What's Her Face, Dolores Haze: the Humbert Humbert in All of Us.

I have sung the praise of my favorite book, Nabokov's Lolita, time and time again. The impending fate of all the characters pulls me into the story even if I have read the book several times before, and Humbert Humbert's musings coax you to the brink of wanting him to succeed at corrupting poor Dolly, and then firmly pulling you back into less morally challenged territory when Lolita's predicament seeps through the pages in the form of tears staining the poor girl's cheeks. Woah, longest sentence in ages! 

Lolita will always be one of my top inspirations. Her retro ginghams and socks are perfectly complimented by her timeless persona: the girl we all were at a certain age, innocent yet at the brink of spawning that dreaded sex appeal, with the corruption of innocent young men lying just around the bend of every slim ankle. /sarcasm

Nabokov wrote a beautiful, romantic book on the feverish addiction of a perverted infatuation: a difficult feat to accomplish. And in Lolita he created a girl that is never really there as we only really see her through the lying eyes of HH, objectification at its finest/ugliest. But as I said: at the same time she is always there, in every girl. Because every girl is beautiful, just like every girl is ordinary. Most of the time, it's the beholder that determines the part you play.



The french braiding, sweet white floral dress and bow adorned espadrilles SCREAM Lolita to me. And unlike Lolita, I am owning the image I project. I am the subject, I'm not the object. So this one's for Dolly!

But to get to the important point I want to make:

Nabokov's story raises interesting topics. Of course it is wrong that HH lusts after and corrupts a 12-14 year old girl. However, how different is this from our current youth culture? How is that so much more perverted than middle age moms lusting over Justin Bieber and Taylor Lautner, or sites like Perez Hilton ACHING to post crotch pictures of childstars like Miley Cyrus, or the entirety of tumblr fawning over our new, vastly underage it-girls Hailee Steinfeld, Elle Fanning and Chloe Moretz?

Truth is, youth equals beauty in our society. When we frown on people like Humbert Humbert, we should also recognize a bit of him in ourselves: we all support that adoration for the uncorrupted by fainting over a gray hair, by accepting the fact that even the models who are used to play moms of teenagers in commercials look like fresh faced 25 year olds. Indirectly, we are all corrupting the youth of today by telling them that their time in the limelight is now, that girls are in their prime when they are still nubile and not yet overripe, that age and its signs are things to be ashamed of. We are all tiny little Humbert Humberts.

Whenever I visit tumblr or other blog's inspiration posts, I am hit over the head with young boys and girls being presented as inspirational or even aspirational. Isn't that slightly perverted as well?



THINK ABOUT IT

dress: Mango
sunglasses: H&M
bag: Zara
espadrilles: New Look

46 comments

  1. Lolita is also a favourite book of mine. Of the most interest to me is the sheer amount of sardonic wordplay on each page! Not to mention how, like you said, Nabokov manages to romanticise his fundamentally perverted feelings towards Dolores, only to destroy the reader's confidence by using words like "pet" to describe her. The polarisation is so stark, and so so compelling to follow. And I completely get where your look is coming from here - the lipstick reminds me when Humbert searches Lolita in a motel room; "her lips, freshly painted". :)

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  2. You have amazing legs. Love the outfit girl!

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  3. Kan jij niet eens een ander muurtje kiezen, ipv die vieze grijze muur?!

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  4. You look great! Loving the dress and the bag!

    X Sarah
    http://fashion-loving.blogspot.com/

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  5. ten eerste vind ik het behoorlijk grappig dat je de nood voelt om dit te delen :-D ik stel me nu al helemaal voor dat je thuis zit te giechelen over hoe stoer je bent :-)

    ten tweede, om dan toch even serieus te reageren op deze onnozele comment: het grootste deel van mijn recente foto's wordt niet eens genomen voor deze muur. Ik dwing je niet om naar mijn foto's te kijken he poepie, als je de muur vies vindt zijn er miljarden andere sites waar je kunt gaan lezen zonder geconfronteerd te worden met mijn verschrikkelijke muur! :-D

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  6. Love the outfit!! I've never read that book, perhaps I'll try to read it soon! It sounds very interesting.
    and yes, I feel like everyone is obsessed with younger people and being younger. Like the old men (or women) marrying people significantly (meaning 30+ years) younger...its quite interesting
    http://www.closet-fashionista.com

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  7. Yayness voor blogposts met inhoud! Interesting read, stunning legs (and a tiresome wall, apparently;))

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  8. Uw vlecht begin er steeds beter uit te zien! En zeg tegen uw vriend dat hij nu beter 1x per week die muur moeten kuisen met de hogedrukreiniger :D

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  9. Heerlijke outfit, dat jurkje is echt prachtig.

