Monday, December 5, 2011

Brolita basics: Public perception

Dressing in lolita out in public is not easy. Surely you have heard the stories of lolitas who are ridiculed and occasionally threatened by people not comfortable with our style. And it takes courage for any one of us to be able to dress up and face the world in our frills and lace.

This is most assuredly true for any and all brolitas. In a world where a lolita is hardly accepted, how much more when it is a guy donning a petticoat and a dress. So today I am going to help present you some situations which I have been involved in and some pro tips that could help you out.

I love being a brolita. I do not think I would ever give this up if I did not have to. But being a brolita does not come without some territory: Anxiety.

I would straight up be lying to you if I told you I did not get anxious when going out in public all dolled up and floofy. Yes, even after two years of dressing as a brolita and getting reactions from the public, I still get anxious every time I step out of my apartment or my car to go to a meetup or a day out into town.

The very first time I dressed in public was 2 years and 2 months ago. I was going to a small con called EXP con, just south of Jacksonville, FL. (O do not mind the little bit of shameless promotion :P) My bodyline order had just arrived prior and I really wanted to take lolita out for a test run. And I figured a con was as safe a place to do it. Everything went as expected, with most people either "meh" or "O hey, you are a trap!". As I mentioned, I was not surprised. I was quite easily a dude in a dress at the time.

My first actual public appearance outside of a con was at a movie theatre with my friend who too had just ordered her fair share of lolita clothing. I do not remember what movie we saw that night, only that our most received comment was "Happy halloween!" though in a very very sarcastic manner. Though as was customary in my life I ignored the comment(s).

Soon after that, a tea party was held at a private residence. Needless to say, I was most anxious at this meet. It was definitely a huge step meeting new lolita(s) for the first time and an even bigger one to present yourself in front of their family. But the reactions were far more accepting than I had anticipated. This was a huge step in my lolita confidence development.

Finally, my first public appearance at a meetup occurred at my 4 month mark as a lolita, when I attended Orlando's lolita meetup in February of 2010. Despite being around not only other lolitas but also some kodonas, it was hard not to notice the stares, laughs, and ridicules sent our way.

Of course, as time has gone on, I have become more and more comfortable going out in lolita. Not so comfortable to the point that I could let my guard down. But comfortable enough to walk around and answer people's questions. The past two years have helped me develop some pro tips that have helped me overcome the anxiety that comes with going to meets, especially for the first time.

1) Practice making your illusion looking as good as possible. Nothing makes a brolita an easier target than one who's clearly identifiable as a dude in a dress. I understand that there are some things beyond your control, such as an Adam's Apple and other subtle clues that are near impossible to hide. But at the same time, there are many things you can do to help create the illusion of a female to the outside world. For example, having a fresh shave not only on your face but also any part of your legs that may be visible will help you better blend in. Look back to my "Brolita Basics: Transformation" for other pointers.

2) Be prepared to received everything, both positive and negative. People will compliment you. People will ridicule you. People will enjoy seeing a change of pace. People will see "different" people who stick out like a sore thumb. People will want to take their picture with you. People will rudely sneak pictures of you. Its all gonna happen and you cannot let these things, especially the negatives, get you down.

3) Ignore people who seek to be negative. This is not contrary to number 2. There is a difference between receiving a negative comment and acting on it and receiving one and ignoring it. As I mentioned in 2, do not let people's comments of you get you down. Here is what I always tell myself: : 2 minutes from now, I am never ever gonna see this guy/gal ever again." Though sometimes I can see how this is not an option for some.

4) This is more my personal thing than an actual recommendation. But I carry a pair kunai and a can of mace on me whenever I am out and about in lolita. Even outside of lolita, I am not exactly inspiring fear into other people, male or female. So in lolita, I like to carry things that give me a fighting chance if any sort of confrontation should occur. Not that I expect one to occur. But better to be prepared than sorry.

Kunai are Con style. Mace is from K-mart.

5) Have friends join you. I personally will not be caught alone in lolita for any longer than a few minutes. Though the illusion I cast to other people is good, it is easily broken when I speak. And all it takes is one wrong perception for a perfectly good day to turn sour.

 Savannah lolitas! Whenever I am feeling up for a lolita day in Savannah, I give these girls a call :3

6) Walk with an air of confidence. I find that when I walk with a purpose, I am able to zone people out. And the comments I do hear, I am better able to fend them off. Unless of course its someone giving me a compliment or wanting to stop me to ask a question. This final tip may be much harder said than done. And you may not be able to do it your first time around. But keep working on it and in time you should be able to walk more confidently in public while being dolled up.

Hopefully these experiences help out those brolitas who will be donning the frills for the first time in public.


  1. Thank you for the tips! I've yet to frill-up in public yet and am quite nervous about it..making the illusion good is so hard XD

  2. Love that loli-day picture of you, you look gorgeous! And great article, I've had a similar one brewing in the back of my mind for a while. The confidence part is especially key. :)

  3. I found that after the first time, there was no stopping me. I go out in Lolita alone all the time and the only comments I get are really positive. The only slightly negative comment I had was when some drunk men shouted "It's Mary Poppins!". I just laughed! A woman just stopped me in the street recently and just told me I looked amazing. It made me feel amazing. Just do it. Give zero fucks!