Hi, I'm Gabi!
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I’m Gabriella Marie; A 22-year-old office worker in the day who happens to be a j-fashion enthusiast off the clock! I’m a Sagittarius, I was born in the year of the rabbit, and I believe I’m an INFJ. Though I’ve been in and out of blogging in the past, I just started this version of Dear Gabriella Marie in November of 2021 and am so excited to be here!
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Five 2022 Resolutions For The Lolita Fashion Community


Hi friends! I hope you all have had a great Holiday season so far. As we quickly approach the New Year (crazy to think my next post will be in 2022!), I’ve spent some time reflecting on this month’s Bibliotheca theme: The Future. Since 2021 has been my first year actively participating in the fashion, it’s easy for me to rattle off a million goals I’d like to set for 2022. With that said, the more challenging thing for me is to think of goals that I think maybe everyone in the community could relate to on some level.  That’s exactly what I did for my post today – I hope you all enjoy this food for thought!  

1)      Invest in our online presence (or lack thereof) 

I think in a lot of ways 2020 and 2021 have already sort of forced our hands in terms of our relationship with social media and the world wide web. Through it we’ve learned about COVID, found new passions during our time Staying Home and Staying Safe, and even may have found some level of escapism through it.  

However, my challenge for those of you reading is the this: Ponder on the way you interact with the internet currently, and see if you find any areas you aren’t pleased with. Maybe you’re prone to Tik-Tok debates or you compare yourself too much to others. I myself struggle with Instagram in particular, falling into the negative mindset that comes from assuming everybody’s lives are just as perfect as their meticulously crafted photos.  

Build an action plan to mend your (potentially, not making assumptions) co-dependent relationship with the internet and social media. Maybe you and Twitter need to not see each other for a while, or maybe on the other end of the spectrum you’ll discover a hidden passion for content creation and find the courage to start blogging our Youtubing this year!  It could even be as simple as unfollowing accounts that no longer interest you, or curating your Pinterest feed to fit your frilly aesthetics.  

2)      Participate in our communities

I think that this current era of social distancing and the rise of the homebody have maybe contributed a little bit to a disconnect between ourselves and our communities. While there are many reasons that one may choose to not participate in events hosted by their local comm (covid risk, social anxiety, personal differences), I think for those of us that are able it is more vital than ever to build meaningful connections with likeminded people.  

I started 2021 terrified to interact with my local community, but at this point in the year my only regret is not attending a meet sooner! My first meet was in August and while it was a big one, I remember feeling this incredible sense of belonging that I didn’t anticipate whatsoever. Just sitting in a room with people as passionate about me as this fashion was almost therapeutic in a sense.  

For those of us who are hesitant to go out right now due to COVID, consider online communities! Discord has changed the game for many online communities – it’s like being in one big fun group chat! Consider joining communities for a niche you fit; as a plus sized EGL I’m a very proud member of communities that support and are aimed at people like me. Online events are another great option – Bay Area Kei is just one group that knocks this out of the park.

3)      Build our ‘dream’ lifestyles 

When I reflect on the point in time that I discovered this fashion community in 2012, I remember reading the Lolita handbook and being captivated by the idea of being a ‘lifestyler’ – someone who took their love of this fashion to the next level by living it. For me it wasn’t even the concept of wearing this fashion every day (though at the time I certainly dreamt of that too) that drew me to the concept. It was the idea of living a lifestyle in which the words I chose to speak, the food I chose to eat, and the way I chose to decorate my living space were all determined by my love for aesthetics and beauty. I dreamt of owning a walk in closet full of dresses, selecting my outfit every day, and then treating myself to a personal tea party with only vintage China. I dreamt of speaking softly and walking even softer. I dreamt of living a beautiful life.  

While I think that on some levels the over-dramatized idea of ‘the lifestyle’ can actually cause some real harm, I think there are bits and pieces we can take into this new year – primarily, the idea of mindfully crafting your life. I think it took me a long time to learn that I have agency in my own life. I can choose to wear dresses that make me feel beautiful. As a working adult I can choose to use my expendable income to buy antiques. I can choose to take 10 minutes and drink tea every day, and I can choose to live a life I am proud to invite people into.  

I would invite all of you to reflect on your idea of the dream lifestyle. Maybe for you it’s not antiques but it’s instead finding a fragrance that you love, that makes you feel more like the version of you that you want to be. Maybe it’s buying new bedding to make your room feel like a Victorian mansion, or maybe it’s just taking the time to take a walk in a nearby cemetery. For a group of people that concern ourselves so heavily with the pursuit of aesthetics and a love for art, I think we owe it to ourselves to turn our lives into art too.  

4)      Commit to our well-being 

Conversely, I think that at points I tend to focus so hard on material possessions I sometimes forget about the less fun things. I relate to Momoko of Kamikaze Girls more than I’d really like to admit, putting on my Baby The Stars Shine Bright branded blinders to look at only when I can get my next dress, how I will make my next coordinate, or what my comm’s next meet will be. At times I feel a bit consumed by my hobby, and would much rather spend my free time online shopping when I should be, say, mindfully journaling or practicing my skincare regimen.  

As someone who struggles with my health (Migraine sufferers and Digestive Illness sufferers unite!), I’ve been able to utilize this fashion as a great source of motivation and something to look forward to in my dark moments. At the same time, however, it’s hard for me to invest in the hard things like fixing my migraines or losing weight just for the sake of doing it. And when I do decide to do those things it’s not always because I think I as a human deserve to, but instead it’s because of something like I want to fit into brand without full back shirring, or because I don’t want to have a migraine on the same day I’m planning to attend a meet.  

This next year I would invite everybody to reflect on your worth as a person outside of this community and fashion (as well as within it). If you want to have nice skin then you should do it for you, not so that you’ll feel more ‘valid’ within the fashion. If you want to lose weight, you should do it because you think you’ll be happier and healthier with those changes, not because you feel like you’re less of a person because you can’t fit into brand.  

You are worthy of health and happiness. You will always come before clothes. Don’t let this fashion ever make you feel otherwise.

5)      Re-evaluate our financial health.  

Lastly comes the topic that I think doesn't really get talked about enough in a serious light; the financial insecurities people within this fashion community can become vulnerable to. It's a well known fact that a lot of lolita fashion releases (especially from major brands such as Angelic Pretty) can get pretty intense, with some designers opting to have very small windows of time one can place an order for a new item. This kind of mentality of 'buy it now or miss out' can cause a lot of financial stress on someone who may not have the resources for financial literacy that others do. I've watched firsthand people empty out their bank accounts down to the one digit for a dream dress, and have seen the shrugged shoulders our community seems to treat these instances with. 

While we should never make other people's financial situations our business, I think it's important that we as lolitas recognize the signs of spending issues and shopping dependencies. While we all joke about our hobbies and we're maybe all a little guilty of spending more than we should on a main piece we really want, it's vital that we separate these jokes from our reality and invest in our financial wellness to set us up for success inside and outside of the fashion. 

My recommendation this coming year is that we all try and put a little more money from each paycheck in a safe place outside of our usual spending account. Whether it's an emergency fund, dream dress fund, or vacation fund, I think it's important that we all take the time to make sure when our dream dress does come around, we'll be able to afford it - along with making sure the rest of that week's dinners are slightly more nutritious than ramen noodle packets. 


I hope you found this post insightful, and maybe it inspired you to set some lolita-adjacent new years' resolutions! Let me know what you think! 

Until next time,