Monday, November 22, 2010

Experiment time!

So some of you might be aware that there's been a fair bit of drama going around about me spending my welfare money on lolita. So instead of continuing to argue over it I've made a plan which I hope will be both responsible and fun! Until I get a job (which hopefully will be very soon but who knows?), I won't be buying any clothes or unnecessary items. This includes also going out for meals, buying records, et cetera. Instead I am going to focus on really enjoying what I already have and working out new ways to coordinate things. On top of that, I'll start a dream dress list that I will hopefully be able to start accumulating when I have an income.

Anyway, so that's my plan. It got me thinking about expenses though and where other girls prioritise lolita in their lives. So: do you...

  • Spend all your savings on lolita
  • Save up and only buy things occasionally
  • Never buy lolita but love the fashion
  • Balance out your spending on lolita and your other hobbies
  • Something else I haven't thought of

I'm curious, hope those questions made sense, I'm a little scattered at the moment. Too much coffee perhaps!

Love to you all,

Friday, November 19, 2010


I just wanted to apologise to all the bloggers I'm following and haven't been commenting on. This week has been really stressful and I'm hoping to get back on top of things as soon as possible. Love to you all!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Should a lifestyle lolita be a kind person?

I'm feeling pretty sad today. It's not new to me, but I've started to become painfully aware that I'm living in a world where wanting people to want to love and understand one another is considered naive and childish. People say to me, "this is the real world, get over it" and "too much tolerance is a bad thing", and I'm left feeling like maybe I'm not being realistic - maybe the world is full of horrible, stupid, rude people and I'm just being God's advocate (*for nerds), maybe I need to toughen up and accept a little cynicism into my life. But I don't want to! I'm sick of feeling like I'm a freak or a hippie for suggesting that we should do all we can to be kind to each other, even if they're not the nicest people in the world to us. Maybe it's the church community I grew up in who really lived by the 'turn the other cheek' mentality. I'm not claiming to always live that way, but is it so immature of me to consider that an worthy ideal? I'd like to hope that as I grow as a person I learn to react to everything in a way that's constructive, not just reactive.

I see anger everywhere around me, and it goes against everything I feel I am. Part of wearing lolita goes with a desire to remind the world what it is to be sweet and kind and polite. Does anyone else feel this way? I know for a lot of girls lolita is just clothes, but to me (and I assume this is the case for a lot of lifestyle lolis), it represents something in society that we're missing. It's a rare thing these days that we meet a person who goes out of their way to be kind to a stranger, and I want to see more of it. I can't make others do it, so I feel great wish to be that person who 'sets an example', as egotistical as that sounds. I become very angry at myself when I act unkindly, which happens so much often it shames me. I love lolita because it reminds me to be sweet to people. Am I naive?

How do you feel about lolita and the way you treat other people? Does being dressed in this sweet manner encourage you to try to be sweeter to others? Or does it have no influence on your interactions with others?I've very curious how others see this. If it was up to me, I'd respond to every horrible act over a big sweet smile and a batting of lashes and a cup of tea, with sensitive words and an olive branch.

During the canonization process of the Roman Catholic Church, the Promoter of the Faith (Latinpromotor fidei), popularly known as the Devil's advocate (Latin: advocatus diaboli), was a canon lawyer appointed by Church authorities to argue against the canonization of the candidate. It was their job to take a skeptical view of the candidate's character, to look for holes in the evidence, to argue that any miracles attributed to the candidate were fraudulent, etc. The Devil's advocate opposed God's advocate (Latin: advocatus Dei; also known as the Promoter of the Cause), whose task is to make the argument in favor of canonization. This task is now performed by the Promoter of Justice (promotor iustitiae), who is in charge of examining how accurate is the inquiry on the saintliness of the candidate.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Frills and trills (and an awful play on words)

Under pressure!

