Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, Who is the Fairest of Them All?

Mirrors have been considered magical for as long as they have been around. Scrying mirrors, the famous Magic Mirror Snow White's stepmother used to reaffirm her own beauty, Alice's Looking Glass world, and many more! Vampires can be revealed with a mirror for they have no reflection. Have you ever played Bloody Mary in the dark? I was always too scared as a child to try it!

What is it about these reflective pieces of glass that enchants and inspires such legends and folklore? Perhaps it is because mirrors reflect everything around them unconditionally. They show us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That is, unless you are using funhouse mirrors

Looking glasses are our friends. They help us when we put on our makeup, style our hair, take outfit snaps for Daily_Lolita when a self-timer doesn't work, and allow us to make sure we look picture-perfect before heading out the door!

But sometimes we look in the mirror for so long that we begin to warp what we see with our minds. We trick ourselves into thinking we are too fat, too thin, not pretty enough. We nitpick about things nobody would ever notice. Not a single hair can be out of place, not a single pimple can remain uncovered. When we lose ourselves to an idealized, impossible standard, mirrors become our worst enemy.

In a world where everybody is a critic and mass media sets the standard, oftentimes we push ourselves to achieve the impossible, photoshopped perfection that we have grown accustomed to seeing everywhere. To make matters worse, the anonymity of the Internet has created havens for cyberbullies to tear down their victims with no fear of repercussion.

This fear of being judged negatively has put a lot of pressure on us as girls, teens, young adults, and Lolitas to be perfect. How many times have you seen newcomers post to EGL or Daily_Lolita with "please don't be too harsh!" or "Sorry, I'm a n00b"? We were all beginners once, let us not forget, so who are we to point fingers? No matter how impeccable our Lolita coordinate is now, we will be seen as "weirdos" and "freaks" by mainstream society. Why create more rifts within our own community? Try to remember what it felt like the first time you fell in love with the ruffles and laces. Recall the excitement of every new Brand update and the first meetup you ever attended. The giddiness of newfound joy may cause some hyperactive posting or questions, but we should encourage new Lolitas rather than pushing them away. Fashion grows when new minds and new ideas come together with the old ones.

Angelic Pretty from the first Gothic Lolita Bible and the most recent. Style evolution - it's happening

Of course, at some point you will probably meet negative comments online or in real life. The best solution? Have confidence! You are wearing beautiful clothes, so hold your head up high and be proud! Take constructive criticism gracefully, and ignore mean-spirited teasing. If you feel the need to vent about a particularly bad incident, there is always Angry Lace to listen!

Step back from the mirror, take a breath, and know that you are good enough the way you are! Frizzy hair, uneven eyeliner, and all!