressing in lolita 24/7 isn’t necessary to be a lifestyle lolita, but it is admirable, as anyone who’s tried it knows. It’s not easy to figure out 365 or so lolita outfits you can easily wear to the dentist, grocery store, and a wedding, let alone building in the extra hour or so to curl your hair and carefully line your eyes.
I’m totally captivated by the little blonde lolita, Hiyoko. She seems shy, with a Baby-the-Stars-Shine-Bright-meets-natural-kei style that I adore, and a kittenish nasal accent I wish I could copy (I’m sure other people find it annoying, but to me it’s like an adorable little animal…) It sounds really cheesy, but this girl is my idea of a perfect lolita. She’s not physically perfect, and she doesn’t have to be. She’s not a model, or even super outgoing. She dresses up every day, wearing her real cute little blonde pigtails, in crocheted cardigans and lacy scalloped aprons. I guess I’m idealizing her, I’m sure she has her flaws like all other human beings, but she’s just charmed me.
My favorite part is when the host asks her, ‘You’re really awesome, for an/not just an eccentric girl!’ and she responds, ‘Am I am eccentric girl?’ It’s natural to her. It’s simply who she is. I think primarily through photoshoots, magazines, the Internet, or media in general, we’ve made the ‘lolita lifestyle’ into such a large, heavy topic or production, something akin to religion or devoting yourself to a cloister. But it’s not that at all – it’s a much more innocent thing, and a personal thing. It comes naturally, but it’s still a little fairytale inside yourself.
So, since it was so enlightening to see other girls and their lolita lifestyles, challenge: described, either in the comments, or with a link to your webpage/article, post, your lolita lifestyle. No embroiderings, no imaginings, just how make your personal lolita lifestyle, you, and the world. Make this your own few paragraphs of documentary; photo-frame a piece of your life. I can’t wait to read all about the stories people create inside themselves ♥