So, short post today as I have to get to bed reasonably early - first thing tomorrow I have my eighth grade recorder exam so I need to be fresh and relaxed! Wish me luck, I chose a grade which was much too hard for me! Still, I'm looking forward to it a lot, and it's got me thinking about how much music and lolita go together for me, though the music has always been a part of my life and lolita is relatively new to me.

I'm hoping to start a small ensemble to play baroque and classical music for weddings and other functions - I think it would be cute to wear classic lolita and Victorian style garb and make a real show of it! Unfortunately, it's hard to find people my own age who have a love of baroque music like me, especially someone with a harpsichord or clavichord! I'll probably have to settle for someone who knows how to play harpsichord but has an electric keyboard with a harpsichord sound on it. It doesn't look so good though! :( Ideally I'd like to find a violin, oboe, cello and harpsichord. The sound would be beautiful and we could play trio sonatas and things.

Wow, what a rambling bit of prose that was. Apologies!

Does anyone else feel that classical music is a perfect lolita hobby? The two seem to go hand in hand for me. Let me know if you play an instrument! What came first for you, lolita or playing music? How about lolita and bands? I know a lot of girls love to go to see their favourite bands in lolita - do you do this, or do you leave behind your petticoats and wear sneakers and such for comfort and dancing? If you do go out in lolita to concerts, do you worry about your clothing getting ruined? Do you have 'dirt-friendly' lolita clothing you don't mind getting a bit grubby?

I also love art, and I got chalk pastels all over one of my favourite dresses recently. Luckily it brushed off and you can't tell anymore. It probably helped that the print was dark. Any sad tales of your hobbies getting your lolita ruined?

What are some other hobbies that you consider a nice accompaniment to lolita? Do you embroider, do you paint? Any country lolis who love their veggie patch? As always, I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ethics and a lolita challenge

It occurred to me last night how being into lolita feels a bit uncomfortable for me. I've always been a person who deeply loves the world we live in - its people, plants, animals and environments, and I can't help but feel that my lolita habit is having a less-than-desirable effect on these things. The clothes - synthetic fibres (plastics) which don't break down, shipped all over the world and wasting fossil fuels, plastic bags, and worst of all, materials sewn in cramped factories where the workers are paid so little they can basically never afford to buy new clothes. Does this feel cruel to anyone else? Here I am in my $300 dress, not to mention petticoat, bag, shoes, blouse, feeling like a princess... while some poor woman tears up her hands and injures her back and doesn't get the rest or even the food she needs to make me these clothes. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

Here's one of the few videos I could find which shows how things are in clothing factories and cotton picking fields (yes, people still pick cotton!). Skip to around 2minutes, but I warn you, it's sickening and heart-breaking:

But I love lolita. So so much. I'm thinking about learning to sew (have been saying this for a long time!) and if I get any good at it, starting a clothing line that makes ethical lolita clothing - organic cottons, sewn by me, printed with vegetable dyes, and so on. I want to create something that says: you can be beautiful AND good to the world. Recycled fabrics would also feature largely in my designs.

If I learn to sew and come up with some nice designs, would you be interested? The clothing would probably cost a little more than standard handmade clothing, but less than brand, and you could wear it feeling good that you're doing something for the environment and not exploiting poor workers in impoverished countries!

I couldn't find footage of any lolita factories (no surprise there) but I doubt the conditions at places like Bodyline are better - and I wouldn't put money on big brands like AP having better working conditions either.

Now on a lighter note (I need cheering up after all that), unusual_alice at My Princess Garden has left us bloggers with a challenge - to make some new lolita friends! Online, penpal, in person, whatever! She writes:

To anyone reading this post! I have a challenge for you! Whether or not you accept it is up to you, but lets give it our best shot to help all of those lonely lolita's out there feel at home! Whether you are lonley or not, I would love to ask of everyone to find someone on Livejournal, msn, facebook, whatever you like, and try and make friends! You can message each other, send gifts, and one day, you may have realized that you have found a best friend :)

So, if you'd like to be my pen-pal, leave a comment or email me at and I'd love to make friends with you! ^__^

Thanks for reading, if you're not following already please do, I post most days!

