Menu Close

Lolita in JRock: What’s Up with That?

If we’re going to have a quick discussion on Lolita and how it pertains to JRock, I suppose we have to talk about what it is first. Historically, the term Lolita can be referenced back to a book. Wikipedia says,  “Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, first written in English and published in 1955 in Paris and 1958 in New York, and later translated by the author into Russian. The book is internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle-aged Humbert Humbert, who becomes obsessed and sexually involved with a 12-year-old girl named Dolores Haze.”

Okay, so the first “Lolita” was a fictitious, 12-year-old, sexually active girl who had a thing for much older men. Got it.

Anyone who knows anything about JRock and anime culture knows that “Lolita” is a term for a certain type of fashion – frilly, lacey dresses that are similar to something you’d see in “Gone with the Wind”, but have a decided sexually provocative and sometimes Gothic flare to them and we’ve seen some of our favorite JRockers sporting these dresses on stage. It sprung up amongst the Visual Kei (Visual Style, translated) thing back in the late 1980s, when all rock stars at least wore make-up. Except, the Japanese took this to an extreme.

I’ve personally seen many a woman wearing a Lolita outfit at an anime/yaoi con and I must say I’ve investigated getting one for myself to wear on Halloween, my favorite holiday. A forty-something mother of two wearing a Gothic Lolita outfit for anything but Halloween seems a bit strange, dont’ you think? Not that I’m above that, LOL. There are also many an anime in which boys are forced to wear princess outfits that look suspiciously similar to Lolita outfits. Hmmm…

So how did this 12-year-old-girl named Dolores inspire a fashion culture in Japan that culimnated in cross-dressing Japanese rock musicians? I have no idea. But I do know one thing, it’s both intriguing and just plain silly, at least in my opinion. I have to say, I find these Japanese cross-dressing rock stars courageous. There is no way any respectable American rock musician would have the balls to prance around onstage with his guitar in a Lolita dress. Okay, maybe Marilyn Manson… but do you really want to see that? I think the closest we did get to seeing something like that was Boy George in the 80s, LOL.

My main question here becomes: what’s up with Lolita fashion and male JRockers? Are the Japanese really insane? Are they just doing these things to make us say, “What the fuck?” I’m laughing to myself on that one. I’d love to hear your comments and views on the subject. Do you like it, hate it, want to be it?


  1. Leah Depot

    Until the Victorian era, men got to dress up just as much as women did. Sometimes more. The 60’s, 70’s and 80’s finally give at least some men the chance to dress up a little bit–but the Japanese always go to extremes–that’s why we love them! As for the term Lolita–well, my take is that “lolita”=”sexy little girl”, and Victorian little girls wore lacey, frothy outfits. Why Victorian? Because that was the last era where clothes, especially for children, were more for show than sense. And just a couple of more points–the Asian preforming arts have a long history of men playing women’s parts. These men were not regarded(even if they were)homosexual, and had large female followings. Secondly, you’ve GOT to go to extremes to overdo Glam rock. So with all those points in mind, what’s wrong with a guy feeling pretty? If he can play guitar and sing like many of them can, I don’t give a damn. *whisper* I actually think it’s sexy.

  2. Elisia Phua

    The novel has nothing to do with Lolita fashion. I also wouldn’t say that the fashion is sexually provocative. Just because there’s a lot of lace on the dresses does not mean that it’s meant to be kinky. There’s nothing sexual about the fashion. It just borrows inspirations from the Victorian and French Rococo periods.

  3. Pingback:Tweets that mention Lolita in JRock: What’s Up with That? | Yaoi, M/M Romance Author & Artist - Christie Gordon --

  4. Christie Gordon

    I didn’t mean they were kinky because of the lace. I was thinking they were sexy because of the higher hemlines and the fact that I’ve seen them worn with high-heeled boots. My boyfriend finds that sort of thing sexy:) I don’t know, is there a sexy version and a more traditional version?


  5. Christie Gordon


    Ah the extreme – it is why we love them! I’ve always said the Japanese know how to be real rock stars, bigger than life rock stars:) You make some good points.


  6. Carol

    I suppose I have to admit I think it’s sexy, too. More than anything, I think the boldness of it is what’s sexiest. I love glitz, the high-octane glam for guys. To go out on a date with a guy dressed so? Nah. LOL….But I DO love it for performers. Goes back to my Prince days? LOl.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *