29 February 2012

Sparkling Acts of Frilly Kindness...Lolita a Lolita February 2012

Lolita a Lolita February

For February’s Lolita a Lolita, I asked you to tell me about the Lolitas in your life who have shown you kindness, the ones that have created memories you will never forget. All of these stories are truly beautiful. I hope they remind you that despite the negativity out there, many people are still compassionate and that they inspire you to do something wonderful for someone you know. 
The prompt and rules for March’s edition of LaL are at the end of this entry.
1. Lauri
A little back story on myself. I'm currently battling stage 1 stomach and bladder cancer. I’m having complications due to the cancer (development of Parkinsons Disease, seizures, hair loss, etc) and to say the least all my money goes to my health. I try not to but the loss of my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes has made me feel less than pretty. I’m constantly looking at my beautiful friends and cry because I want to look like them. 
I took to social media with a one day pity party table for one about myself. In my wildest dreams would I have expected the outpour of love that I received. About a week after that post, I received a cutely wrapped Angelic Pretty bag mailed from a girl in my local community. She sent me a whole outfit!! 2 pairs of socks, a skirt, bolero, rings and a purse. All strawberry themed (my favourite fruit). I was beyond touched. I have never received such kindness before. I still don’t feel deserving. I only hope I can repay that one day.
2. Delano of Lolita Weekly
I’ve never had a big grand gesture extended to me. I live in a small Lolita community, not that I’m complaining. I don’t go to many meetups. I can’t travel as much as some other lolitas, but it’s ok. 
The most wonderful thing I’ve ever seen a Lolita do is a common one. Be patient. Be kind. Be great. Last month’s Lolita a Lolita topic was one where everyone shared their hates, their secrets, many of which talked about the hate in the community and how it affected them or how they don’t like it. But the community has so much love in it too. We are a COMMUNITY and we work together. And, yeah, sometimes we don’t get along and sometimes there are people that are just cold hearted but we are together as a fashion and a culture. 
The kindest thing a Lolita has ever done for me was what the EGL community does for me every day--give me faith. There are people fighting against attacks and there are people helping other lolitas out. Lolitas excel towards greatness, giving a better name and legacy for lolitas in the future. We share, and we get excited over the same things. The community has so much hate, but I think it has just as much love.
[This is an abridged form of a blog she previously wrote. You can read the full version here.]

At first it seems like a cliche, overdone topic. Of course meetups bring us all together to bond over Lolita fashion and then move on to other topics and make new friends. This happened in MN of course, too. But the main difference is that almost 100% of Lolitas already have a group of friends, Lolita or non. When I went to my first meetup in MN I wasn't afraid of being ostracized and being forever alone in this world. If everybody hated me, fine. I have other, non-Lolita friends I can hang out with and they were all totally cool with Lolita fashion. Luckily, that didn't happen and I met a ton of cool people through Lolita meetups ;)

When I came to Taiwan, however, I didn't know anybody. I was not in school, which is usually how people make friends. I did not have any cousins or relatives to introduce me to friends since I was living with my grandparents. For the my first year in Taiwan, all my friends were exclusively Lolitas whom I met through the Internet and via meetups. This has made me realize just how big a part of my life Lolita fashion is. If I were not a Lolita and moved here, I would have been utterly alone for the first year. Yes, I did go out on my own, but it is exceedingly rare for strangers to strike up conversation here. Everybody tends to keep to themselves.

So I thought that I would create a sort of documentary of my first year here and how Lolita fashion actually affected almost every aspect of my social life up to and including my school and classes! I feel like I owe a lot to the lovely ladies who went out of their way to help me with things I didn't understand, and things I didn't even know I didn't understand!

My very first meetup here was not exactly smooth, to say the least ;) but it was here that I first met DORO喵 (pronounced doh-roh miao, like a cat saying meow) who found the location for me and was generally very nice to me. Since this was my first meet, I really don't have many photos :P You can click the post link to see the ones I did take!

There were no more meetups until February when 小芙 (xiao fu) hosted a meetup at Madam Rose. So I saw DORO喵 again, and also met 琪琪 (qiqi in Chinese, said like "chi-chi" or kiki in Japanese), both of whom later did make an impact on my life, so it is important!



After this meetup DORO喵 invited me to another private meetup where I met and got to know a bunch of other Lolitas better including NiYa and Hako, the queen of Group Orders!
After this meetup I made a Plurk account because Plurk:Taiwan Lolitas::EGL:Western Lolitas

 More meetups and things were had, I became better friends with everybody, tested into school, etc.

Then, at the Rabbit Rabbit meetup in July I met LOI(luo-yi) represented by the coffee cup below:

She is a graduate of Shi Chien University (my school) though she ended up going through the business side of fashion rather than the developmental side.

