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Japan's 'Lolita' style: cutesy and disturbing

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Maybe it's only me but I don't see anything nearly sexual in the japanese lolita style. It's not even childish to my eyes. The reason being that these clothes are so from the past that my brain fails to associate them with childhood. If kids did wear such things on a daily basis, I would, but it's not the case at all. Even modern dolls don't wear that stuff.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

“They live in the inner world of cuteness and immaturity, as if they are refusing to grow into an adult,” he said. “They seem to rebel against the styles of certain age groups imposed by society.”

sounds like the whole country - not just these teen girls....

7 ( +11 / -4 )

I agree with you @majimekun, the disturbing part is that some people see something sexual in it.

And to think that Mana from Malice Mizer is a big reason this trend got started and he's a guy!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Its an attempt to look different and stand out from the crowd in a society where millions of business suited clones are the norm.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Only in Japan is 'lolita' considered a positive word or something to aspire to.

0 ( +10 / -11 )

The clothes, shoes, and assessories are amazing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Why does everything here have to fit into a neat little box? Even the alternative movements have all these silly limitations and definitions. Compartmentalized to some extreme degree of detail.

The ladies here could learn a thing or two from American altnerative movements like Goth for example. Age is not an issue, economic strata is irrelevant and conforming to a very specific pattern is not required. Instead, young and older women just follow what they feel works.

Some notable Goth girls I know work in high end tech companies, make great money, have great relationships and are involved in community etc... While another is in the medical field, pink hair and all.

The point is simple. If you love a fashion or a movement or just want to express yourself, why not go for it? If it makes you feel good, happy and alive, then have it your way. Forget the boxes, forget age, forget requirements.

If Japan needs anything to happen to make people here a little more free and happy, then it is to shatter all these tiny boxes that society has constructed to pigeonhole people. Live a little, kick down those walls!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

SmithinJapan. I do agree the name is no good, too many bad suggestions imbedded there.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Fashion - great. Naming of fashion - not so great (ie. Lolita, Steam Punk, Hippster).

3 ( +3 / -1 )

"They live in the inner world of cuteness and immaturity, as if they are refusing to grow into an adult,” he said. “They seem to rebel against the styles of certain age groups imposed by society.”

Yeah, okay, but when they turn forty it's really time to move on.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How is it disturbing? It's just clothes. Let them dress like Victorian dolls if they want.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

More annoyingly freakish and disturbing than anything else. Makes you wonder what goes on in their heads.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

They live in the inner world of cuteness and immaturity, as if they are refusing to grow into an adult,

You can say that again...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Taking its name from the title of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel about a middle-aged man’s sexual obsession with a 12-year-old girl, Lolita style embodies the childhood world of fairytales and comic-book fantasy

Lets see pedo & childhood fantasy/fairytales makes a perverted mix for sure & thats whats its ALL about here, those that think this is JUST fashion aint paying attention, there are a ton of sickos out there who are into women who dress in this stuff, I am no prude but I dont see any good in this stuff, too creepy!

-1 ( +2 / -2 )

I don't think these girls think too much about why they are wearing this stuff. They think it is cool so wear it. Personally, I find them to be freaks but that's just me.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I dont see this kind of fashion (if the picture is anything to go by) as "lolita". Lolita or lolicon to me is middle-aged creepy men gong after 10, 11, 12 year old idols whose parents quite frankly should be locked up for putting out pics of them in their undies anyway, and letting them get up on stage and eat bananas while hordes of men snap pics with their cellphones.

This to me is more a spin off from the "gothic", "cosplay" and other trends a sort of fantasy style dress that incorates Victorian era doll-style with a bit of Alice in Wonderland. Nothing more than girls playing dress-up when they are really too old for it really. I dont see how it is titillating myself, but I am sure there are some weirdos out there who get off on it.

Try raising a daughter in this culture - it is a nightmare!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

“Japanese girls love cute things, but they also love things that are slightly disturbing,”

I find the kawaii obsession disturbing. To be proud of these trends is sick.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I love this fashion but sadly now that I live out in the boonies, I don't have anywhere to wear my dresses to. I know a few others that were into this as well and it was because of the fashion. I think it can be a beautiful look that suits some people well. It looks great on all shapes, especially one with curves unlike a lot of other fashion here. I didn't care so much about the looks I got when I went around Harajuku, but rather just enjoyed being in something rather than jeans and a sweater.

