For a while I’ve been contemplating with myself on the idea of Lolita and individualism: Can Lolitas be considered individuals because of what they wear and how they think?
Some would say “no” because an individual is one who stands out from a crowd, as in they think , dress, act differently from everyone else around them and when you place a Lolita in a crowd of Lolitas, they are no longer individuals. One could ask “how are Lolitas individuals when all we do is copy what we see in the magazines and accept that to be ‘lolita’?”
But I guess it all comes down to how you define the term individual. My personal belief of the definition of the term ‘individual’ stems from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “self-reliance”
“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”
In other words, I believe a Lolita can be an individual because she relies on herself to decide for herself to wear her clothes and act a certain way. She does not rely on others to tell whether or not her mode of dress and mannerisms is ‘right/acceptable’ or ‘wrong/unacceptable’ but heeds to her own belief when she says “The Lolita fashion suits me and I like it”. I think the fact that many of us here have defined for ourselves “what is Lolita” is what makes us an individual as opposed to simply accepting what the definition of Lolita is from someone else (or the Gothic and Lolita Bibles) without question. Just because some of our ideals may coincide with others doesn’t mean we’re just copying their ideas or following
I don’t think individualism is just a matter of being different. Maybe that’s the definition some people refer to when they talk about people dressing differently and being ‘unique’.
What do you guys think?