Bibliotheca: egg

Welcome to egg, where I talk about egg. 

People unfortunately seem to like my themes, so it's time for egg. 

Note that this is a trans-themed post as well. 

a popular tweet about egg 

egg is a very good thing to eat. Chicken egg is used for many cooking purposes. Macarons, omelettes,  crepes, shakshouka, and meringues all involve the brave sacrifices of many egg. As a person who eats food, I highly recommend egg. 

egg is also a cute motif. The famous egg, Gudetama, is well known for being cute and lazy. However, unlike real-life egg, Gudetama is known for having adorable silly little buttcheeks. While Gudetama is primarily the inside of egg, the outside of egg is also well represented. 

For Easter, there are many practices in which egg is made extra cute through the addition of colored decorations on the outside, which is allegedly well represented in the sweet lolita repertoire. This adoption of a primarily European and American Christian religious tradition into a Japanese fashion is pretty interesting to explore-- as with many motifs (crosses, Christmas, flags) the adoption of egg (Easter version) into the lolita context has the effect of stripping away religious and symbolic meaning. However, the presence of lolitas in Christian contexts can re-anchor the stylized symbol into its original cultural setting.

Gudetama, the egg who is lazy 

But for trans people, egg has an alternative meaning unlike the physical egg of a chicken. We use egg to mean a trans person who isn't yet aware that they're trans. This concept is discernable from the similar-yet-related idea of the closet because of the viewpoint: coming out of the closet means informing others of something, but cracking your egg (and ultimately hatching) is a journey of self discovery. Cracking refers to the clues that someone isn't cis, while hatching is the full identification as trans. 

An egg is an egg because they lack either the self-knowledge or the terminology to become themselves fully. I think that lolita and other alternative fashions can be immensely helpful to eggs. 

Alternative fashion can be helpful partially because it exists disconnected from standard gender roles. Although lolita reads as feminine, it's not within the realm of regular women's styles. Additionally, all lolita clothing is unisex, because lolitas have always included men like Mana-sama. For an egg, lolita is a feminine space where gender is not a given, and many lolitas are ourselves queer and gender non-conforming. 

egg and lolita can also get along because of the structure baked into the fashion. Many trans people (especially those of us on the autism spectrum) express frustration with the unwritten complexities of gender performance, both when mimicking our assigned gender and when learning to perform our real gender. Mainstream fashions are often trend-driven, favor certain body types, and are highly aligned to binary cisnormative ideas of behavior.

 For example, even though jeans are always popular, the trendy cuts and washes of jeans are transient-- moreover, men's branded jeans are typically made of sturdy cotton denim and sold by approximate body measurement, while women's branded jeans are usually a stretchy and flimsy spandex blend with no discernable pattern to the sizing. Men's jeans last for years, whereas the fast-fashion women's stretch jeans are pretty much shot after a season or two, by which time another cut and color will be on trend, and the trends need careful observation on a regular basis to be understood. 

Lolita does also have its trends, and smaller body sizes are favored over larger ones, but the basics are pretty much stable. With the fundamentals of color-matching, poofy silhouette, and decent quality, pretty much anyone can put together a coord regardless of body type or prior experience. And luckily for the more data-driven among the egg population, lolitas document everything, from tea party etiquette to petticoat volumes to sock releases. There's no double-standards in fit and construction, no ephemeral trends forcing items out of style, just a simple framework of what makes a good coord good, with occasional trends sprinkled over top. After a lifetime of trial and error, clear guidance can be major help. 

My egg was already cracked before I started wearing lolita fashion, but I didn't fully hatch until after I'd been in the fashion for about three years. I wore lolita because I wanted to be good at wearing clothes by an objective metric. I also knew I wasn't like the other girls, but I didn't realize it was because I wasn't a girl, just that being seen as one didn't make me happy. When I came out as trans and nonbinary, I took lolita with me because it was such a wonderful outlet for artistic expression and a source of joy. Some trans men and transmasculine non-binary people might feel uncomfortable continuing in a feminine hobby through their transition, but there is no shame in liking lolita, and it doesn't make someone any less of a man. 

Not everyone has the experience of having been egg. But for those who are in the process of hatching, I hope time is kind to you, and that you never feel the need to abandon the styles you love. 

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