An Open Letter to Lolitas (And Perhaps My Younger Lolita Self)

image from The Red Bunny

After reading ElleJay’s wonderful letter to lolitas on her new blog (check out Sherry and Cookies!), I thought it sounded like a good blogging prompt: write an open letter to lolitas everywhere. I’d love to see other blogs debut their open letters as well! Feel free to leave a link to yours in the comments if you write one, and I’ll add it to the bottom of this post.

 

Dear Lolita-chan, Wherever You Are, Whoever You May Be:

Whether you’ve been a lolita since the early days of black platforms and blue lipstick, or you have yet to step into your first pair of tea parties… Whether you cherish a wardrobe of pastel kittens or elegant roses and Chantilly lace… If I could mail this letter through a wormhole, to my sixteen-year-old self, tottering on the edge of the lolita world, this would be it. Since I can’t, here it is for you.

Get dressed up for yourself. Meetups and conventions are fun, but nothing beats getting all dolled up without any worries or stresses. Coordinate a new outfit and have fun toddling around the house in platforms, or heading to your local park to read.

Turn off the Internet. Not always, not forever. But sometimes. When every coordinate seems the same, when you feel discouraged that you’ll never afford the ‘real deal’ or even just what other girls have packed in their wardrobes… Other things you can do when you’re not on the Internet: see nature, go out to lunch, try new flavors of tea, experiment with hair and makeup tricks, make friends. Whether you choose to engage in lolita lifestyle  activities offline or just good ol’ day-to-day errands, it’s a refresher course in life. It can save your lolita love. A good rule to live by: too much lolita can turn your brain into half-rotten cotton candy.

There are no gods in lolita. In ElleJay’s letter, she mentioned that we tend to get too obsessed with idols in the lolita world. I don’t mean the usual idols like Misako or Maki and Asuka – they’re a little too removed from those of us outside of Japan to develop much of an idolatry for (though we love them, of course). It’s easy to get caught up in idolizing real lolitas you’ve met or observed online. Whether you’re comparing yourself to others or diving headlong into the most popular trends, you need to step back and be more objective. The best thing I have ever done is getting to know some of the girls I’ve been gaga over – my ‘lolita crushes’ you could say. Nine times out of ten, we’ve actually become friends! The best thing you can do is remove the distance and help the girl you idolize off the pedestal.

Break out your crafting skills. I love dressing up in head-to-toe brand, it’s true. But nothing makes an outfit pop or wiles away a cozy afternoon like making a few handmade accessories. Check out the Kera DIY sections or street snaps for ideas, or design your own fashionable daydreams.  Feel free to go a little tacky, a little crazy: doll heads into brooches, unicorn beads into earrings, pom poms onto shoes.

Don’t try to label yourself. If you wardrobe is a mish-mash of black and red, lilac and pink, and heavy combat boots, it’s perfectly okay. Wear off-brand, vintage, hole-in-the-wall stuff if you can find it. Swap between lolita, or fairy-kei, or casual princess or punk or mori if you like. Street snaps are your friends. Even the tiny photos, I pore over for ages.

Don’t let the drama get to you. Don’t fall for such epithets as ‘special snowflake’ or ‘ita’ or anything else that gets dreamed up. These are just made-up words, which can only hurt you if you give them power. Likewise the stuff you hear on the streets instead of on the screen. Don’t put stock in the vernacular of ‘freak’, ‘dork’, and the ever-popular ‘what are you wearing’. Stand tall; you’re wearing a little-known imported couture.

Find your own beauty. Don’t despair if you’re not the stereotypical lolita you see in magazines – Japanese, pale, and somehow adorably chibi-shaped. Lolitas can be beautifully luminous in all races and sizes. Play up the things you find beautiful about yourself, like rosy cheeks, attractive eyes or graceful wrists. Don’t ever think there is something inherently ‘not lolita’ about you; you are a lolita, so you are by logic ‘lolita enough’.

