|Right (Betty, Season One), Left (Betty, Season Four)|
While it only lasted four season, you notice a gradual change of Betty's fashion sense has become, well, more fashionable.
Lolita fashion is the same.
We don't all start out as fabulously coiffed and decked out Lolitas. It takes practice, practice, and more practice. But what's important, is that no matter how crazy the fashion industry is, Betty is still herself (just in better styled clothes).
Lolita fashion is the same way, which is one of the reasons I don't believe there is such thing as a "lifestyle" Lolita. I feel this implies that you've changed your outlook on life to reflect your appearance (when it should be the other way around).
Lolita fashion is certainly a catalyst to how you've changed to be a better you, but it shouldn't change how you think just because you're wearing Angelic Pretty. Maybe AP makes you think in a more optimistic view, but shouldn't suddenly make you believe that unicorns are real or change your go-to drink to tea when you can't live without coffee. Or suddenly have an affinity for pink (though that could be a side effect when you start liking Lolita fashion).
Not to mention there is no definitive line between when you weren't a Lolita and when you could say "I am a Lolita, now."
Like anything you're passionate about, Lolita fashion should bring out qualities and characteristics you already have. Lolita just takes advantage of those qualities and brings them to the surface:
You obviously know how to dress yourself and Lolita helps you know what looks better with other items in your existing closet. This includes your Lolita and non-Lolita outfits. With Lolita fashion you know you don't always have to buy items to go with that one outfit. A sense of coordination is always key for a minimal but versatile Lolita wardrobe and allows you to be more creative with your outfits.
Everyone's creative in their own way, whether they've realized it or not. Betty is always super creative and often gets the short end of compliments when it comes to her outfits. Daily Lolita and Daily A La Mode are message boards full of outfit pictures that a Lolita can use for inspiration when they're not sure how to wear something or how one can incorporate Lolita into their everyday outfit. The best part: how they wear Lolita are all different and hardly any outfits are carbon copies. In addition, the people who post are of different shapes and sizes (proving that you don't have to be a size small to wear Lolita). Most of all, these girls are comfortable in their own skin.
Confidence and Pride
Betty exudes a sense of pride in what she wears and doesn't care about what others think about her outfit. If you talk to any Lolita enthusiast, they are always filled pride. They are proud to have discovered something that has made them a better, knowledgeable, and of course, fashionable person. It's a weird feeling when you wear Lolita that you can't quite describe. You feel overwhelmingly happiness, which is why some wear it on a bad day. This feeling is that you've found something that is entirely you and it will never leave you (even if you're not in Lolita). How you dress determines how you act, but no matter what you should always be yourself.
Etiquette or Awareness of Situations/Surroundings.
This does not mean you need to drink tea and hold the cup with your left hand (pinky up). Rather it's more that you understand you need to act a certain way depending on the situation. When dressed in Lolita you are very observant of your surroundings. Walking around in public dressed Lolita, you will get everything from sniperhsots to nasty cat calls to heaven-sent compliments. And while you should always have a thick, titanium-strength wall between you and them, always have a strong sense of politeness first, snark second. Even before you set out that door, you are critical on how you have styled your outfit and you practice until you look presentable. Does it fit with the meet-up theme? Have you tied the bow on your JSK correctly? Is the black bag your using okay with your Sweet Lolita coordinate?
Perserverance or Practice Makes Perfect.
We all start out as beginners (I'm not partial to the term "ita") and the Lolita you have become is much different from when you first started to get into the fashion. You strive to be the best stylish Lolita you can be and know there's always a need for improvement. Everything is good (not great) and could be better. Whether it's an accessory that's missing from an awesome outfit to learning from that first handmade Lolita skirt, you are always practicing to be better. You'll work hard to achieve your objective (the "ultimate Lolita you"), and never settle for less.
Do you feel Lolita has brought out qualities (positive ones) or even skills you never knew you had? Is there anything I'm missing? Are you a big fan of Ugly Betty? Please do tell!