The idea of the "lifestyle lolita" is one that's almost as old as the fashion itself. The archetypal lolita, as promoted in much of lolita-related media, is seen as a kind of wannabe-princess, living a suitably sheltered and romantic existence. In addition to wearing the fashion, the use of formal language, careful table manners, and traditionally "ladylike" hobbies are all associated with being a "lifestyle lolita". But do these types of activities really represent the fashion or the people that wear it? In a subculture as varied and multifaceted as lolita, what does it really mean to live a lolita "lifestyle"?
This blog post is an exploration of the archetypal image of the "lifestyle lolita", the tropes associated with the term, and the media and philosophy that has inspired it. Through this examination, I hope to offer an alternative to the notion that a lifestyle lolita is based solely around a particular set of stereotypical activities or behaviours. Instead, I argue that engaging with the history, ideals, and, of course, the culture of lolita is what lies truly at the heart of the fashion. And as long as someone wears lolita fashion and keeps its spirit in their hearts, the "lifestyle" of lolita can be as diverse and varied as lolitas themselves.
|"A Day in Gothic & Lolita Life" from GLB 04, published December 2001.|
Images courtesy of Lolita History.