Don’t be afraid to let go. Is lolita a phase? Can we hang on to it forever, or does it impart its wisdom and then push us to ‘graduate’? Will it some day fade the way of its fashion predecessors, lost to time and scrapbook pages? These are questions I don’t know the answer to, may never know the answer to – or perhaps will look back on knowingly, some distance birthday in the future at twenty-five, or thirty, or forty. Love lolita while it is with you. People, things, fads, interests all come and go. It’s not permanence that makes things beautiful.

xoxo,

Victoria Suzanne

 

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  • Dear Victoria Suzanne,

    I was having such a crappy day, and you made it so much better. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
    It is difficult not getting caught up in all of the crappy stuff online—turning off the Internet now and again is the best advice to give even seasoned Lolita. It makes me really happy that we share philosophies on so many things~

    I have an idea I've been kicking around that we should talk more about. It's about spreading positivity! =D

    Love,

    ElleJay

  • lolitadollie

    Wow, this was genuinely beautiful ♥ this really cheered me up and basically made my day. Almost made me tear up. Thank you. Thank you. ♥

  • Thank you such an amazing letter! I get so caught up in trying to follow the style thinking that it is the only way to be lolita… 
    Thank you! <3

  • Mariah

    This was so great! I’m really happy to see this type of writing again. It’s what made me fall in love with your blog. <3

  • Brittany

    This post made my day. Having just started college and not wearing a uniform for the first time in years I feel an even stronger desire to wear lolita and though I am still hindered for many reasons I’m beginning to feel even stronger about it. There is even a lolita at my school that I have been attempting to get up the nerve to talk to. I shouldn’t feel intimidated just because she actually looks it while I have yet to own or wear anything other than a few off-brand tophats and headbands.

  • Thank you so much…

  • Hi, I watched your videos on  from Yutube.I am now  your fan.i love lolita style and everything associated with pink and sweet.!!!

  • Thank you!

    Sometimes I fight with the idea of being open about lolita – and just being me.
    Your tutorials, guides and how-to’s bring me up and set me down exactly where I belong – confident in my choices, and sheepish for second-guessing them in the first place.

  • allis

    Amazing :)

  • Paulina Rivera

    Really Victoria Suzanne, you give young maidens hope with your inspirational writing. ♥ You really are amazing, cheering up so many people every day!! That horrid phrase, “WHAT are you WEARING?” it makes me feel as though I will be, once again, made fun of because I’m different. I wanted a pair of Innocent World boots one time, and a girl saw at my school and started laughing and said something similar to that phrase: “WHAT is THAT??” I just wanted to say, I’m sorry, I dislike Uggs and Sneakers (unless they’re neon fairy-kei style). But having you write this, I feel that I’m not alone in the lolita world!! That would cheer anyone up, wouldn’t it? As I think about it, I’d also like to mention a week ago, I saw a woman at a fair I attended, that was dressed in fairy-kei!! She may have been 6 feet tall and not your typical fairy-kei japanese girl, she looked so cool! Pink tights, and a dress that appeared to be made out of pink teddy-bear patterened curtains or bed sheets— I’d love to create something like that one day!! And she even had bright blue and pink dreads– dyed! I have seen a few lolitas in Seattle, but that was the first time I’ve seen an American fairy-kei! How wonderful, the fashion is spreading. <3 Just thought I'd share that~!

    • I’m glad my writing could cheer you up! And who would ever make fun of beautiful Innocent World boots?! And how cool that you saw a girl (lady?) in fairy-kei! Seattle is a favorite place of mine as well!

  • Kyomu Magia

    I could just feel how a big smile formed on my face reading this, and I guess you could say it go for all fashions…. alternative or not… cute or hardcore… wear your clothes for you alone, not anyone else… and believe in yourself :3
    Makes me happy to read a letter like yours ^_^ Really made my day

  • Asylumatica

    I would simply like you to know that reading this was an amazing comfort for me. I’ve never related to anything as much as I have with your letter XD It encourages me in to going out of my usual comfort zone and just, well, go with the flow of it and not be so uptight. I’m very happy that you took the time to write this so I’m giving you a big, fat, topped-with-a-bow and whip cream Thank You!!