Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Musings on Being a Girly-Girl, Lolita

For about three years of my life, I obsessed over Lolita fashion. It was cute, pink, frilly, and over the top—all things that I absolutely adore. However, even though I would often spend every last cent I earned on buying myself a new piece to add to my wardrobe, I rarely ever wore it out. I suppose part of that was a confidence issue: whenever I did decide to wear it out, I ended up being exhausted by the stares and snickers and having to explain what I was wearing to the more polite onlookers who cared to ask. It is exhausting to stand out like a sore thumb. You can't really blame people; they're curious or they're not used to seeing someone dressed in an out-of-the-ordinary way. Some people react to this with disgust and others react with interest. However, outside of Lolita I haven't had much of a confidence issue, so what was the problem? Well, I realized after a while that Lolita just didn't feel like "me." Sure, I loved looking at it, but when I actually had the clothes on, I felt out of my element—like I was pretending to be someone that I wasn't. It felt like I was playing make believe as a cute, sweet girl that lived in a fairy tale world; when in reality, I'm a sassy, sarcastic, and cynical woman living in the very un-whimsical state of Wisconsin.

Perhaps I was revisiting my childhood in an attempt to come to terms with being a girl. As a child, I generally considered myself to be a tomboy, and I distinctly remember complaining to my mother about how boring the "girly girls" were because they would braid each other's hair and talk about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson during recess—things that I had absolutely no interest in. I liked video games, Pokémon, and superhero cartoons. I felt more comfortable around boys than girls in elementary school, and that's still true for me today in college. Despite having nurtured my feminine side since then and amassing a collection of beautiful clothes and expensive makeup, I honestly still do not have much common ground with a lot of the girls at my University. My love for fashion is one of the few things that I find I'm able to talk about when I'm interacting with other girls. But even then I find that my mannerisms don't quite match up with those of whomever I'm speaking to. Despite many girls having an interest in fashion, many of them don't particularly care for glamour over comfort or don't talk about it with quite as much fervor as I do. I don't think my awkwardness makes me a special snowflake; in fact, sometimes I even feel a little lonely and ashamed for not feeling comfortable around my own gender. I've been on an all-girl floor for both of my two years of college and haven't made a single friend just based on living arrangements. I look around and see other girls running down the hallway to hang out with their friend five doors down or chatting in the bathroom, and I wonder what's wrong with me that I can't make friends as easily. I think it would be great to not feel so out of place all the time, but I suppose I'm just meant to be a bit of an oddball.

Regardless of my reasons, my love affair with Lolita was not without it's lessons and benefits to me both in regard to fashion and life in general. For much of my adolescent years, I dressed almost exclusively in black. I didn't feel comfortable in color, and I thought it would make me look fat. My attraction to sweet Lolita gave me the confidence to wear my favorite color which I was deathly afraid of actually including in my wardrobe: pink. Lolita made buying mid-range mall store clothes seem affordable("$150 for a dress? That's half the cost of an Angelic Pretty one piece!") Lolita taught me how to coordinate a balanced outfit.  Lolita allowed me to meet some incredible people. Lolita taught me how to sell things I didn't want anymore online. Lolita taught me to wear what I love with confidence and to be polite to those who were rude to me. Despite all the important lessons that Lolita taught me, the clothes themselves are just not for me. They don't flatter my body type, and they don't make me feel like who I am on the inside is showing through to the outside.

I still have great admiration for other Lolitas, and I love to look at daily_lolita and see all the beautiful coordinates. I still incorporate some of my Lolita brand accessories into my regular clothes and sometimes look longingly at the newest Angelic Pretty print. But I'm moving on now, and I truly do feel fantastic about it.

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