A Gothic and Lolita Preface
It's been brought to my attention that some people are offended by my site, and by how I have stated things and what I have said. And I am sorry, not for what I have said, but for how I have said it. I have a tendency to just throw things up places without giving any background or explaination. I figured it would be okay, since I didn't expect anyone would care what I had to say...but maybe I was wrong I guess. And then I got mad because people were saying bad things about it without telling me so I could fix them...I don't have much of a temper, but it's pretty extreme when it's there. Anyway ;_; Don't be discouraged, foreign lolis.
So I'll try to explain. You all deserve it, some of the Japanese lolitas deserve it, and in a sense Mana does too since he's established the gothic lolita style. Feel free to flame me in the guest book if I do a bad job.
In America, I have heard, it is very important to fit a "type" of fashion, such as with goths. This is only heresay though (I being not tied at all to the American gothic scene). Maybe it is the same elsewhere. In the Japanese lolita scene it is also important to an extent to fit in to a category, but the categories are broader in what they can encompass. The categories that I believe everyone will recognize are punk, goth, lolita, and casual. But after you get past those the lines start getting fuzzier as you get into more detailed descriptions.
Of the terms here, the only ones people are almost certain to know and use are "Gosuloli" and "Amaloli" because they compliment one another. The next common are "shirololi" and "kurololi." As for the other styles, maybe people have heard of them and do not consider them important, or maybe they have never even heard them before. At any rate, they are not always part of an individual's lolita vocabulary.
Nor is it important to set yourself to following the exact rules to a category. True, if you try to mix a gothic or punk blouse with a lolita skirt people are going to tell you, "something else might look better..." (the Japanese way of saying *go change*), but an amaloli is an amaloli to many, gosuloli a gosuloli, etc. And in some cases it is good to somehow go outside the categories (my newest outfit will be a black boz shirt and skirt with striped socks and rag doll pigfalls with gigantic polka dot bows - I'll tell you how it goes)
This list is not here to tell you what you should be, but to give you a vocabulary of what there is and, I have to admit, to restrict your self expression just a little. Despite how much you may want to be an individual there are limits to what one should and should not do (if one is aspiring to be comparable to a Japanese lolita). For example, erololi means tank top to many people. It does not mean "sportsbra" or "sticking your finger in your mouth and hitching your skirt up to your bottom." Nor does it mean showing cleavage. There is also a fine line between "lolita" and "grandma"...not that grandma means hitching your skirt up I hope...XD
Plus, a Japanese lolita would never think of posting her picture on the internet just to have people tell her how pretty she is. Often times she probably doesn't care what others think.
There are no agreed upon rules as to who can wear what, and some Japanese lolita have told me they look up to foreigners for their "blond hair, blue eyes, and pale skin" (for all that foreigners may look up to the Japanese ^^). However, there is a concept called "niau/niawanai" (it suits you/it doesn't suit you). The only way to truly be painful in everyone else's eyes is to wear something "niawanai." As to what this is, it differs from person to person, and I am afraid I really would insult some of you if I told you some of the things I have heard. So I won't.
So with that, although it is still a work in progress, these are the recognized categories for lolita. Ones such as "Romantic" and "Hime" are themselves questionable. If you know of any other types, then they are probably not recognized by most Japanese to fit into the lolita category...but email me (bejente at hotmail.com) and I'll ask around (or tell you outright you're wrong if you really are >_<) Just keep in mind that if you are wearing pastels or flower prints it's very highly unlikely you're gothic lolita.
Lastly, I have prejudices. First of all, PLEASE do not argue with me about non-Jrock guys being lolitas other than how I have outlined. That is something I will get rather nasty about if pressed. Nor do I expect anyone to argue with the definitions I have provided for EGA and EGL; these are the direct translations from Mana's site, and EGA and EGL are entirely his own. Second, I do not agree with the support group atmosphere of American lolitas; honestly, not everyone and everything is "beautiful", though it would be nice. If you post a "loli" picture, please dress loli at least. And last, try to stick somewhat to the Japanese lolita concepts you see and find what you actually look good in, not what you would like to look good in. For me, the clothes are not there to make me look good, I am there to try not to make them look bad.
Anyway, the outline. Kogaru are here as a similar but opposite subculture. Their sexual identity places them in opposition to lolitas, but the extremes to which some of them will go in style is oddly the same as lolitas.