Friday, March 11, 2011

Lolitas and Etiquette -- Its not just for lifestylers

What do you think constitutes Lolita etiquette? How hard do you have to practice it before you’re good at it? In a perfect world, should everyone practice this etiquette, or just Lolitas and Aristocrats?
Here’s a hot topic. Etiquette is such a specific word, but I think we all get the gist here. I do think there are some etiquette standards that should be followed in general, but especially while in lolita. We’re an odd subculture, we’re easy to spot so if one of us makes a bad impression then we’re putting bad labels on the group to those who witness it. Yes there is a certain amount of "why care what others think" but if people think too badly of us then they can make things miserable for us. It doesn’t matter what you wear, OTT Sweet Lolita or just jeans and t-shirts, if people don’t like you then they don’t like you.

That being sad, this is more etiquette to be a good person that is especially important when in lolita. One of the most ita things to me is to be a really terrible person. You don’t have to be a prim and proper young lady but don’t be a dick.

1) Be polite
You can be dressed as gothic or punk as lolita gets but if you’re a polite person then people are probably going to be okay with you.
2) Don’t leave a mess
Just because you’re in a restaurant or shop and someone is paid to keep it tidy doesn’t mean you should be a pig.
3) Be patient
You’re drawing attention to yourself with a beautiful outfit. Don’t be mean when someone asks you about it (unless of course they call you a prostitute at which point they don’t need patience and politeness if you don’t want to spare it).
4) Say Please and Thank You
A subset of politeness but one that needs to be highlighted.
5) Be on time
This is just the most prominent example of "be respectful to others". Seriously. If you’re always running late it is annoying and incredibly disrespectful. If you’re late once in a while it is alright because sometimes things do happen and people will understand that.
6) Don’t groom in public
This is just one of those things. Scratching a zit off or adjusting your wig at the dinner table is gross. Reapplying lipstick or powder is rude at the table. It says "I don’t respect you enough to excuse myself."
7) Don’t chew with your mouth open.
So basic but come on. That’s just standard.

There are also some things which can be considered rude but have exceptions, like:
1) Having to answer your phone at the table/when it would be a disruption.
As long as you let the people you are with know that you may need to answer calls and then duck out when you have to take one it is okay. In this day and age some of us are on call for work or other very important obligations and we have to answer the phone. Try to make as little of a fuss as possible when leaving to take the call though.
2) Leaving early or joining late.
Just don’t make a fuss of it and make sure you’ve let the person organizing the meet up know ahead of time.
3) Eating in front of others when they are not eating.
Offer to share if you can or just do it as nonchalantly as possible. Most of us know that some people have to watch their blood sugar or have other needs like that, so just don’t make it an issue and the people around you will probably not make it an issue.
4) Chewing gum.
Pfft. Gum is not rude by itself. Gum is rude when you chomp on it and draw attention to it.
So, as it turns out there is a running theme to these. If, when you see someone doing something and think, "Man, that person is being an ass," don’t do it yourself.

1 comment:

  1. I really like your article and I agree with everything! I'm especially glad to hear that you think people should be polite in Lolita because they are drawing attention to themselves. I've always thought it was very rude of the girls in my party to make impolite comments to people who asked about our clothes.

    I don't know if you're aware of this, but the woman who wrote the book Gothic Charm School says the same thing towards Goths, which I find interesting. We have to remember that we represent everyone in our subculture in the eyes of outsiders, even if it seems unfair.