This is going to be a deeply personal, wordy post.
If you're a lolita, you know exactly how cruel and shallow the internet can be, especially anonymous websites such as cgl and behind the bows were half the content is negative criticisms about other lolitas. And if you've ever posted a photo of your coordinates online, you've probably been dissected and reduced to a non-human image of clothes and physical features. Not all criticism is hurtful, and not all discussion is negative. But a lot of it is.
I'm not immune.
I've had plenty of secrets posted about me, from drama that is partially my fault to very personal things that were never connected to lolita fashion. I've had plenty of my coordinates that I posted to Closet of Frills criticized on cgl. Luckily I have had many years of experience in the fashion, so secrets are thankfully rarely about my outfits. But they are about physical and superficial features about myself - such as my teeth that have been warped by wisdom teeth and a small jaw, my eyebrows when I don't religiously wax them, and my chest when a dress squishes unflatteringly.
I'm not here to complain or to draw attention to things that have hurt me in the past - I'm here because I wanted to write about something that bothers me about lolita and society as a whole.
I stopped posting to CoF because people would criticize and gossip behind my back. I stopped posting because I am a product of the culture I live in. In the internet age of self-marketing and social media, I have unfortunately grown up valuing my looks by how many likes I get. It's hard when an Instagram photo of a good outfit without my face gets 300 likes but a selfie gets a fraction of that. This is a toxic, destructive way of seeing the world, and when we discuss this issue we tend to talk like we don't do it ourselves. Well, be honest. You probably have as well at some point in your life.
The distinction of "mostly" is because I do occasionally post to CoF. But only when I am 100% confident in how I look in an outfit shot and can't find anything that makes me conscious. This has been both a good and bad decision. It's good because it helps me not worry so much about what others think of me and my coordinates, but it's bad because it still shows how much of a perfectionist I am in regards to photographing myself.
It also makes me sad to hear from my friends that private photos of them and their friends have been plastered all over places like cgl without their consent. It's one thing to recognize that sharing an outfit on CoF will almost inevitably get cross-posted to cgl, but it is another to take photos from lolita's private, personal Facebook accounts. This isn't okay, and it makes me a little wary of where photos on my personal account have been spread.
What was the point of this blog post? To share with you something that nobody talks about because of the fear of being seen as shallow and vain. To help myself (and hopefully you) remember that we are all human beings with feelings and complex personalities beyond physical beauty.