Are We Asking The Right Questions?

As Bodyline’s popularity continues to rise in the lolita community, so do the debates over its validity in the community turn increasingly more heated. While the general idea of the argument–brand versus non-brand–is essentially the same debate that has plagued lolitas for the past decade, it does give rise to several new questions that the community as a whole must ask ourselves.

Are Replicas Okay? Does the price tag matter? Do you care where your clothes come from? Do you care whether they were factory produced or sewn by hand? Do you care about whether your clothes were produced in a sweatshop or by happy, well-paid employees?

What concerns me is that this argument is almost always eclipsed by the first question. Why do we talk about the moral responsibility of a buyer to purchase the original Angelic Pretty Fruits Parlour print rather than the Bodyline knockoff, when what we should be discussing is whether or not the Bodyline Fruits Parlour skirt was produced by child labour? Why does a person who denounces Bodyline always cite “replicas” as a reason not to support it before they cite “sweatshops”? Why are pretty designers like Maki and Asuka more likely to be defended than the faceless factory employees who may be working in poor conditions? Why is the fact that Bodyline began as a sex shop more often discussed than the fact that they charge $33 for a full dress–a fraction of what any seamstress could charge and make a living wage from?

I don’t claim to be an expert on labour practices around the world. I don’t claim that the t-shirt I am wearing complies with fair trade standards, or that I have never purchased from Bodyline myself. I cannot even claim that I have any legitimate perspective on this issue.

What I do know is that, to our knowledge, the majority of lolita brand clothing is produced in Japan. And knowing this, I have always been a little proud to support it. The knowledge that the clothes are made with love, by people who are doing what they want to be doing, was one of the many things that set my lolita clothing apart from my non-lolita wardrobe. I want to believe that my precious garments were not tarnished by unsavory origins. I want to believe that nobody was harmed in the making of my outfit.

Maybe we will never have all the answers on what goes into our clothes. But I would like to see us at least asking the right questions.

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2 Comments »

  1. dollpart said

    😀 Can I just say your whole blog is awesome??????????????

    • Mary Magdalia said

      Wow, thank you! I really admire yours, as well. ❤

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