I’m sure you’ve had that feeling that we’ve all had. Where you find a beautiful brand dress and you hold your breath to scroll down to the measurements and realize that it wouldn’t fit you. It’s a terrible feeling, it really is, to realize that you wouldn’t fit in something that you love so dearly.

I think that most people have some form of self-esteem issues, and I think it’s especially difficult for girls. However, I think in the little world of lolita fashion it’s sometimes even more stressful. Most brands make one size for each dress, or a very limited range. These sizes are small in Western terms, and shirring can help, but only so much. They’re also made for fairly short people, the average height for women in Japan is around 5”2′. Even shoes only come in sizes up to the American equivalent of an 8, maybe an 8 1/2. There are, thankfully, more options for girls who don’t fit in this size range these days. Quite a few off-brand places even offer custom sizing. However, it’s still pretty depressing to fall in love with a brand print and then not be able to fit into it.

It doesn’t help that we make it worse on ourselves by being cruel to each other. I’m not one of those girls who’s going to be like, “WE SHOULD ALL BE SUNSHINE AND PUPPIES AND HUUUUGS,” because as much as I would love for things to be that way, we’re a pretty large group of people, primarily girls, and there’s always going to be drama when personalities don’t mesh or someone acts in a way that you don’t appreciate. But criticizing others for their size is needless and just cruel. People come in all different shapes and sizes, and just because they are one size or another doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be a lolita, or that they are somehow lesser than other lolitas. It just means they’re a different size, which is totally cool. Part of the reason I love lolita so much is just how different all of us are. How we interpret the fashion and wear what we choose to wear makes us stronger individuals and brings us together as a group. And our group is large, and varied by race, religion, size, location, and general feelings about wearing cake on our heads.