If you're into Lolita and have ever posted a picture of yourself on the wide internet, you know this. From well-worded and helpful constructive criticism to rude and snarky comments on one of the "secrets" communities on Livejournal, any imperfection will be identified and judged, analyzed in its most minute details until a solution may be found.
Lolita is a community about rules. Some people choose to believe that the rules of Lolita are biblical commandments set down by the gods of frills in order to define what is and is not Lolita, and a single broken rule means that you should be expelled from the ranks of the faithful lest your heresy corrupt the community. Others (and these, I am sure you will notice, are the ones I tend to agree with) take the position that the rules of Lolita are more like guidelines, a framework within which we build our rose-scented world; to these, the rules are less religion and more societal expectation, able to be bent or broken if the situation requires. Each of these opinions is derived from a different idea of what perfection is within Lolita, whether it be an attempt to achieve ur-Loli status by embracing the strictest definition or by working within the style to create something unique to the wearer.
But who is right?
Honestly, I don't think either of them are, not really. Perfection is a very personal thing. Myself, I see innovation and creativity as essential to the image of perfection. To become perfect is to do something nobody else has done, something unique and executed flawlessly despite the lack of guidelines. To others, perfection is more like passing a test, getting every question and factor right. And it's up to each Lolita which definition she will choose to follow.
Yes, I know that we are involved in a fashion that seeks almost inhuman perfection, doll-like images of young women with perfectly matched colors head-to-toe. But you know what? We're human. We're not perfect. Becoming a perfect Lolita is a process, not a state of being that can be achieved.
Yes, it's good to keep improving in our style. Yes, there is always some dream item we will be seeking, a dream print or a dream line or even just a hairbow. We will always seek to improve ourselves. But the image of perfection that we seek should be our own, because that's what matters. We want to look in the mirror and be able to say, yes, this is the best that I can be right here and right now. But tomorrow I will be even better, somehow.
And if somebody else doesn't agree?