Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lolita Treatise: On Community

A tribute to Princess Marci
Today the lolita community is reeling from the loss of a girl at far too young an age from a horrific tragedy. I cannot express in words the depths of my condolences not only for Marci's friends and family, but also for the Melbourne lolita community. I did not know Marci personally - in fact we had never interacted online before, but I feel her loss as keenly as any of my fellow lolitas. May her family and friends find closure when justice is done, and solace in the realization that her life has touched so many others.

If I learned anything from going to see the new Cinderella last week it is that the world needs far more of us to "have courage and be kind" than ever before. There are far more factors working against your own happiness than for it. Never miss an opportunity to take advantage of those few fleeting chances to truly soar. You may surprise more than just yourself and I can guarantee that the plunge will be well worth the effort. If lolita fashion is your passion then chase it with every fiber of your being, because you will be sorely disappointed if you don't take time to celebrate the things you love. There is a somewhat surprising amount of kinship in a subculture which has such a poor reputation for animosity and drama, but let it not be said that we do not take care of our own. Lolita fashion provides a kind of instant rapport and creates a sense of kindred spirits who are all a little bit misunderstood by the mainstream world.

There are many lolitas out there that worry about joining a community for various reasons. I know that it may be intimidating to jump headfirst into a group of people you have never met, but at the very least you will have tried. Lolita communities are very much like star systems with each new lolita as a new star. Networks and relationships form constellations that can last well beyond any one individual's interest in the fashion - even stars shine long after they have been destroyed. The worldwide lolita community is much like the universe: ever growing and expanding and yet constantly shifting and changing as new stars and systems emerge to replace those that have come before. The universe is as beautiful and ephemeral as it is constant and so too are lolita communities. Though the faces, locations, and times may change, the sentiments remain very much the same. 

The community is the heart and soul of lolita fashion because it is not simply about the clothes, but about sharing that aesthetic with others. This is where so many scholars have ground to a halt because this street fashion from Japan started out as little more than frilly dresses, but transcended into the realm of subculture. All of this simply because of the affinity created by the community and held in place by the aesthetic. If nothing else, remember that community is about supporting and recognizing another's passion just as much as our own. Remember to have courage. Remember to be kind. And remember to hold each other up instead of tearing one another down. We are far stronger together than we could ever be alone.

Stay safe and strong my lovelies,
Burgher

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