Interacting in online Kawaii Communities
Hello, magical being,
Its been quite some time correct but are you living your best magical life? I'm all around writing up storms, but I keep thinking about what I can do both as a writer, and magical girl. So, something that has been very important to me is finding a safe community. I'm out here getting ready to explore DCkawaiiStyle and socially branch out. A part of me is nervous. Making friends as an adult is harder once you are out of college. Trusting someone to enjoy you as a person and accept you is risky.
I stepped into some kawaii fashion and lifestyle Facebook groups, and to be honest; it didn't go well for me. I had an experience with some of the Facebook communities that led to a big falling out. Well, "big" is exaggerating a tad, cause that implies that my kawaii influence in the world is high, but an Empress of pink energy can dream.
I wanted to find community online because online is I saw the most freedom to be myself. I thought that in this space interacting with other kawaii black girls and people in the fashion lifestyle I would acquire a safe space and community that uplifted women of color struggling in alternative communities. I admit, there is naivete in believing that every community you jump to join in is going to be perfect. Just as humans are complex so are the communities that hold them. Each with intricate emotional and mental capacities that mesh together into the soul. Its fair to say the leaders of our communities have to deal with a lot and kawaii communities are not without their troubles and complexity. When I first started joining these online groups, I was excited. I anticipated black girl magic and kawaii inspirations, and I was not disappointed in experiencing that. One positive for online communities you meet people all over the world with interests similar to yours, and it's more than likely you'll be chatting with those people around the globe. That's exciting stuff; you get to make your magical girl gang and see people who look like you and love the same thing you do. It's something to celebrate, being surrounded by kawaii energy, interest, and investment. There is nothing wrong with seeking that out in online communities especially if you are unable to do so in person.
The question now is, how do you navigate kawaii online communities? Well, that's what I'm here to talk about. I am 100% advocating for you to be yourself instead of presenting a kawaii persona. Why? Cause like any theater production it can only last for so long playing someone you are not. Be the best self you can be, and that's your true self. Some odd things I came across in kawaii communities arose in the shape of presenting an incorrect love of kawaii culture and aesthetic. You can love something and not change your self for it, and you can enjoy something and be open and honest about issues. Being cute isn't just mocking "cute speech" in an anime, its being kind and open to those around you rather than putting someone down for buying a suspender skirt from Amazon. Kawaii aesthetic can start and build from anything and having more of it doesn't make you better than the person who has less. Like in any realm of kingdoms and community kawaii societies online can have issues of hierarchy, usually fueled by who has been overseas, who has access to cute clothing, etc. My second piece of advice goes along with that, don't feel inferior if you can't finance a lifestyle you admire. It's okay to build from little or enjoy it in whatever capacity you can. What matters in this community is your joy and appreciation of kawaii aesthetic, culture, and fashion. Thirdly I advise that you don't lose yourself in clique mentality. It's okay not to agree, and be an individual. A community is a group made up of different people who share an interest or goal. We are building safe spaces for people of color in alternative lifestyles, not cults. Although if there was a kawaii cult, I nominate Queen Serenity as the goddess or deity we praise in the moonlight. The point is, there are ways to be kawaii that do not have to cut into what makes you your unique self. The you that I meet and interact with isn't kawaii for Fairy Kei, Lolita or other Jfashion expressions but for the very heart that admires and loves genuinely.
Join the online community, but be yourself. A magical being is at their best in advocating for peace and magic that reaches all and doesn't exclude anyone. Kawaii lifestyle can be enjoyed by everyone and has a potential to be creative and a wonderful community. If I ever started an online community of kawaii aesthetics, I would hope that it flourishes with a genuine understanding that we as human beings are complicated and have more to us than how we appear and present. You can be kawaii and queer. You can be kawaii and a social justice advocate, a kawaii writer, a kawaii rapper, a kawaii doll maker, a kawaii single mother, and kawaii even while discovering yourself. No matter what stage you are currently at it does not deter you from being a part of kawaii communities. As soon as you say you love it and take steps to join or interact within those spaces you are it. You are already kawaii and magical so go forth and realize the potential you have in making a better magical gang than sailor moon.
Your kawaii pink energy filled cactus empress, Jade.