After I transferred my school credits so I wouldn't have to retake classes i have taken already, DORO喵 arranged a meetup for me, LOI, DORO喵 and another Lolita named Pigi胖 (hereby shortened to Pigi) who has been taking classes at Shi Chien to help me choose my classes *u* it was IMMENSELY helpful because the required classes and elective classes were separated into "Fashion Program exclusive" and "Whole School" sections and is just quite confusing, overall. Pigi helped me choose my first semester classes and explained some of the more complex class types, which ones should be taken first, what teachers to avoid, which classes would be redundant if take alongside another class, etc. Yea, complex stuff!

In September at the Yukata meetup, I met another schoolmate who is currently in Third Year of the Fashion Program!


L to R:

KAMIKO has become one of my good friends :D She's really sweet, though quiet, like me ^^;

Throughout the school year there have been a handful more meetups, which is always a lovely break from the stress of school!

Occasionally I would get very down because to be honest, I have very little self-confidence and probably rely too much on outside approval ^^; Sometimes I vent on my Plurk, and once when I was feeling especially down because my group for Western Fashion History had done the group project completely without me, 琪琪(QiQi/KiKi) told me that I seem to look negatively at myself often and I should try to love myself more. Though that may seem like a really simple, cliche statement, coming from somebody who is as confident and unafraid to speak out as she is, it really made me want to be more like her. While I find it hard to believe, 琪琪said she used to feel the same way about herself (what??) so that gives me more hope that I can become more confident. Though I am optimistic about most everything, I am pretty negative when it comes to myself XD;;

I am truly grateful for all the help and positiveness all these lovely ladies have brought into my life. Time has been flying by, but the photos and memories I will cherish forever ♥♥♥
I am beyond flattered by this next anonymous Lolita’s response. She really warmed my heart, and I barely feel deserving of such kind words! <3
4. Miss Anonymous
I wanted to write this article about my friend, ElleJay. Yes! The one whose blog this belongs to. At a time when I needed a friend the most, she was there for me. She reached out to me upon noticing that something was wrong.  She went out of her way to make sure I was ok. She was, in fact, one of the very few people that did that and in fact, the only lolita that I know that did this. 
Despite the fact that we live many hundreds of miles away with many states in between us, I can safely say that she is the one person I trust the most. I have only met her in person once and that was a very pleasurable experience for me that I wished had never ended. I am always looking forward to the next time she is able to visit. 
I can always rely on her to be kind and caring. I feel I can relate to her the most on issues involving lolita. She is very easy to talk to and full of advice and stories to tell. We have a lot in common and it's pretty crazy when we discuss things like this amongst ourselves. She is the one person within lolita I feel I can go to and discuss things with freely and openly without the fear of being judged. 
For that, ElleJay is the one person I choose out of all the lolitas in the entire world to write about being a kind person. She is constantly committing random acts of kindness and I admire her for that. Whether that be reaching her hand out to help a friend, lending an ear to a friend who just needs to talk, giving of her time to help out someone else, or buying extremely nice gifts for friends in need. She has a very open heart and mind and is nonjudgmental and accepting of nearly everybody! Shouldn't we all be more like that?
Not only does she do good things for me personally, but she does a lot of good things for a lot of people she cares about who may need it. There aren't many good things a person can do for another when they live so far away. But, I know she will appreciate being my subject for this entry a lot and I can only hope that this serves as my little random act of kindness to a woman who deserves it so much, a woman who has done many acts of kindness for myself and countless amount of other people, ElleJay. 
To Miss Anonymous: I deeply value your friendship, and that friendship is the most wonderful gift you could ever give me. <3
Thank you to all who contributed this month! It was an absolute pleasure reading all of your stories! If you have story to share that you didn’t have time to submit, feel free to write about in the comments. The more happy things to share, the better!
Lolita a Lolita March 2012: It’s gone too far when...

Too often, arguments online and IRL between Lolitas reach crapstorm status. They can tear each other apart with no regard for each other’s feelings or health. This is something of which I have been a victim, so I have a particular sensitivity for Lolitas being bullied. It is one of the worst feelings in the world, and no one deserves that kind of treatment.
When do you think a conflict has gone too far? What kind of ideas do you have for conflict resolution? How can they be implemented? What do you think you can do to make the Lolita Community more peaceful? 
One of my goals for the LaL project is to start a trend of kindness, patience, and understanding in place of cruelty, rashness, and narrowed perspective, and I would like to hear your ideas on how this can be done! Not everyone needs to be friends or like one another, but we do need to exercise mutual respect. 
Send your submissions to: ellejay@sherryandcookies.com
The Rules:
For this one especially, do not name names or specifically point out situations that could be easily identified. The focus should be how certain things make you feel and what you think can be done to resolve them. Please do not mention communities either, online or IRL. I reiterate, if your submission contains any identifiable information to people other than yourself, it will not be accepted. Additionally, I reserve the right to exclude any submissions that I do not feel fit with the prompt.
Thank you again for supporting S&C and LaL! Continue to comment, send me messages, and submit your stories!

Love and Sparkles,

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