Monday, March 12, 2018

When was the last time you actively approached and consumed lolita culture?

A few weeks ago I visited an art exhibition with oil paintings made by Ulrika Wärmling. She has been depicting parts of the Swedish lolita culture for almost 15 years. The exhibition itself consisted of new and old works, most of them being two metre long panels. It gives quite an impression.

Art exhibitions are one of many reoccuring activities within my local lolita community. Such super focused exhibitions like Ulrika Wärmling's that are specifically on the topic of lolita is uncommon, most of the time the exhibition topic revolves around something more or less remotely relevant to a generic lolita's interests. Lolita fashion is still a subculture in which the interpretation, the idea of and the expression around the subculture is under a constant forward motion. We ourselves create, nurture and further the culture.

When EGL was alive and kicking on Livejournal, the online community was my primary lolita community. I looked through the Black Lolita mailing list, checked new entries on Livejournal and made the usual rounds of reading other lolitas' journals or blogs. I stared longingly at dresses I couldn't afford. Text based posts where more common than picture based posts so I took the time to read, comment and spin on through a topic. Consuming lolita culture for me, back then, was something that I saw as my me-time in front of the computer.

As lolita culture has been more widespread and known, there are naturally more platforms available that allow space for lolitas online. Online communities are available on Facebook, amino and the likes. Fellow lolitas have their own Youtube channels, Instagram accounts or Vero profiles. After I got my smartphone, my approach to consuming lolita culture is less of an outreachable action and more of an aggregated action. I have my chosen sources available at any time, in my hand, chosen because they are in abundance, all gathered up in one or two flows of strokes. I read shorter texts, I admire more photos, my comments are shorter. Time seems scarcer or is it that time has another sense of meaning now for me?

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