Ramble ramble!

Looks like it's that time again!

"What time?" you ask? Surely none other than the time for you favourite...

Today, in lieu of having anything truly meaningful to write about, I'm going to tell you all about things that you will no doubt have no interest in whatsoever. I must also apologise profusely in advance for both typographical errors and needlessly verbose language. 

So today some new wrist-cuffs I bought arrived (second-hand like pretty much everything else I buy). Here's a picture of them: 

They are Angelic Pretty. They're also a little bit too big for my wrists, but I suppose that's a good thing because then they can fit over long sleeves too. Exciting stuff. I also ordered a Milky Berry one-piece in mint, and a deliciously colourful petticoat. Enough of the purchasing talk though.

Some of you might be wondering who this girl is who writes these blogs. What does she do? Where does she live? Why isn't she doing something more important than writing drunken rambling blogs on a Monday night? Valid questions indeed! I will make a most valiant attempt to answer them all, but please, if you're still curious (god knows why you would be though) after reading all this, leave me some questions in the comments and I'll (probably) answer them.

Firstly, a warning: I am one of those irritating artsy people who have a multitude of hobbies but not a lot to show for it. I'm unemployed and on the dole. A lot of people find this infuriating because they work hard all week so they can afford the things they want, and lucky me, I get paid every fortnight by the government to socialise and buy beautiful clothes. I say this with more than a little sarcasm. Among other things, I'm looking for work as an artist and musician, and struggling with mental illness. I am incredibly grateful to be living in a country where I can survive (albeit with my mum) on the money I'm given. My anxiety is crippling and I don't see myself ever holding down a serious job involving any amount of stress unless something BIG changes. I'm optimistic though, hopefully one day I'll be able to sell my art and make music and make a living from it. If you're curious, here's a picture of one of my paintings in progress:
work in progress.
I have an exhibition coming up at the end of the month and am inexpressibly excited about it. Hopefully this one will be finished by then, along with a few others that I can sell.

As well as that, I put a lot of time and energy into music - I play the recorder (laugh all you like, and then listen to this: I have an exam on Thursday that I'm stressing about enormously. I'm also hoping to start a small chamber ensemble to play for weddings and the like. I think it would be fun!

I also do some cleaning part-time. I can't wear lolita doing that (imagine bleach all over those beautiful prints! *sadface!*), so I wear it as much as I possibly can when I'm not doing that sort of stuff. When I'm not doing any of the aforementioned activities, I love to read and write and learn things. I am an enormous nerd and learning new things about biology and physics and linguistics makes me extremely happy. If you like music and mathematics, and even astronomy, check this out, it will blow your mind: -read the info for more ingeniousness!

Finally, before I bore you all to death - a picture of the love of my life:

He is ironically named Ninja - he has broken more bones than he actually has in his body. Somehow. From jumping off things mostly.

Hope you all tolerated my drunken ramblings (courtesy of Amarula and milk, my new favourite drink, it reminds me of danishes), and you're having a lovely day or evening or whatever time it might be in your vicinity. And please comment letting me know if there's anything you'd like me to write about! If you're not following, I recommend it, I am, in fact, the best blogger out there. *cough*

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thank you!

Too tired to post tonight - just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who's been following my blog. The positive feedback makes me feel like it's really worthwhile writing what I do. Please keep reading and offering the amazing comments you give!

Tanuki-kun and I say thanks!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The sexual lolita

I decided to write about this (perhaps against my better judgement) because I know it is such a divisive issue. So often I hear the question, "Is lolita a sex thing?" and along with it the vehement cry of, "NO! It has nothing at all to do with sex!" Which is fine, for the most part. Except that I think it's a huge generalisation.
Mana - looking sexy!

I understand that there are a lot of reasons why girls don't want lolita to be associated with sex, not least the connotations of underage sex through reference to the Nabokov novel of the same name. Many lolitas dress the way they do because they want nothing more (from their clothing at least) than to enjoy a childlike, innocent aesthetic. But personally I find it insulting when I'm confronted with a blanket statement that the fashion and the lifestyle cannot have anything to do with sex, or else it's sick and twisted.

