Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Down the Rabbit Hole - A Hunt, Lolitas, and Me
The RMK Bunny Hunt has about another two weeks in it, so there's still time to get some of the awesome prizes available. In this case, I'm wearing the outfit and shoes from the two Flagship Shops of the sim, which were made both charming and to match. RokumeikaN offers a single size outfit, but I found it fit well out of the box and hopefully it will for other people as well. I love the pale pastel blue of it, the frills on the shirt - even the shorts, though I'm not normally a shorts kind of girl. This is a distinctly Prince Lolita look with some girly frills - the bow, the purse - to frill it out. The shoes, made to match and also available in other colors, are from Theater Chain and seamlessly meld with the outfit. I took my ensemble further Prince-like in my styling - removing the bow and the purse and adding on this adorable tophat from katat0nik, which is a reminder of why I love her Lolita styling so much. It is a gatcha prize from the Arcade Event, which means that it's a gambling to get the one you want, but all of them are so inventive and adorable that even a few should settle you well. I paired it with a short, boyish hairstyle from Wasabi Pills, and otherwise kept the look very basic and neutral - sticking with a bare skin and simple nails from Pulcino - a final RMK Bunny Hunt, and an awesome set of striped nails - metallic and colorful. I used the white and gunmetal, but there are bunches of different colors included in the set. The pose sets I use, with their accompanying props, were an old purchase from Uncertain Smile, and are part of why that store is a growing force in my inventory for sims which don't allow scripts to be run (which is a distressingly high number of them for a HUD-based poser like me). The props are well-made and suite the poses, and my only complaint would be how few are in a set; it's hard to do a full set of six pictures when I'm working off of under ten poses. That problem will be best served with time, though, as I see a lot of Uncertain Smile in my future purchases.
The following is a little dark - so if you want to leave everything on a sparkly note, read no further.
One of the interesting things about the Lolita style and community is that while it started in one very proscribed place - and some of the tendency for rigid classification remains in the bones of the style - it has branched out incredibly far in terms of what is possible and considered Lolita. I rarely go full on, though my favorite style of all is Hime Lolita, the girliest and frilliest of the lot; if I were to make a dress offline, it would be in a rainbow Hime Lolita style with hair to match. My relationship with Lolita is not without it's quirks, though; one of the common critiques of Lolita is that it is about the sexualization of cuteness. Another is that it's about infantalizing women. Both have their valid perspectives - while Lolita is culturally about modesty, the name is most closely associated with the book by Vladimir Nabokov about the systematic predation of a stepfather on his stepdaughter, which included the common inaccurate rationalization of her seducing him (one which is often repeated by people who don't read the text closely - this is one flaw with unreliable narrators) and the subsequent damage to her which is observed but not understood by the society which surrounds her. There is a dark irony to the fact that so many people blame Lolita for what happened to her - an echo of the thousands of children who are still blamed for being targeted successfully by sexual predators. There is another irony to a subset of women claiming the same title for a community based not only around women, but also women as non-sexual but still attractive people.
In the end, the charge of infantalizing has more teeth than a double irony of a name - making Lolita into what she should have been, an innocent girl who became a woman without the predation of a man. There are definite issues with women retreating into a false innocence, and while the individual reasons may vary widely, the cultures they are responding to are disappointingly similar. One of the twisted aspects of societies in which sexual abuse is used as crowd control over people is that the history and identity of the victim is more relevant to whether they are blamed for being abused than any actions on the part of the predator. So, pre-pubescent, white children are the most innocent, prisons in jails pretty low on the list, and the culpability of a woman based on her life, even if the predator had no way of knowing about it; young, white, virgin gives one a decent chance of not being blamed, but every step away from that - even a perceived step based on dress - and the more likely people will blame the victim for what happened to her or him. Within this twisted trap, it's easy to see the appeal of a non-sexual, infantile presentation - it is simply safer in terms of the level of blame one will happen if anything "goes wrong" (see: if a predator targets you). Innocence may not be a defense before an attack, but it might serve that after if one is very lucky.
This is a very dark place to go, especially in the context of something so bright, colorful, and lovely - but I think the motivations of adults are often much more complicated than we initially believe. On the one hand, I cannot deny that part of my draw to Lolita style is the flow, the ruffles, the pretty hairpins, the refined behavior, the white gloves. I have a crown I wear sometimes when I feel down in an echo of a character I read about long ago, who kept her crown in her bed room. I have pretty, work-appropriate clothing that I wear that receives many complements, and crystal-embellished hair clips that I wear as much as I can. The light, sparkling, giggly, fun aspects of the world simply appeal to me on a profound level, and I consider that a basic part of my nature. However, I can't deny that some of it is an escape on a variety of levels from a society which objectifies me and those like me; some of it is an escape from experiences of sexual predation and abuse that I've had; the brightest things in my life often cast very dark shadows, and even as it's in my nature to be drawn to every rainbow that ever was, I'm simultaneously driven to stare into every shadow I find to see my own reflection within it.
We are made up of light and dark, rising and falling, sun and shadow.
( More pictures here. )
Skin: Izzie's, Irene
Hair: Wasabi Pills, Katie
Hat: katat0nik, Cameo Hat (Arcade)
Ears: Illusions, Seelie Ears
Eyes: De La Soul, Rainbow
Eyelashes 1: SLink, Mesh Lashes
Eyelashes 2: Flugeln Brise, 05-A
Wings: Deviance, Sidhe
Hands: SLink, Rigged Mesh Hands
Nails: Pulcino, Coffee Time (RMK Bunny Hunt Prize)
Outfit: RokumeikaN, Alice (RMK Bunny Hunt Prize)
Shoes: Theater Chain, Alice Lolita Shoes (RMK Bunny Hunt Prize)
Poses: Uncertain Smile
Location: RMK Gothic
Light Settings: Phototools, Huffepuff 2
Water Settings: Mirror Water
Photographed by Deoridhe Quandry
Post processing: Cropping, only