Western Lolita fashion guide to dealing with reactions on the street
Hello. Think of this as a survival guide for Lolitas in western society! As we know, Lolita is a cute and elegant fashion from Japan. Girls in Japan go out dressed as beautiful stunning dolls, whether as a hobby or on a daily basis. Japanese citizens are familiar with seeing matching co-ordinates from Angelic Pretty & Baby the Stars Shine Bright. People in Japan are quite used to Lolitas promenading in their very own home-made Lolita outfits.
Perhaps you’re an aspiring Lolita from the Western side of the world? Perhaps you’re unsure how best to react to the public eye? Never fear! This guide may help you sail elegantly through public confrontations or any other unruly situations.
Don’t show them you’re uncomfortable
The first thing most people notice about someone is their body language. If people sense your anxiety, or if you’re visibly on edge about dressing in your frilly Lolita dresses, unkind people may take the opportunity to make fun of you. Perhaps they will stare or even approach you! So make sure you hold your head up high and smile. This will show them that you’re confident and proud of wearing your favourite outfit – and that you’re not ashamed of your multicolour curly wig or your cupcake printed dress.
As we all know, confidence is the key to pulling off the amazing Lolita style. Yes, I know that on a bad day you may be feeling tender and soft inside. It is okay to shy away. I’m aware it’s not easy to keep up, especially on those rainy days where you just want to curl up in bed with a teddy and hot chocolate and sulk in your favourite pyjamas - but never retaliate!
When I was a baby Lolita, I was very aware of the amount of people staring. I admit it got to me – as much as it may get to you who are now reading. These days, however, I show them I’m not ashamed and I’m not afraid. People tend to leave off or they don’t approach me in the first place. The majority of people who used to poke fun out of my dolly shoes no longer comment – they simply gaze and enjoy!
Those very nasty comments!
Yes, the most common case of public confrontation is people wanting to talk to you (at least in my experience). Often when I’ve been out shopping with my Lolita friends or standing at the bus stop, I’ve had people of all ages and genders approaching me to inquire about Lolita fashion.
Some of the comments or questions have been very pleasant; however a number of them are not. The first thing is to not expect that most people have heard of Lolita style. They have not.
Name-calling. As a Sweet Lolita, names I get referred to a lot are: little-bo peep, Cinderella or princess, as well as Barbie, of all things. The best thing is to ignore these comments – especially if you’re called at rather than quietly talked to. Walk on and keep your pretty face high!
Fancy dress costume. Don’t be surprised if people think you’re either attending a costume party or that you’re an actor. With this last assumption, I just sometimes don’t answer or just say I can’t act or I don’t dress up. They usually go away then or pull a funny face.
The fascination of children. Parents usually follow me with their little children or respond LOOK, A PRINCESS!. I absolutely adore the children’s faces; I always smile and wave at them. This is a good type of confrontation. It’s positive, so don’t hesitate to show off your Lolita manners – a polite girl!
Teenagers. You’re probably one yourself or know how cutting they can be, if they make fun of you or approach you and laugh at you. I suggest you just smile at them or walk straight past, as if you retaliate or pass a rude comment, you’re as bad as them. Even if you’re bubbling with anger inside, walk on!
Adults. Sometimes adults can behave as badly as teenagers. They tend to go oh my god what is she wearing? I have sometimes replied to these comments but not very often. I’d advise you not to, because I have been verbally abused by adults or threatened. Since you don’t know the state of mind the person’s in, retaliating to confrontational adults is a no-go for ALL Lolis alike!
Oh my, Oh my! Explaining Lolita?
Be careful on this one. Yes, Lolita clothing is childlike and sweet, but the Nabokov novel is not what the style is about. I have been in situations where I’ve told people I’m a Lolita and they’ve been shocked. ‘Ive had to dig myself out of a hole several times – fortunately I’ve managed to do so!
My explanations tend to start with it’s a fashion from Japan called ‘Lolita’, just to avoid confusion…
One could argue that Lolita fashion does have some of the ideology from the book, namely the ‘sweet and innocent’ part of it. I am not supporting this idea AT ALL and I DO NOT recommend ever bringing this up. This information is purely for your own knowledge as a street-smart Loli. However a number of people have never heard of the book or film so you may be okay when explaining.
Oh my, OH MY!! CREEPER.
Yes, there you have it – there are always male creepers and stalkers around. Lolita in some males’ minds is cute, but some males find the look alternative and attractive on the wrong levels. The worst place I seem to pick up a creeper is standing at the bus stop or walking in London or down the street. Here are my personal favourites on staying safe and getting away from a creeper!
1. Try not to be too paranoid; people usually stare for a few minutes first.
2. You feel like they’re following you? Even when you get off the bus or leave a restaurant, try to walk towards nearby parents or other women in order to feel more secure. Or walk into a shop where security or police officers are nearby; you can tell them you’re being followed or just stand there for a bit until the creeper leaves.
3. If they speak to you, do not reply or smile. As soon as you start talking you will find it harder to get away. Carry on walking or quicken your pace; if your mobile phone is on you, call a friend and casually start a conversation with them when they answer.
4. Avoid walking home at night alone; this is a worst case scenario. However, it is unavoidable in the winter. Ask a friend to walk you to the train station or to your house. It’s never entirely safe for any teenage Loli to be out in the dark anyway!
5. Carry an umbrella or parasol; yes I know, an illegal choice of retaliation but this is a last resort. If your creeper attempts any type of physical contact with you or attempts to grab you, swing or try to stab them with your umbrella to stop them from getting closer, then start to run (yes, even if you look silly when you run… just run). If in doubt, running is by far the safest and most effective option.
6. Dont be lured in by any compliments; this is an easy pick-up technique that creepers tend to do. Don’t let your guard down, even if they’re good looking! Seriously.
So… now you’re one street-savvy Loli! I hope this helps all you pretty doll faces defend and survive in the West! Maybe you’ll develop some of your own tips that you can share with your Loli friends at meet-ups or online.
Main photo: Dress from Angelic Pretty