I love lolita for a lot of reasons. I love it because it reminds me of all the best parts of my childhood, I love it because it's decadent, I love it because of the attention to detail involved in its appreciation. I also love it because it makes me feel deviously sexy. And I know I'm not the only one.

When I put on my most adorable outfit, I have mixed feelings. I love that I can be playful and carefree in it. But a little part of me enjoys the awkwardness it evokes in the men around me (and some of the women too!), as they struggle with their feelings of attraction to something they 'shouldn't' be attracted to. I get a lot of looks, not just because I'm different, but because I'm an object of desire. I could go on for pages and pages about evolution and biology and men's attraction to youth, but it would be tiresome. Suffice to say that it is the most natural thing in the world for a woman to want to appear very young, and for a man to find that appealing. We should stop being surprised that people think it's a 'sex thing'.

I don't want to give the impression that lolita is a fetish for me. It most certainly is not. I wear these sweet clothes because they make me feel pretty and carefree and happy in the most naive and enjoyable way possible. All the same, I can't escape the fact that I love it when my boyfriend calls me his little girl!

How do you feel about lolita being seen in a sexual light? Do you like to keep your loli away from your sex? Is lolita a common part of your sex life? Does it matter to you either way? Does it matter less to you how you view it as opposed to how others view it? I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lolita and obsession

I'm writing today's post as a way of sharing some ideas, but also in order to address some problems I see developing in myself surrounding my "fashion obsession". I see this as a two-tiered issue, so I'll approach one aspect of it and then the next separately. The first problem is probably the more obvious (and perhaps less noxious) of the two - Wanting.

It is normal, when you develop an interest in any area, to pursue that interest with some intensity, and to feel a desire for the things that are a part of that interest. But I feel that a lot of lolitas tend to assume that a whole new level of interest is perfectly appropriate - to be constantly lusting after the perfect dress, checking sales communities for the best deals, looking for inspiring photographs of girls and their wardrobes (not to mention their rooms, gardens, and so on), and learning new ways to apply makeup to get that ultimate doll-face. There is interest, and then there is obsession, and within the lolita community (and probably the fashion community as a whole), this is considered a normal and even necessary part of life.

I imagine some of this has to do with the ease of gathering information these days. In the past, we wouldn't have made any assumptions that we could always be up-to-date with the latest styles and products, but nowadays it's not just geeks who have ten tabs open in their browser, keeping one eye on the online world at all times. There is a sentiment coming from the uber-cool that if you're not aware of Angelic Pretty's latest print, if you don't know which stores are having big sales, or you haven't seen the snaps from the latest official brand party, you're just not paying attention. And of course it's a vicious cycle - once a few people start to see the world this way, the pressure on everyone to be in the loop grows.

On top of this, seeing what all the other girls have can give you a false sense of what should be available to you. Instead of buying something beautiful and being satisfied with it, you are constantly confronted with images of other lovely things which you start to want just as much. Before you know it, you forget how much you wanted that last dream dress, you stop being happy with it and you focus all your attention onto getting something new. The trouble is, desire is addictive - as usual I've managed to lose the research I was going to quote here, but essentially it has been theorised that while we are on a search for something we want, we're bombarded with all sorts of endorphines and other neurotransmitters like adrenaline that make us excited and give us a sense of purpose. It isn't the thing we want, it's the wanting itself. It makes sense, we're hunter-gatherers. Our minds are trained to search for things. But in a day and age when most of us have all the necessities, our searches have become meaningless. Once the hunt is over, the thing we've caught is of no use to us. It doesn't sate our appetite, nor shelter us from harm, nor bring us closer to the ones we love.

I can't speak for anyone else, and I'm certainly not trying to instill a sense of guilt in my readers, but I worry, because I know how this obsession has started to affect me. This is the second aspect of obsession that I'd like to talk about. The big problem is not that you don't get everything that you want. It's that one day, it won't have the importance in your life that it used to. You might stop caring about clothes so much. You might not want to look cute anymore. You might just lose interest. What are you left with?

