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Monday, June 18, 2012

Confidence

This past Saturday, I left home to head to Fayetteville for the monthly Clockwork & High Tea Society (CHiTS) meet.  I was decked out in a Sweet Lolita coordinate with two more outfits hanging in my backseat for later that night and the following day which was the day of the monthly Northwest/Central Arkansas Lolita meetup.  I stopped in Blackwell, a small town along I-40, thinking that a gas station there wouldn't possibly be very busy.  Well, I was wrong.  Seemed like every redneck and their brother was there gassing up their trucks, RVs, and fourwheelers.  As I put gas in my car and headed into the mini-mart to pick up something to drink, I made a lot of heads turn.  One older gentleman shouted at me "I like your dress!" so I smiled and thanked him. 

Once back on the road, I realized what courage it took me to go out in public in Lolita.  I live in Arkansas - not the most open-minded of places.  As you can imagine, it's very rare that people know what the fashion is or see anyone dressing in it.  Of course, anyone dressed different than the norm draws a lot of attention in such a homogenous place.  But not only did I realize what courage it took me to go out in Lolita, I also realized how far I've come.

When I first discovered Lolita, it was a secret desire of mine to dress in it.  In my "real life" as you could say, I was well known for being a tomboy.  I never wore dresses or skirts let alone big poofy frilly pink dresses.  No one I knew would have ever had guessed about my interest in the fashion.  When I did express interest in it, I was often put down for it, so it wasn't until I found myself single and on my own that I felt like I could make dressing in Lolita a reality.


At first though, Lolita was still a secret.  I bought a few cheap items and only wore them around my house when I was alone.  Same thing with my interest in Ball Jointed Dolls - I started with one and kept her hidden in a shoebox in my closet, only taking her out to play with her when no one was around.

When I first found my local doll group, I was actually really happy that it was three hours away in Fayetteville rather than closer to where I live.  I figured I could go and be sure that I wouldn't see anyone I knew from "real life".  The doll group (and CHiTS) also proved to be a good place to start wearing Lolita - again, I was hundreds of miles from home and the likelyhood of anyone who knew me seeing me wearing frilly dresses and carrying dolls around was very low.  Plus, there is strength in numbers - it's easier to go out in public in Lolita and/or with dolls when you're not the only one.

Now though, I wear Lolita a lot more often, and I'm not so scared about being by myself when I'm out and about in it - like at the gas station for example.  My friends and I have also gone out wearing Lolita and toting dolls around in my home town - even to places like stores and restaurants.  A year ago, I never would have had the confidence to do any of that.

I think the key, for me anyway, is to just act like it's normal.  I keep my head held high and go about my business like what I'm wearing is not a big deal.  I might feel scared inside, but pretending I'm confident has lead to real confidence.  Of course there are still situations and circumstances that I fear being seen in Lolita (like if I ran into Boyfriend's friends or something), but I've come a long way from the scared little girl hiding out in her house with her dresses and dolls and never leaving the house with either.