I Feel Pretty: Clothing and Manners

I have been rather fascinated by Lolita.  I do not have the money or the figure to buy the wonderful clothing out there.  My figure is not such that I would look good in a Lolita silhouette either.  I guess the style that I have been working towards is as close to otome as I can put together with clothing from the plus size resale store by my house.

Still, I just love to look at pictures of girls dressed in Lolita, and I do dream of someday having the money and figure for such a style.

Anyways, I recently read discussions regarding whether one needed to or even should adopt ladylike manners when dressing in Lolita.  One of the ideas was along the lines of whether it was phony when people acted differently when wearing Lolita.

Of course, I have never been a part of any Lolita community, so I do not really know much.  On the other hand, I am thinking of myself.  One of the things I realized is that I feel differently when I dress nicely.  When I am wearing pretty dresses, I feel pretty.  When I feel pretty, I naturally start behaving in a more ladylike fashion.

Now, I think I have rather good manners to begin with, although, I am far from perfect.  When I dress nicely, with a pretty dress and gloves, I find myself being more polite and gracious than I would ordinarily be.  I do not think it is putting on an act.  I think that the clothing we wear does transform us, if we let it.

I know that it works the other way too.  When I used to dress sloppily on occasion, I would feel rather sloppy, and my manners would often become sloppy to match.  It was not a conscious thing.  It just happened naturally.

I do not know if this happens just with clothing.  Once I had some family and friends over for breakfast.  I did not have a fancy meal, but I put out a pretty tablecloth and served breakfast on nice china.  The strangest thing happened.  Everyone naturally started being on their best behavior, and their manners improved a hundredfold.  Even my cat behaved better.  I have been working with my cat on not begging at the table (with limited success).  Yet, when we were all at the table, she sat nicely and waited for us all to be finished.  Of course, I gave her a nice treat and praised her for that.

Anyways, I do not know that I am saying anything profound or wise, but it was something I thought of that may be of interest.

About Cure Yasashiku

I am a student of Japanese, an astrologer and a housewife. I also knit, crochet, garden and study Swedish, Latin, and Classical Greek. My 正体 (shoutai) is Cynthia Thinnes and I write for the blog, Mormor's Backporch. はじめまして。占星術師や主婦です。趣味は編み物や庭いじりです。下手でも日本語が出来ます。スウェーデン語もラテン語も勉強しています。よろしくお願いします。

5 thoughts on “I Feel Pretty: Clothing and Manners

  1. It seems curious to me that no one seems to ask whether vulgar behavior is phony. After all many people just adopt it in order to fit in.

    Why is it that only good things are accused of being phony while bad thngs, however affected and arificial, are counted as “genuine”?

    On the current topic, might it not be that the everyday sloppiness is false and the better self that comes with good clothes is the real thing?

    1. That is a really strange phenomenon, isn’t it….good manners being considered phony and bad manners being considered real.

      Interestingly enough, I was just watching a video about table manners from the 1950’s. In that video, it was explained that good manners make it easier for everyone to act naturally, because then everyone is relaxed, rather than tense and angry.

    2. I’m not a bit surprised, honored Cure Tadashiku. After all, it fits in rather well with the theory that people are animals, animals only answer to their base urges, and all dwell in a centerless cosmos consisting of a single plane. Phew! It felt dirty even alluding to that!

      In order to accept that the bad is false and the good is true, many people would have to have an entire reversal of their whole worldview. I heartily hope for just this.

  2. This reminds me of that really beautiful and really useful and instructive speech by Lhi Raya Aquitane about Facts and Manners (you can find it here http://www.archive.org/download/LhiRayaChancandreAquitaine/LifeAndManners.mp3). Mr. G. K. Chesterton, the famous English writer, notes that, even in the English Parliament not many Tellurian decades ago, Parliamentary representatives used “high language” to express important and “true” ideas. But nowadays in Telluria, speaking like this seems “false”, as if your ideas or sentiments weren’t “true”, as if they were “artificial”.
    And this would open a new topic about Truth, Thame and….Life Theatre *, after all…. And the main question would be….
    “what is actually artificial? What is the actual truth? Is the so-called ‘Life Theatre’ a sort of roleplay, or is it our true ‘self’?”

    (* not only in the original sense, but also as acting “kawaii”…or acting like a Maid Cafe’s maid…)

    1. It’s interesting on this note that in the anime and manga Shugo Chara, at least in the English translation, when Hinamori Amu speaks of her secret wish she uses the words cute, obedient, and honest interchangeably. That this is even possible says a lot about the Japanese view of the True Self.

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