This is where I make a distinction between a keen interest and an obsession - if you could do away with your interest and still have a wholesome and happy life, I see little cause for concern. But if you've left behind your other interests, if all your attention is focused on the one thing to the detriment of all the other things in the wide world that you could be pursuing, maybe it's become something of a problem. Loving something is wonderful - needing it is not. Having such a strong passion for lolita has resulted in me neglecting some of the things I used to hold most dear to me. For some time, I almost completely forgot about my love of music, art, and science. I stopped caring so much about my friends and the love of my life. I was so busy thinking about how much I wanted whatever beautiful print it was that I could or couldn't buy, that I stopped seeing all the beauty around me. Essentially, lolita narrowed my existence down to one small facet. And I didn't even notice at first.

But we haven't visited the Baby store yet!

So girls, take a leaf out of my book and have a good look at yourself (no, not your clothes, your self!) and make sure you're loving lolita but not needing it. I'll leave it there, and hopefully inspire you to love what you have with these few tips:

  • Go through the things you own in your wardrobe (and jewelry box and so on), and for each item, try to bring back the feelings you first had for it - remind yourself why you wanted it so much and learn to really love it again
  • Think about new and interesting ways to coordinate your things - it's amazing how you can feel like you have a whole new outfit if you just wear it with a different complimentary colour
  • Find a friend who likes lolita and share your wardrobe with her for a day. She'll fall in love with your things and you'll see how wonderful they are from another perspective
  • Don't wear lolita for a while. If you normally wear it every day, leave it for a week. If you normally wear it once a week, wear something else for a month, and so on. When you come back to it, it will be fresh and lovely
  • Rearrange your room/wardrobe to better display your clothes. I'm on the lookout for a mannequin to put dresses/outfits on, you could do this too, or think of other cute ways to store your clothes and accessories
That's all for today. Thanks for reading ^__^

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Hello all! Today I was going to write about dressing for the summer, but then I remembered most of you probably live in the northern hemisphere and are preparing for winter! So instead, here are some photos of me from a little impromptu photoshoot my friend's mum did for me:

I just love these so much! I would thoroughly recommend getting some photos taken by a photographer if you know one (or can afford to get them done by someone you don't know!). A good photographer can really make your best features stand out and produce a result that you actually want to look at, even if you normally hate to see yourself in the mirror like I do. Honestly, if you can, dress up and be a model for a day, it's fun to do and it's a huge self-esteem booster! 

Also, I'd just like to add that this is the most flattering dress I have EVER worn, and I love the print too. The bib part is removable to give you two different looks, so I'd love to get a mint coloured blouse with a big neck-tie to wear with it.

Hope you're all having a lovely week!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lolita and mental health

So this might seem like a bit much for such an early post in a public blog, but it's very fresh in my mind so I think now is the best time to get talking about it.

Today one of my friends left a status update on Facebook which read,

"And yet ANOTHER suicide jumper onto train tracks. So selfish and rude :("

and it was the most horrible, ignorant thing I have read in a very long time.

It's one thing when complete strangers are ignorant and horrible, but when you have to deal with these traits in your own friends, it's almost unbearable.

What's more, her friends proceeded to vehemently agree with her and exclaim over how dumb and awful these people were for trying to get attention. I can't believe that in this day and age people would be so ignorant of mental health issues to think that suicide is just selfish martyrdom. Have these people not even considered the possibility that some people live in such intolerable anguish for so many years, despite seeking all the help they can find, that death is the only way they can imagine finding relief? Do they really think there are hundreds of people out there just deciding it would be great for shits and giggles to get themselves crushed to death by a train?

