Wednesday, 29 October 2014

My Letter to Meta

*UPDATE!!! 9:00PM 30/10/14* 
We have just received the following message from Metamorphose:

Hello, thank you for your inquiry.
We don't mean to offend Brolita at all.
We apologize if there are any infelicitous expressions.

* Metamorphose Online is closed every Saturday and Sunday.
Metamorphose English Online
Aya Nakagawa/Ayano Hasui

Dear Metamorphose Temps de Fille

My name is Töck, and I am a member of the Sydney Lolita Community. The Metamorphose brand is very popular with Australian lolitas, and your 'Secret Library' coord is an item that has long been on my wish list. 
Today I saw the advertisement for your 'Metamorphose 2014 Autumn and Winter Coordinate Contest' for the very first time. Thinking what a wonderful idea it was, I eagerly read through the rules only to have my heart suddenly turn cold as soon as I saw the last rule on the Applicant Eligibility list.
I find this absolutely despicable. Not only did you bar any male from being counted into the competition, you also added insult to injury by insisting that Metamorphose is only for women. 
I know many men who wear and love Metamorphose (both your ouji AND feminine items), my own boyfriend included.    
As the girlfriend of a wonderful man who loves lolita as much as I do, I know all too well the kind of prejudice and discrimination that male lolitas (or 'brolitas') get from people both inside and outside the lolita community. Wearing lolita is already provocative enough for a woman to wear out on the streets, but it can be viewed as downright obscene for men to wear as cross-dressing is still largely a taboo in most cultures, particularly for men. And now, many brolitas will be forced to include your name, Metamorphose, to their already too-long Enemies Lists of people who don't like them wearing lolita (which tragically often include family-members and friends) 

Congratulations, Metamorphose. You are now no better than those bigoted high schools all over the world who gain international criticism for not allowing their students to wear whatever they wish just because they happen to belong to a certain biological sex.  

I myself have always seen lolita as a fashion that belongs to either gender, purely because by mainstream standards, Victorian and Rococo-style women's fashion now seen as unacceptable for modern women to wear on an everyday basis. In music, if no-one claims ownership of a song (or if its copyright goes out of date), it becomes 'public domain' and thus free for anyone to use. If something doesn't belong to anyone, then naturally, it belongs to everyone. 

You have the right to your own opinion. If there are Metamorphose staff-members who personally find men wearing lolita repulsive, then that is OK (just don't expect everyone to agree with you). And if you do not wish to have males represent your company, then that is your right as well. When you are conducting business, you should be free to make whatever decisions you wish about choosing your models, especially if you're the ones paying them  However, surely the whole meaning of holding a competition is to just have a bit of fun? If you agree, then I can only say that having a rule such as this is quite the killjoy! 
The very nature of this competition seems to be all about letting both professional and unprofessional lolitas model their coords for fun and for free with the hopes of perhaps earning a prize in the process. Now tell me, what right do you have to tell someone that they can't participate in a fun little activity such as this? They are not working professionally for you, they are not on your payroll, they are all simply Metamorphose customers who want to try their best to gain your favour. You may argue that competition representatives are still representing your company, and in some ways that is true. However, the whole point of company representation is to gain good publicity, and I wonder how your publicity (and your sales) will be affected once your male AND female customers receive your sexist message loud and clear and respond by vowing to never buy or wear Metamorphose ever again, like myself and my boyfriend have already done.

I cannot imagine how including men will bring Metamorphose negative attention, but I certainly believe that discrimination will. Both men AND women are appalled by what you have done and the blatant sexism you have expressed.    
The word 'Brolita' is a portmanteau of 'lolita' and the english word 'brother,' because they are our brothers in lolita. Likewise, we are their lolita sisters, and it is our duty to treat each-other as such. So this is why I am urging you to be true sisters to your brothers and change the rules of your competition, as well as publicly apologise to all of your lolita brothers and male customers (past, present and future) for offending them. 

Yours sadly but sincerely, 

Charlotte E. Markowski (AKA 'Töck')

NOTE: Just a few hours after I emailled this letter to Metamorphose, the wording on the contest page changed (see below). It now simply says, 'The object should be a woman this time' and doesn't mention anything about Meta being a women-only brand.  
Although the contest is still women-only, Metamorphose is not using this space to slander its male customers any more, and we sincerely hope that it will never happen again in future. So we achieved a partial-victory, I guess.
Whether it's in the army, nursing or lolita, there is no room for inequality!

1 comment:

  1. This is so awesome and wonderfully written. ^__^
    I just found your blog after meeting you both at the Syd International Lolita meetup.
    It's good of Meta to have changed the rules but seriously they shouldn't have made that comment anyway.
    Hope to see you both at future meets and get to know you better!!
    ♥ Bec