08 May 2012

Lolita a Lolita: It's Gone Too Far When...




LaL_conflictRes


This edition of LaL focuses on handling and coping with conflict in the Lolita community. We sure do have enough of it! There are thousands upon thousands of us coming from all parts of the world and backgrounds, and the only thing loosely uniting us is clothing. Clearly, arguments and disagreements will be bountiful. However, to do our best to respect one another and not form enemies, we must strive to resolve them with grace and a level head.

Miss Brienna Di'ane (you can find her tumblogs here and here.) has some particularly wise and very honest words on the subject....




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It's gone too far when...you see your best friend afraid to be herself.

A little background: I've only just begun to explore the Lolita side of myself. I've been a casual observer for a while, and after much thought and self-exploration, I feel like I can finally label myself as a Lolita. One thing that definitely made me think before committing to it is the drama. Just like in any facet of life, you're going to get love and hate. What utterly confused me is how vicious the community can be to people who really didn't deserve it. And I'm not just talking about my friend, but rather the posting of daily_lolita photos on CGL and Tumblr just to ridicule and humiliate the person. It's gone too far when you feel the need to "knock so-and-so down a few pegs" because they didn't wear the right socks with a JSK or their blouse collar lace didn't match the trim of their skirt. It's gone too far when jealousy overrides your sense of judgement. When you begin to envy and covet the things someone has to such an extent that you wish (or cause) harm to them. It's gone too far when you try to ostracize a person from the group because you lack patience and understanding that everyone is different.

To tie-back to the first Lolita a Lolita, it's no secret that Lolitas aren't your everyday, run-of-the-mill people. However, what I've noticed is that Lolita tends to draw in individuals with issues. Now, before you get your bloomers ruffled, let me explain a little more. Everyone reading this blog right now is beyond familiar with the internet. We use it everyday for various reasons, but a lot of the Lolita community is based around social networking. Our society has moved towards this impersonal communication style where we bare our souls to the world via blogs, Tumblr, whatever, and we make some of our "best friends" online. We've become out of touch with how to really communicate with people and how to act properly. Social awkwardness is a typical thing to encounter (I know my social anxiety gets the best of me sometimes) and top of that, while everyone has their issues, Lolita tends to bring in a more wounded, unstable group. Why? Because Lolita on the surface signifies a sisterhood of acceptance and patience. "You can be yourself! Obsess over things! Distract yourself from the bad things!" But really, it's gone too far when that acceptance is forgotten and the unstable part of someone takes over. It's that unstable part that posts about people in CGL, harasses other Lolitas, and emotionally abuses them. I'm sorry, but we are NOT children anymore, so it's gone too far when playground bullies still exist.

It's gone too far when you see your best friend afraid to be herself. It's gone too far when she is misinterpreted, placed in a box, and treated like a bad person. It's gone too far when Lolitas tear each other down for PHYSICAL things that can't be changed. It's gone too far when the rumors and secret opinions of others are considered to be the facts.

So, what can be done? There will always be those who do it for the schadenfreude and gloat about their misguided sense of "justice". Well, screw those people. What can be done to make the community a better place is to keep being yourself, even if someone wants to bring you down. Adopt the "I don't care!" mentality. Stop trying to impress other people, and begin trying to impress yourself. Dress for you and NOT for accolades. If someone is giving you flak about a choice you made, defend yourself, but you don't need to justify anything to them! "Don't do me, do your hair."

The change in the community doesn't need to come from the bullies, but rather the victims need to stand up and say, "This is NOT ok and it will not be tolerated any longer." We are all one-(wo)man armies, training for the battle of life. Start raising your defenses and your attackers will back down. Remember, they only get schadenfreude if you allow them to see that you're miserable or vulnerable.

I don't think that there is a clear path for conflict resolution. Here are my ideas:
  • Don't be a jerk. We all know when we are being jerks, so just don't do it.
  • Stay off of CGL and other sites that bash others for a quick laugh.
  • If you REALLY have to talk badly about someone, think before you do it. If you think about it and still have to let off steam, do it with someone you trust 100%, and do it in as close to "IRL" as you can get. Bonus points if they aren't in the Lolita community. Significant others are great for this.
  • Don't fight fire with fire. If someone posts about you somewhere (as hard as this may be...) IGNORE IT. Have a good cry about it IRL if you need to...heck, use the point above too, but DO NOT fire back a retort OR write an entry/Facebook post/comment/word vomit about how hurt you are, etc. No bleeding on the page over it! Pull up your big girl socks, know that their opinion is a reflection of their own poor frame of mind, and go back out there stronger than ever. Pity them for not wanting to get to know you, because you are actually an AWESOME person to know. They are the one sitting on CGL, posting nasty comments about the color of your outfit or your physical imperfections. Would you REALLY want to make peace with a person like that who is obviously Loony Tunes?

Lolitas, you are worth so much more than you allow yourselves to believe. The community will be more peaceful when we start trying to be the best we can be as individuals. Once that positive energy is around, it can't be stopped by a few naysayers.

It's gone too far when you see your best friend afraid to be herself...so unabashedly be yourself and she will soon follow suit.

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Brie's words really hit home with me because lately I have been very discouraged by the rumour mill. Some of the things I hear about me are so ridiculous they make me laugh, and others feel like a dull knife to my gut. Anonymous hatred I could almost care less about, particularly when it is evident that the author is extremely childish, but when it comes from my peers, it makes me want to give up. It makes me want to stop the things I enjoy and hide just so I might dodge the shrapnel. I am the type of person who relishes in making other people happy, and when I cannot do that, I feel like a total failure.

However, then I remembered my own advice. If someone's behavior makes me truly dislike myself, why in the world should I take to heart what they say? I posted the following on Facebook last night: 

At the end of the day, no one can make me believe that I am less than who I am. I am proud of the choices I consciously make and would make them again. 

Never let anyone make you feel lesser. You deserve love, riches, support, and everything wonderful. Act with honour and pride, and you will have no regrets. Treat people with kindness and compassion. Remember how you would like to be treated. Above all else, love. Please, love.



Keep tuned in for the announcement of the next prompt for LaL~! I've decided to do it less frequently than once a month to give interested contributors more time to write. n_n

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