Yes, it hurts others when a person kills themselves. It hurts family and friends and people you don't even know. But I'm yet to meet a depressed individual who hasn't thought "I'd kill myself if it wasn't going to be so harmful to the people around me". Sadly, this thought is usually first and foremost in the suicidal person's mind. And yet their lives are so full of pain that they can see no other way out. By choosing to die, the person has considered the pain they will cause and decided that it's still the best thing to do.

It upsets me enormously that people don't realise that when you have a genuine mental illness, a few sessions with a counselor don't make you better. No matter how much therapy you get, no matter how much support you have, no matter what medications you've tried, there will still be times when everything around you fades into meaninglessness, when your own body feels like it's filled with poison, when you feel nothing but disgust at yourself and your situation, when you would tear your heart out with your bare hands if it would ease the pain. Suicide is never an easy choice. It is never a nasty, horrible thing to do. It is a terrifying last resort to a life of desperation. 

You're probably wondering what on earth this all has to do with lolita. When I read this person's update, lolita was the last thing on my mind. My heart just went out to all the people who have to deal not only with mental illness, but with all the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding it. I also felt personally quite offended. 

For seven years, I've been living with clinical depression and an anxiety disorder. It's always been a battle to get up in the mornings and put on a smile and face the world. Some weeks I can't even leave the house. I've been in hospital, I've lost friends, and even on my happiest days I'm constantly reminded of my illness by the scars that cover most of my body. Too much information? Maybe it's best you stop reading, because I'm not going to stop getting this stuff out in the open.

When I started reading Lolita Secrets on LiveJournal, I was saddened by the number of girls who felt the need to hide their mental illness from other lolitas, and who felt they could never be a 'proper' lolita because they were scarred and broken. The fashion and the lifestyle is focused intently on immaculate presentation and an incessantly sunny disposition. This is hard enough for even the most cheery person - have you ever gone to a meetup and felt ugly or grumpy? Ever worried that you'll never be as pretty as the 'famous' lolitas or as enthusiastic as the girls who run events and shows? - but for a girl who rarely feels happiness at all and is afraid to wear a short blouse in case her friends see the evidence of her anguish in stark white all over her wrists, life is not easy. 

I'm not here to share my misery though. I want to offer some perspective on life as a mentally ill lolita, give some help to anyone out there dealing with similar things, and show you how you can offer your support and care for others who might be dealing with these issues.

Q: I'm a lolita with a mental illness - what will people think?
A: People are still quite uneducated about mental health and generally don't know the difference between someone who is genuinely unwell, and a girl who is just seeking attention. They might have some quite unpleasant views regarding mental illness, but this is largely because they don't have any first-hand experience of it. They might think you're looking for attention, or that you're a drama-queen, or that you're just weird. Don't lose hope though! With time, and with some careful words from you, they can come to understand you a bit better.

Q: I don't want to have to keep it a secret, but what should I say to people?
A: If you decide to let people know what's going on for you, it can feel like a huge relief to let some stuff out. But remember, it's new for a lot of people, and can be pretty shocking. They don't need to know all the details. Been in a psychiatric ward? Don't mention it just yet. They don't need to know how often you cut yourself, or what all the frightening things are that you've done while experiencing a psychotic episode. Keep it simple, let people know that you might not always have the energy and cheerfulness to get to meetups and that you find it hard to cope sometimes. There will be plenty of time to go into more detail later if you want to.

Q: I'm not ready to share yet, it doesn't feel comfortable!
A: This is perfectly understandable. If it's just a matter of being unable to always be exuberant and attend meetups etc, I'd advise a few gentle white lies: tell people you've been a little unwell but you'll be fine, or just that you're overworked and tired. If you have injuries or scars to hide, long blouses are great for the cooler weather, and wrist-cuffs and bangles can help you out when it's warmer. Usually the rest of your body will be pretty well hidden under all those petticoats and ruffles!

