There’s an exceedingly simply answer to this question. It’s an individual who wears lolita fashion, but to those of us who hold our frills deep inside our hearts and consider ourselves to be lifestyle lolitas this question may be a lot more complex and hold different answers for each of us. I know it does for me. Ever since I was little I dreamed of being a lost princess and of fairytales. I romanticized everything and in the poetry I wrote people were transformed into royalty, flowers and gemstones. Everything was fantasy and fantastical to me long before I ever discovered what Lolita Fashion was. Sadly, no people from a tiny forgotten country came to inform me that I was in fact a princess. So when I saw Lolita Fashion in it’s most derivative form searching for a prom dress my junior year of high school. Something clicked. I ended down a rabbit hole of blogs and youtube channels with Parfaitdoll and FYeahLolita showing me the way. These resources aren’t nearly as active now as they were then but I still hold both of these blogs close to my heart. I watched Deerstalker Pictures and Pixielocks when she was still a Lolita herself. I still love watching PrincessPeachie even though she has largely traded her frills for the more comfortable fairy kei. This was a world that I immersed myself in and learned so much about and fell in love with.
The clothes themselves were beautiful and sparked joy in my heart but what was even more important to me then what the clothes looked like was what they meant. It was a way to assert my independence in a way that felt comfortable. I felt like myself when I wore them. It said to the world that I am feminine and I am strong and I control the image I have for myself. The frills spoke of the strength of the heroines in my fairytales and that that strength is inside of me as well. It showed me that I have the ability to achieve my goals in a way that makes sense for my life and in a way that isn’t defined by the others who are around me. At 22 years old, I still want to be a Princess as defined by virtue not birthright. I want to be kind, organized, responsible, and beautiful. There are so many beautiful bright princesses in the Lolita community that I adore and look up to. There are girls in my own comm that I admire with all my heart and the sense of community I have been blessed with in this fashion is incredible. I have so many wonderful women that I can turn to in a time of crisis or visit their animal crossing islands. It’s a group of individuals outside of my day to day interactions and that kind of connection has been truly precious to me.
There is also a magical and mundane aspect to me as well. Due to being in this community I have learned so many life skills I wouldn’t have learned without it. I learned more about sewing, cooking and baking. Things that should be basic life skills but don’t seem to come up very often. I learned more about music, poetry, other languages, how to budget, and how to write about my own experiences all because of this wonderful aesthetic that I am so delighted that I get to live in.
I think as time goes on what a Lolita is to me changes but at its core it remains similar. To be a Lolita is to be a modern day princess with all of the strength and courage that that implies. It’s to be able to stand on your own two feet and do what you love. Its being kind to others and taking care of your life while not sacrificing what makes you happy. It’s something that I truly love that in this lifetime I get to be.