    Ik ben het zo eens met je hele betoog, dus ik moet dat boek maar eens gaan lezen :)

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  10. No, I agree. While I though Lolita was an amazingly well-written novel and hauntingly beautiful, it still was that...haunting. I am a bit daunted by Lolita "inspiration" pictures and other pictures of young people. Every time I see a little kid pop up on a street style blog it makes me incredibly uncomfortable, I think for the exact reasons you pointed out. Generally, these children are styled like little adults, and that makes me sad for them. Let them be a kid! Let them wear weird t-shirt covered in grime and bike shorts. I won't lie, even this post makes me a bit uncomfortable! I guess I can't imagine Lolita without thinking of HH's treatment of her, and that just makes me sad.

    Okay, all of that came out weird. I am not a wordsmith, to say the least. And you do look lovely!

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  11. Hahaha die comment! Leuke reactie erop :-D
    Ik heb er ook al over nagedacht, die adoratie voor jeugd. Toen ik de campagne van Elle Fanning voor Marc Jacobs zag vond ik het er wel echt over gaan. Hoe kunnen zo jonge meisjes zonder vormen nu kledij showen / aanprijzen die voor 90% gedragen moet worden door welgevormde vrouwen? Bah! Hoop dat de tendens snel weer omslaat naar 'oudere' vrouwen op de catwalk en in campagnes.

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  12. DOEN! het is echt een fantastisch boek!

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  13. i've seen the movie but haven't read the book although i can say that it is for sure on my to-read list!!

    i love your outfit! everything about it is just darling from head to toe!!

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  14. Toen ik je blog begon te lezen, vond ik ook dat je wat meer afwisseling in achtergrond mocht brengen. Laat me erbij vermelden dat ik pas laat je blog ontdekte en meteen alle oude posts heb gelezen... can we say 'overdose'? :).
    Nu vind het juist goed dat je vaak op dezelfde plaatsen poseert (de grijze PROPERE muur, de bakstenen muur, die 2 plekjes in je tuin, de overloop en trap binnenshuis). Deze vind ik allemaal neutraal genoeg om de aandacht op de oufit te leggen... en met dezelfde achtergronden kan je de outfits beter vergelijken.
    De foto's in de natuur, in de klas, in je huiskamer, in de gang, op locatie: dat zijn meestal stukjes poëzie of een verhaaltje à la "Annebeth gaat naar...", of anders omdat het weer geen buitenfoto's toeliet.
    De plaatsen waar jij foto's neemt, zijn prima, ze brengen de outfits volledig tot hun recht.

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  15. Leuke outfit! En haha die comment :D

    Ik heb juist deze vakantie Lolita gelezen! Ik vond het een speciaal boek, om het zo te zeggen :) Maar misschien moet ik het nog een paar keer lezen voor het echt doordringt hoe goed het is :D

    En ik erger me ook aan hoe kinderen als inspiratie worden gezien, neem nu dat 10 jaar oude model Thylane of hoe noemt ze, da vind ik er echt over. Laat kinderen toch nog kind zijn, hun tijd komt nog wel!

    PS: Welke lippenstift heb jij aan? Mooie kleur!

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  16. wouaww I'm impressed by your hair !! well done !!