However, the name ''Lolita'' is really a misnomer. I think it would be better suited for people who are no longer students, but wear their uniforms to get older mens attention.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Is funny how they try to escape from the fashion standards but they never find individuality.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Why does everything here have to fit into a neat little box?

cuz we are on the island

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

“They live in the inner world of cuteness and immaturity, as if they are refusing to grow into an adult,” he said. “They seem to rebel against the styles of certain age groups imposed by society.”

Bull

tkoind2 says it as it is.

tkoind2Dec. 21, 2011 - 10:22AM JST

Why does everything here have to fit into a neat little box? Even the alternative movements have all these silly limitations and definitions. Compartmentalized to some extreme degree of detail.

The ladies here could learn a thing or two from American altnerative movements like Goth for example. Age is not an issue, economic strata is irrelevant and conforming to a very specific pattern is not required. Instead, young and older women just follow what they feel works.

Some notable Goth girls I know work in high end tech companies, make great money, have great relationships and are involved in community etc... While another is in the medical field, pink hair and all.

The point is simple. If you love a fashion or a movement or just want to express yourself, why not go for it? If it makes you feel good, happy and alive, then have it your way. Forget the boxes, forget age, forget requirements.

If Japan needs anything to happen to make people here a little more free and happy, then it is to shatter all these tiny boxes that society has constructed to pigeonhole people. Live a little, kick down those walls!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese prefer 15-year-olds who look like children.

Foreigners prefer 15-year-olds who look like women.

-4 ( +7 / -13 )

i'm all for the "cuteness", they really are unbearably cute, absolutely nothing disturbing. if you want to know what is truly disturbing, take a look at lady gaga next door:

http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/going-gaga-2

1 ( +3 / -2 )

it is disturbing on so many levels - as mentioned above the sameness of it all. no individuality is glaring

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I don't think this is lolita nor do I find it that sexual, unlike the short skirts. I think it more "Alice in Wonderland" stuff. I'm happy to see it because its different and always very nice. There are quite a few here in Kobe.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

What began as a street fashion two decades ago as youngsters "aped" the doll-like European styles

More like "raped"

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

thats hot! i love lolita <3

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

They're just harmless otaku girls - let 'em have their fun. The disturbing thing is where women in their 30s continue dressing in this gear - I've seen it and it's not pretty.

I'm more of a traditionalist - I like my girls in micro-skirts and low-cut tops. But that's just me.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

and that is a topic in which the perverts rejoice.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

First thing comes to my mind when I see those pictures. Someone is in need of a shrink.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I don't associate this with anything disturbing - to me it's just girls playing funky dress-ups. I have heard people say it is a example of self expression in what is a fairly rigid society. Perhaps it is. My feeling is that it is more the name that offends than the actual clothes. Whenever I see these girls I just think they are having a bit of dress up fun with their friends, and not much more. They don't sit around on street corners smoking dope and threatning passers by. It all seems pretty harmless to me. And I do think it is creative and inventive and shows a certain freedom and acceptance by Japanese people in general.

7 ( +6 / -0 )

I think it's girls doing what girls do, having a bit of fun dressing up in wild fashion. I love the frilly lace and Victorian style of the outfits. I only wish I was young enough to join in the fun! The clothing is neither sexy or provocative except in the minds eye of certain people. That's certainly not the girls fault.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Fuelling the desires of the lonely salaryman....so sad!! Yet another way to get him to put his hand in his pocket..... Unfortunately for more than one reason !!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"Only in Japan is 'lolita' considered a positive word or something to aspire to." agreed. In the west we use "jail bait"

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Well I like the style, (not for me though), but I find it interesting, and it's something unique. I agree that it looks more like cosplay, I mean, I don't see actually any girl in small cities dressing like that, only in Tokyo (and maybe in other bigger cities as well).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

i dont see nothin wrong..

2 ( +4 / -2 )

normal high school girl uniforms are usually way more revealing than this kind of fashion. I know it is winter now but don't forget summer in the city here in Japan!! super short skirts, top three buttons undone on the super flimsy see through white school blouse. THAT is way more disturbing just for the fact that this is generally accepted and no one seems to bat an eye. These goth-loli's don't seem to me to be that revealing in terms of the clothing at all.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The point is simple. If you love a fashion or a movement or just want to express yourself, why not go for it? If it makes you feel good, happy and alive, then have it your way. Forget the boxes, forget age, forget requirements.

