On Being Lolita: Keeping the Sparkle in Your Heart

On Being Lolita: Keeping the Sparkle in Your Heart

Although I’m sure there are many lolita who would love to build a frothy cocoon around their lives, living in a bubble of a sweet, romantic dream, harsher aspects of life tend to creep up on us. It’s hard to truly feel lolita—even if you know that it glitters in your heart like a brilliant gemstone—when bad things keep happening and the beauties of life seem dim or nonexistent. Sometimes I don’t have a chance to wear my much-beloved frills; it can feel like other parts of my life continually conflict with meetups, preventing me from seeing my friends; or a lack of funds can make Angelic Pretty’s constant new releases feel like torture. At times like that, the sparkle in my heart is tarnished.

That sort of thing has certainly been happening to me lately—financial assistance troubles make even a dream of buying something new feel like a cruel joke. My new work schedule and just-beginning courses keep me occupied all week with absolutely no chance to get dressed up. (I can’t really wear it at work, and I certainly don’t want to wear it to graduate school—I don’t want to be judged based only on my clothing.) Additionally, my best friend is getting married in a few days; various planning and pre-wedding activities have kept my weekends booked. My family also likes to commit to various get-togethers or special events without letting me know until the very last minute. I’ve seen so many pictures of meetups I haven’t been able to attend. Additionally, being very sick for several weeks with one thing or another certainly takes away any pretty, fluffy lolita feelings.

However, I don’t despair! I won’t! If lolita fashion truly makes you happy, don’t give it up when you feel down—it’s exactly the sort of thing you need more of in your life. I try to rekindle that warm glow little by little. Some things that might help:

  • Wear a piece of your favourite jewelry with an otherwise “normal” outfit. A cute cupcake or unicorn necklace can put a smile on your face during the rest of a dull day. So can elegant earrings, a quirky pin, or a charm bracelet. Or clip a charm onto or inside your purse for something really stealthy~
  • Bring tea, hot chocolate, or whatever your favourite beverage is with you in a pretty thermos! Even water is a little more fun if the bottle has some attitude. If you don’t own a thermos or re-usable bottle and don’t want to scout one out a Sanrio (or even your grocery store), put some fun little stickers on your drink cup, can, or bottle—or draw lolita-esque symbols on it with permanent markers.
  • Similarly, decorate something you use every day! This can be a full-on decoden project with false whipped cream and tiny fake sweets, or just an embellishment or two that’s to your liking. The pens I always carry with me to work and school are already pastel and glittery (despite writing with standard black ink), but I like to put stickers on the caps for a little something extra~
  • Paint your fingernails. As long as it isn’t prohibited (perhaps if you work in food service without gloves), there are all kinds of polishes out there for any budget. (And most people have some nail polish lurking in their bedrooms or bathrooms anyway…) Pick your favourite color and change it whenever you’ve got a little spare time. Don’t worry if you don’t already have beautiful fingernails—take a moment to trim them neatly and file the edges, and that should be plenty of preparation. After all, bolder colors are less overwhelming on shorter nails.
  • Wear a pretty lip gloss. It’s low-maintenance, and there’s sure to be a colour that suits your situation and appeals to your taste. A little glitter can be fun, or maybe you’d prefer a delicious scent or flavour!
  • Call a friend! Even if you text all day, sometimes hearing the voice of someone you love, even for a few moments, can really add a spring to your step. Even something for a few moments, in-between running to catch a bus, can be a lot of fun. If you don’t get through, leave a silly message with the request for them to call back. (This one is fun because you’re not the only person who benefits!)
  • Add some silly thoughts to your day—even better if they’re lolita-themed. Picture your boss in over-the-top Angelic Pretty (maybe the new Bambi series?) or your classmates wearing headdresses. Maybe design—in a doodle in the margin of your notes or on a Post-It at work—a lolita outfit specifically for a particular person. A pirate-themed dress for that guy in the other cubicle? Or maybe your teacher in some kind of lace monstrosity? (Just don’t label it or write down their name! It would certainly be hard to explain if Joe wanted to know what was going on.)
  • Tuck a treat into your bag. It could be anything from your favourite cookie (maybe in a napkin tied up with ribbon) to a few pieces of bacon—what it the item is doesn’t matter as long as it gives you something to look forward to. A decorative lunch, perhaps trying your hand at bento, can also add a bright turn.

Most of my suggestions are obviously not directly lolita, but that’s because it’s up to you to pick whatever makes you think of that thing you love. Replicate Momoko’s lunch (as long as all those sweets won’t make you sick), draw a crown on one fingernail with a gold gel pen after applying sparkly pink polish, pack lunch in your BABY, the Stars Shine Bright shopping bag, or tie a red ribbon and strawberry charm on your USB drive. It certainly doesn’t take much time at all to do at least one thing, and having something to smile about can put any day into a totally different perspective.

My yesterday certainly wasn’t going too well, but writing this post reminded me to enjoy my silly, glittery pens (especially since earlier, an older gentleman sitting next to me in class borrowed one!) and enjoy the delicious slice of Boston crème Oreo pie that was waiting for me at home! (Not to mention having a very kind-hearted person to cuddle up against.)

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