Frill for Thought: Why We Can’t Change the Name “Lolita”


Today, I would like to address a problem that I’ve seen floating around many lolita communities for several years now. That question is “well, since we all know lolita has nothing to do with the book, why can’t we just change the name?”

Every time this question pops up, it receives a very mixed response. Some people love the idea of changing the name, and some are dissenting. I am a member of the latter group.

There are many reasons why it would be impractical, not to mention confusing, to change the name of the fashion.

1. The name has been around for many years. The name has been around for about twenty years. Changing something so well-established is akin to suddenly changing the name of a continent.

2. We are known as lolitas in the media. From the Gothic & Lolita Bible to Kamikaze Girls to mainstream magazines, we are known as lolitas. Considering that lolita is portrayed in popular culture more and more each year, it would be highly confusing to many people.

3. Not every lolita is part of an online community, and therefore not every lolita will know about this change. If the change isn’t unanimous, it will lead to a lot of confusion even within the communities. Since lolita doesn’t have a universal source and it would be impossible to notify every single lolita about this change, the name would never be changed entirely.

4. Even if, somehow, all of the western world changed the name to something else, it would most likely still be called lolita in Japan, where most of our media is from. To reiterate, it would just separate the western community from our “ancestors” (so to speak) unnecessarily.

5. Lolita does not have a negative connotation universally. A lot of times, when these arguments pop up, people for the change operate under the assumption that all cultures have the same negative opinion of the word lolita. This assumption is false. Where I live, more people assume it’s a nickname (as it is a pretty common name and nickname for girls) than thinking it something promiscuous.

6. With all consideration, it’s just unnecessary. Even if we somehow managed the impossible task of changing the name within the community, most, if not all, onlookers will still call us lolitas. It would take, by my estimate, at least a decade to rid ourselves of the name entirely. Furthermore, those who are unhappy with the name don’t have to use it when explaining the fashion to other people. There are a million different ways to describe the fashion without using its honest name.

Those are my opinions on the matter. For those of you who disagree, I hope this gives you some insight to the opposing party. For those who agree, I hope this helps put your opinion in words.

How do you feel about this topic? Tell me in a comment below or if you’ve done a post on it yourself, feel free to share it!


One thought on “Frill for Thought: Why We Can’t Change the Name “Lolita”

  1. I absolutely agree with all of this! Personally, I think a name change is sort of selfish. It’s been known as “Lolita” for longer than some people have been alive! I also sort of think it’s very naive of people to think a name change is going to solve any problems, because regardless of what we’re called, most people are still going to think we dress weird and make weird assumptions about us anyways (probably exactly the same assumptions too!)

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