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  17. Lieve reply :-) voor mij is het een mengeling tussen bewuste keuze en praktische beperking. Praktisch: als je zoals ik ELKE dag foto's neemt van je outfit is het simpelweg ondoenbaar om telkens een leuke achtergrond te zoeken, tenzij ik elk vrij moment aan de blog spendeer, en dat vind ik net wat teveel van het goeie.
    Keuze: ik heb nooit geambieerd een van die "perfecte" blogs te worden zoals bijv fashiontoast of the cherry blossom girl: blogs van meisjes wiens haar altijd perfect ligt, elke foto met leuke bewerkingen perfect gephotoshopt is en elke fotoreeks precies een professionele fotoshoot is. Ik vind dat leuk escapisme, maar ik wou een realistischer blog, bereikbaarder, echter, en ook meer gefocust op dingen die echte meisjes en vrouwen doen en dragen. Daar hoort dan ook bij: een gewone, neutrale achtergrond + licht die je outfit doen uitkomen. Het geeft mijn blog en mijn foto's een soort trademark look: als je sommige dingen googlet en bij google afbeeldingen kijkt, pik je er zo mijn foto's uit. Dat vind ik leuk :-) Fijn dat dat ook zo overkomt op sommige lezers! En fijn dat je m'n muur proper vindt, haha

    ik zie die "uitstapjes" naar andere achtergronden ook echt als dat: uitstapjes, feature posts, iets speciaals om de routine te doorbreken. Niet mijn basis. Mijn basis is mijn vieze muur! :-D

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  18. yep, just another reason I don't have much interest in getting and using tumblr! If anything we should be posting older women who have achieved great things, broken barriers, obstacles, etc, and well, since it's a style blog and we clearly all appreciate good style, are stylish as well.
    Good point about Lolita, my man likes to say that a men's perverseness (in being attracted to little girls) is our increased by society's idolization of overly slim models, who many times have more girly than womanly bodies by being majorly underweight. He wrote a pretty convincing essay about it once in fact, maybe I'll make him guest post about it haha.
    Anyway, you look adorable and def are "owning" your cute yet sexy look!

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  19. love the sunglasses

    http://yajairasfashionnotes.blogspot.com/
    http://eleven23shop.blogspot.com/

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  20. thank you! I don't know whether men feel more attracted to young girls because of the fashion industry, but I definitely think they are two sides of the same coin. Evolutionary stuff and youth -> fertility and shiz.

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  21. Love this post, and I completely agree-- we are forcing our youth to grow up so quickly! I babysat for an 8 year old girl the other day who did a provocative dance to Rihanna's "S&M" and knew it word for word and made motions accordingly... Aside from that, love your innocent/not so innocent "Lolita" look!


    La Petite Marmoset

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  22. I like Nabokov's Lolita too but I find too often people get inspired by her and forget the book is about incest after all and that it ends up all going down hill...

    I understand how her image is inspiring though. And I think your look is even cooler. And morally acceptable!

    Virginie ♥

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  23. Great post, and lovely outfit!

    xoxo

    DressingDaly.blogspot.com

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  24. Um, yes! That is one of my abbbbsolute most favorite books of all time. So amazing and perfectly written. Did you know that Nabokow was also a butterfly expert? You should read this article if you haven't yet: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/01butterfly.html?pagewanted=all

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  25. I like the point you bring up about our youth crazed culture, everyone idealizes youth and those who project it, especially with child stars like justin beiber. And it's so weird to think of middle aged women lusting after the young stars in twilight etc. It's definitely not a healthy thing, my guy friends tonight were talking about women "peak" at 25 and go down hill from there and I couldn't think of anything more from the truth, I know so many confident beautiful 30+ women and that's amazing! I personally feel like I'll finally look my age (in a good way) by then.
    I love this dress, so very sweet!! The little print is gorgeous and those shoes fit perfectly. You are so confident, its wonderful!
    xJennaD

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  26. Love everything about this look -- from the braid to the dress to the shoes! So cute. <3

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  27. oh oh wise words girl! always love it when you force us to take a step back and making us think about things (what an intelligent sentence). i don't read because it is too hard for me and takes me too long! thank god for movies although i know it is not the same! i love seeing in this girly outfit! it changed you in someway! the glasses look amazing on you and not everybody gets away with round glasses! love the white combined with the latent color! oh and big fan of the hair! oh and i am not proud but i am scared of growing older too! and you are right, i am actually too old to be an outfit blogger! or you are younger or you have a blog about your cute little ones! i am not a mom and i am not youth! i am an in-between, not easy being an in-between!

