Monday, March 4, 2013

Lifestyle Lolita

Borrowed from Hearty & Hearty
 The topic pops up once in a while, both online and in conversations. What is it, and what are its definitions? Is it enough to wear Lolita on a daily basis, or does it go to a length where one should also build one's life solely around the fact that one is a Lolita - choosing a suitable job, house, interior decoration, mode of transportation, hobbies and everything else? Most seem to tilt towards the latter, but I think that, while it's completely alright to "lolify" your life, it also shouldn't automatically mean that you have to make compromises and exclude some things you really enjoy, or are convenient. "I really want to take my car, but princesses have to walk or ride a horse-drawn carriage, or at least have their own driver" would be a perfect example. Another pne could be "I want to listen to heavy metal, but that's not loli-compatible at all." The most extreme act of sacrifice would be to shun friends or even love-relationships because they don't fit the bill.

I have no real personal experience of the subject, save through some friends and the rare blog dealing with lifestyling. However, sometimes I can't help but wonder what parts of my life are "close enough"? I make music, I read, draw and write, enjoy tea and picnics, as I've previously stated in an earlier post, but other than that? Well, I suppose some parts of my interior decoration are sort of fitting of the style - my small, red suede-covered couch, red curtains with black tassels, my plushie-filled bed (if I could just get around to finally hanging that curtain-rod and purple curtains in front of it) and so forth. I've never been too much into "nesting", home is a place to relax, it's not a showroom or questhouse for me. I very rarely invite anyone over.

Here's a blog entry called "My week in world of lifestyle lolita", interesting stuff!

What about my mode of transportation? I take the bus or train. So not loli, since the buses are pretty much modern, and the trains don't run on steam. My significant other? Sure, I think he looks like the hunkier type of Disney-male(We've sometimes joked around that he's like a mixture of the Beast and Gaston, the latter of whom he DESPISES with abandon), he does some archery, collects swords and weapons, and even dresses in a gentlemanly way to special events, but other than that...he's more of a cowboy than a dainty prince with silk slippers. My work, then? Well, I suppose a tranquil office job as the school secretary of an upper secondary school of visual arts (some Lolitas actually attend this school) would accommodate me wearing the style, but really - I just can't be bothered to get all dolled up every morning, when the first thing on my mind after waking up is having a bath, eating my breakfast and getting ready to go asap. I suppose I wouldn't make a very good lifestyle lolita, I just don't have the dedication necessary.

I decided to ask some of my friends about how they see LSL.

One friend told me: "I love getting ready and dressed up at my mom's place - it's huge! I think Lolita has affected my taste in interior decoration, and I feel more inclined to dress up pretty whenever I look at the things I have. Then again when I'm at home, I can't be bothered to be all dolled up since only my boyfriend will see me, and when in lolita it's more difficult to just hang around the computer."

Mimi commented:
"It's always been very natural to me, just like for some goths, when the lifestyle just sort of follows along. In a way I don't think I've had to really sacrifice anything, but rather I've added things to what was already there. It's very rewarding. If I'd want to be super-fancy here, I'd say lolita is a continuum of how I live my life."

Katja, on the other hand, said the following:
"I see myself as being somewhere between a basic lolita enthusiast and a lifestyler. Full LSL seems to require some sacrifices, and I wouldn't call myself a lifestyler before quitting smoking, for example (which would be a wise sacrifice for the benefit of health anyway). Lolita is really the only motivator I have to quit smoking I wear lolita a lot more than average, I'd estimate around 4-5 days a week, and I'd like to up the ratio to 7 days a week. I would be interested in moving towards a more LSL direction."

Kati was abundant in her commentary, so I had to put it in a nutshell:
"Lolita has been a life-saver for me, the one constant that's kept me going over the years, when things have seemed impossibly dark. It's a huge part of my persona.  I've got such great friends through this style, and most of my friends are - and have been - Lolitas. I think I don't really do Lolita, but rather perform it in the strictest sense. I try and wear it as often as humanly possible, because I don't feel at home in regular clothing. Lolita makes me confident and it makes me feel beautiful and accomplished. Then again it has demanded some sacrifices, such as time, it's an all-consuming thing."

Marie was also generous with words, so here's her contribution (after I butchered it):
"I don't know if I've got much to say on the topic. I don't really think of myself as lolita any more, but more of a neo-Victorian, which includes lolita to an extent. My style is self-expression, and a natural continuum of my way of life rather than the lifestyle itself. I don't care to follow any holy rules or pick my interests based on lolita, I just happen to also like things that are lolita-credible. The only thing that's LSL about me is the fact that I wear the style every day. At the end of the day, what DOES make a LSL? Do people have to chase some unattainable ideal by changing oneself to fit into it, especially if that ideal differs from person to person?"

Indeed. LSL really isn't expected of anyone, unless the person expects it of themselves. My friends confirmed my own thoughts quite thoroughly. LSL can be a naturally following result from a certain kind of set of mind or something to strive for in order to feel better about one's life, but it isn't worth destroying one's happiness over. What LSL includes may differ from person to person, there really isn't a comprehensive set of guidelines or a global consensus on the matter. Non-lifestylers are not inferior lolitas in any way.

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