fredag den 16. november 2012

The Fear of Ita

Many, if not all, Lolitas are familiar with the term "Ita". They might have heard somebody who was once called an Ita, they might have seen someone or something that made them think Ita, they have probably feared being Ita at some point or another. Even so, I will explain very shortly what the term "Ita" basically means: Ita, at least in the Lolita meaning of the term, is the word for something who is painful to look at. That is also, for the most part, how I see the word used in the western Lolita communities. Though not always.

The word Ita seems to have sort of gained a broader meaning to western Lolitas. Most Lolitas, and from now on I am only speaking of the western Lolita communities unless I state otherwise, will probably agree that scratchy lace, cheap fabric, bad coordination and bad designs will make an outfit "Ew, Ita!", but some people have also started to argue that Ita-Lolita can be something else and something more than that. Some people argue that a Lolita's behavior can be Ita, or that a person's physical looks can be Ita. I think that this causes some of the sad, sad secrets and confessions I see on places like "Behind the Bows" and "Pretty Lolita Confessions", where admirers of Lolita fashion state how they're too fat to be Lolita, how they're not pale like a porcelain doll, or how they don't fit into the Lolita community because they smoke or drink or swear. Some people fear to be inherently, well, Ita. 

That, of course, stretches far beyond the more usual fear of being ita that many new Lolitas who join the community shows up carrying. That fear maybe even stems from places like the secret/confession communities that I listed above, creating a bad circle. Fear, post Confession, more Ita-fear.
 Most of the new Lolitas who fear to be Ita, and any other new Lolitas, probably do proceed into what many of us think of with dread as the infamous "Ita Phase". 
I mentioned that most of them do tumble down the cliff and end up in their Ita Phase because, well, for many people it takes practice to learn how to put together proper coordinates, and not all Lolitas do all of their homework before they eagerly try to put together their first outfits. 
I know I didn't! I wanted to be a Lolita "Right Now!", which of course also means that I have an Ita Phase to be ashamed of (and I am very relieved that I deleted all of the photos). 
Ladies and gentlemen, doing your homework before trying to get started is always a good idea!

Some Lolitas think that we should get rid of the term "Ita" all together, and that it does more harm than good. I see where they're coming from, but personally I don't agree, which may surprise some of you. I think Ita is a handy short term to quickly describe an outfit that doesn't match the Lolita aesthetic, or an item that tries half-heartedly to be Lolita, but fails miserably. Think of those bad quality, shiny "Lolita" split-wigs that you could buy in departement stores for Halloween. To me, those were pretty hillarious, though very deserving of the term "Ita"! 
But "Ita" should never be a term used to describe a persons looks, personality, or be a stamp designed to deem someone a "Bad Lolita". 
"Ita" is not new Lolitas who are trying to become a part of our fashion. They still need to learn, they do not need to be shown the door for their attempts at coordinating, or to be laughed at for trying. An outfit can be "ita" and therefore need improvements, but that doesn't make the Lolita "Ita"!
Ita is not anybody's physical looks, either. You can have any skin color, any build, any shape, and still be a great Lolita.

So to sum it up: Ita does not need to be a "fear" in new Lolitas, if we just stop using it to hurt people! Most of us went through a phase when we did not know how to coordinate well, it just takes practice and getting to know the fashion! 
Ita should only be used to describe outfits or items that does not match the Lolita aesthetic and is in need of improvement, not as an attack on people, their own looks or their personality. 
Don't take "Ita" personally or let it scare you away!
That's how I see it.

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