Q: I have an eating disorder, but meetups are always so full of cupcakes and macarons. People keep offering me more food and I don't want to look weird by saying no!
A: Whatever you do, don't say you're on a diet. It might seem odd, but if you bring attention to your eating habits by saying you're dieting, people will tell you it's not necessary and it will be more obvious that something isn't right. It probably seems like people are really pushing you to eat more, but if you politely decline their offers and stick to tea and plenty of conversation, people probably won't take notice. Alternatively, if you're a creative person who likes to organise things, you might want to think about arranging a meetup yourself, that is less centered around food - a visit to a historic building or something involving games can be wonderful. You can also bring along healthier foods to things like picnics, where a salad is not out of place at all! 

Q: I really want to go to a meetup but I'm too shy!
A: In this instance, you're not alone! Even the happiest, healthiest people in the world can find the idea of a lolita meetup a bit daunting. The first thing you need to know is that while it might feel like all the attention is on you, there will actually be LESS attention on you than any other time when you're wearing lolita. And if you've heard that lolitas are all bitchy and mean, don't listen - the worst I've ever had to deal with is the occasional sullen girl who's having less fun than all the lovely people because she's too busy caring that someone is 'ita' and therefore shouldn't be around. Usually meetups are full of wonderful, supportive people who just want to have fun and compliment one another! Usually lolita groups in each town will have a few girls who are more than happy to meet up with newbies on a one-on-one basis too, so you might want to think about asking to have tea with one or two lolitas before you face the crowd!

Q: One of the girls in my local group has 

...depression. How can I support her?
A: Genuine depression is a very frightening and draining illness. What depressives need from the people around them is understanding above all. They need to know that they can take time out or let their guard down from time to time and still be accepted. They're probably also more likely than most girls to think they look worse than everyone else. Some gentle reassurance in the form of a compliment on something lovely about what she's wearing will go a long way. And there's always SOMETHING nice you can find in a coordinate. If she's clearly unhappy, acknowledge her and maybe put an arm around her and tell her you're there for her if she needs to talk about anything. It's very important for people who are feeling desperate and alone to know they have someone they can talk to. 

... severe anxiety. How can I support her?
A: Remember that the things that seem a little daunting but bearable to most people are probably absolutely terrifying to someone with an anxiety disorder. Let her know that you're around to help make things easier, but try not to make her feel bad if she can't bring herself to come to a meetup or can't face a crowd and so on. Make it clear that she's welcome to take time out, take one thing at a time, and only do what she's comfortable doing. Pushing a truly anxious person to do something they're afraid of doing can be very traumatising and can end badly. I was 'encouraged' into doing karaoke once and I spent the rest of the night shaking and in tears. It isn't fun. 

... an eating disorder. How can I support her?
A: Eating disorders are a really tricky area because they can be very physically dangerous and the people living with them are often dealing with some sort of delusion that they can't see past. Tell her she looks beautiful, don't try to force her to eat, don't tell her she's too skinny, nor should you compliment her on how thin she is! If you want to make life easy for her, offering food options that are low calorie and healthy is probably the best you can do. Sushi is wonderful! 

... a psychotic disorder. How can I support her?
A: I'm going to be honest here, I don't have a great deal of experience with this, but I have spent time around people having mild psychotic episodes. There isn't a lot you can do except to try to stay calm and sensible, and above all, caring. And when she appears fine, she IS fine. Treat her like a normal person, not a crazy person. Psychosis is terrifying for the sufferer and the last thing they need is to have people treating them like second-class citizens when they're actually doing fine. 

Q: I think a lolita I know needs more help than I can offer. What should I do?
A: The line between helpful and nosy is a fine one. Don't interfere with anyone's personal life unless you have a very serious concern that they need help and are not going to get it unless you bring it to someone's attention. If you can, the best people to talk to are the girl's parents. There are also mental health hotlines you can call. In Australia, you can call Lifeline (13 11 14), visit ReachOut (, or talk to your school counselor, psychologist or chaplain. There are similar mental health hotlines available all over the world - google 'mental health support' or something similar and you can probably find something useful.

Wow, hope all this hasn't been too much in one go! Remember, it doesn't take much to make life a little easier for someone living with mental illness, and intolerance is SO NOT RORI!