If Japan needs anything to happen to make people here a little more free and happy, then it is to shatter all these tiny boxes that society has constructed to pigeonhole people. Live a little, kick down those walls!

You said it!!

Many young girls, in their teens or early twenties, in many cultures do things or wear things that are some kind of trend. They are exploring what it is to be feminine and a woman; discovering their sexuality. This is a natural part of growing up. The only problem is if the girl becomes so attached to the fashion that instead of gaining the power and individuality she was searching for, she actually just ends up conforming in another way.

I think it takes balls to wear an outfit like that in public. I would imagine most women who are into it, have a strong sense of themselves. It could be dangerous, however, for naive young girls who are just out to seek attention...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think the lolita look is really neat, especially the first picture. And young people everywhere alway find a trend that is their own. You should come to NYC and see all the young people wearing their pant down to their ankles, even girl are doing it. One day I was in China town, where I witnes a child which could not be more than three years old, his pant was down to his ankles, he was in style too, I had to laugh. The lolitas design is for young girls, the moment adults started to enjoy that style, I bet you any money, they will leave it behind and go on to something else. .

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I would imagine most women who are into it, have a strong sense of themselves. It could be dangerous, however, for naive young girls who are just out to seek attention...

I think all who wear such outfits have a mental disease forcing them to self exhibit themselves. All people who wear ridiculous outfits in a cosplay fashion I think have some mental problems, sorry

-8 ( +1 / -8 )

"I don't see how an article of clothing can be indecent. A person, yes." -Robert A. Heinlein

0 ( +2 / -2 )

My question is when they are out of these dresses, are they normal OL, high school students & retail workers? Or do they wear these outrageous get-ups all day long?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This article is bogus and obviously written by a misinformed outsider. Ignorance to Japanese Fashion is obvious here and this is so untrue of Japanese lolita fashion. Ignorance is bliss I wouldn't know how someone so misinformed could even write such a poor article. Japanese lolita has nothing to do with Vladimir Nabokov’s novel.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This article was written because someone paid big bucks to advertise. Its total nonsense. Girls dressing like dolls of the past are just that, girls dressing like dolls. A trend like any other trend, especially in Japan, is just that. A trend! Japan is so "do as the Joneses" anything comes out a certain target group and their friends/neigbors rush to buy it. I like the fact that the designer, at age 25, feels too old to dress in the ridiculous outfits she creates.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm just jealous that clothes like this weren't really available when I was a teenager - I would definitely have been interested in something like this, which is far less revealing/annoying than "ganguro" style or even your average high school uniform....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

disturbing

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think that lolita is a result of gender role reversal in the plane of taboo on the expression of desire. Westerners like gentlemen - men who are attractive but do not express their desire. E.g. James Bond always seems to just be, while women get the hots for him. More recently however, Justin Bieber may be part of a similar but role reversed loli-man phenomenon. These (gentle) men and boys are passively sexy as are lolicon Japanese girls. Or conversely, in the West women are allowed to be and thought to be natural, desiring, expressive of their desire. In Japan, men are allowed to be, and thought to be voracious. The role reversal is particularly apparent in pornography where Western pornography often features wild lascivious inviting women seducing repressed men, whereas Japanese pornography features cute, lolicon, shy, ashamed women being drawn out of themselves, or seduced by garrulous men. In any event lolicon is a product of the Japanese fear of female desire. A desiring woman is not sexy but a monster.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I agree with you in parts timtak. You make interesting points. I just think you ascribe single reasons to explain away whole phenomenon too much. Consider that many extremely popular anime feature strong female characters, even if those anime are not sexual in nature. I think its the men making the sexual stuff who either don't like strong women or have not figured out how to insert them into their creations.

And certainly western porn is not all or mostly women seducing men. Its quite the opposite. We just have that genre more is all.

I especially love your Justin Bieber comment. Should inspire humility. Probably won't!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Beauty (and obscenity) is in the eye of the beholder. Nabokov's Lolita was a victim, not a perpetrator or a pervert, so there is nothing morally wrong with teenage girls dressing in the "lolita" style. I've been much more disgusted with some middle-aged male friends who put them down for "dressing like hookers". Having said that, if these girls understood better what role they could be seen as playing, maybe they would tone it down a bit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Baby make the stars shine bright.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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