It’s a big thing in the lolita world to hear a lot of new girls say, “You guys are so mean!” especially around the bigger forums and lj groups. Constructive criticism is good every now and then for every lolita, and it’s important to be able to do a few things: identify it, receive it, and give it. So here a few tips for all of the above!

Identifying: Or, in other words, how to tell if someone’s really trying to give you good advice or just being downright mean. This is especially important on the internet where you have no tone or facial expression to go by. So here a few tips:
Does the comment make sense? For example, if the person seems to be using a lot of internet abbreviations like, “Lolz ur skirt is liek way to short.” they probably either have no idea what they’re talking about or are just trying to get a reaction from you.
Does it seem well thought out? For example a good creative criticism will probably be a few sentences long, really going through both likes and dislikes and ways to improve. If the comment is something short and stupid like, “This outfit is ugly.” Then it’s probably not worth your time.
Are there a lot of the same kind of comment? I find that most often if it’s really good constructive criticism someone else will probably agree. If one person tells you that the shoes you’re wearing are bad then it’s probably just an opinion (it might still be constructive though) but if 20 people tell you that, it’s probably a good bet that you should change shoes.

Receiving: Sometimes, it’s hard to really accept criticism. Everyone gets sensitive about certain things, so it’s understandable to get a little peeved at advice sometimes. Here are a few things to help you deal with it:
Take a Deep Breath. It sounds really hokey, but don’t just freak out the minute you see something the least bit negative on a post. I try and wait at least an hour or two before replying to criticism so that I don’t go by my gut reaction. It gives you a chance to really understand what they’re saying, and think about if their suggestions will really change your outfit for the better!
Thank them! Even if you don’t entirely agree with them, always make sure to thank them for taking the time out to really consider your outfit or idea.
Ignore it. I very rarely do this unless I feel the advice is just an opinion. But! If somethings a little too critical for you, or if you really have a strong attachment to something, then just ignore it. Chances are you won’t post the same thing again, so just push it aside and move on.

Giving: Giving advice is the hardest I think, especially when it’s critical. But hopefully these few tips will help:
Think it Over. Really give yourself a few minutes to think about what you think could be better with the outfit. If it’s something small, then it’s probably best not to post it. But if it’s something you really feel could help the poster (and not just make them feel bad) then take a good look at it first, don’t just dive in.
Explain Yourself. Don’t just say “The ruffles don’t look right.” Explain, “The ruffles seem to lie a little funny, perhaps they could use a little ironing.”
Don’t Get Angry. If the poster doesn’t agree with you or tries to pick a fight about it, just move on. It’s not worth getting angry about it.