Siri Lindholm

The 'Lolita Excuse': Girl-Children, Representation and Sexualisation

London College of Fashion

In the past ten years, a body of writing has emerged that presents an assumed 'truth' about 'sexualisation' that proposes a direct causal link between specific dress and the sexual and social fate of a girl-child. Fashion is often defined as ontologically dangerous; as emblematic of girl-children’s commercial and sexual victimization, damaging them physically, emotionally and intellectually, and putting their future as healthy adults in danger.

In a contradictory way, the concept of a 'Lolita effect', however, implies a sense of agency from the girl-child in actively seducing her viewer and therefore being, at least in part, responsible for the response her dress triggers.


Pamela Church Gibson

Dr Shaun Cole