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  28. Wat ben jij agressief seg. Blijkbaar kan je niet met kritiek overweg. Je zou de kritiek beter ombouwen naar iets positiefs, opdat je nog eens iets zou leren.

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  29. The further we get, the younger the stars get. Right now we're at the point where it really gets disturbing for me. Otherwise I love to play the Lolita image myself, but we're not at that dangerous age anymore.

    I love the book and ur spin on the image of Lolita!

    http://in-so-mnia.blogspot.com/

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  30. your writing is brilliant, and though i've never read lolita (now i plan to), i completely empathize with what you are saying... i took a course in college about gender and sociology and one of the main topics was objectification of women. it was more interesting than any other course i've taken!! i love that you are owning this girlish and SO chic outfit. everything from the cut to the delicate floral pattern to the wicker bag is darling <3shelby

    www.makemesparkly.com

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  31. I completely agree. And may I add that people should stop to show off children dressed like adults: mini dresses/skirts, high heels (!!), net stockings...please!! Let children be children. This only paves the way for pedophiles. Sorry for saying it, but it's true.
    On a more shallow note, you look lovely :)

    http://lifeisaromanticpoem.blogspot.com/

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  32. You are totally right! I love this post...

    Last night my 4 years old nephew asked me what is sex and as most of us, I was blocked and surprised.Then I asked him where did he listen to that word and he replied from TV.
    Sex is everywhere and on the top of the cake its the exposion of young people (even children) in the name of fashion. You see childern at the age of 13 years old behaving like 20 years old fashion models. And its not their fault, I guess its their parents fault! I guess designers love their freshness but that not right..

    Going to Lolita lifestyle, look how many lovers around us have big age difference and how many famous people adore to have relationships with much younger people and show them off in public..
    I think people's mentality around sex and children's exposion should change and even better stop..but that's just my way of thinking...

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  33. lovely outfit and lovely blog! the hair is amazing, i keep trying to do that but it never works!

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  34. I enjoyed the thought provoking ponderings about youth today. I'm already getting scared I'm getting old and I'm only 20. I probably shouldn't worry about that!

    In other news, you look wonderfully adorable and girly in that dress. I love the sunglasses and shoes too.

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  35. I love this! you could just as well be 16 :)
    I was just reading about the issue of 10-15 year olds featured in sexy ad campaigns and I have to admit it freaks me out a bit, it's not something you would consider normal. And then again, one of my grandmas married at age 16, was she mature enough for it?

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  36. Als dat je mening is, is dat goed voor jou!! Maar als je als reply schrijft 'wat ben jij agressief seg' dan heb je je eigen comment niet gelezen. Ik vind dat je gerust je eigen mening mag geven, maar de manier waarop is ook niet van de vriendelijkste hoor. Je kan gerust zeggen, 'ik vind je outfit superleuk, maar eens een ander plekje dan je grijze muur zou misschien leuk zijn' of zoiets (niet dat ik dat nodig vind hé)!! Komt al heel anders over!!

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  37. haha dat komt tegen mij zeggen dat ik agressief ben terwijl ze zelf blijkbaar de onweerstaanbare drang voelt om zonder enige reden iemand anders rechtuit te beginnen afzeiken :-D you slay me, woman! Hoe zeggen ze dat ookweer, "wat je zegt ben je zelf"? :-D

    Also, als je mijn bovenstaande reply had gelezen had je misschien begrepen dat ik helemaal niets heb aan je kritiek. Je kan bijvoorbeeld ook tegen Lady Gaga zeggen dat ze eens moet stoppen met rare outfits aan te trekken: dan dring je haar jouw eigen doelen en prioriteiten op terwijl ze zelf haar eigen doelen en prioriteiten heeft. Misschien is het wel MIJN doel en prioriteit om voor een vieze grijze muur te staan, en binnen dat paradigma is het dus compleet irrelevant om de opmerking te krijgen dat ik beter ergens anders zou staan, snap je?

    Niet dat het de moeite is om hier nog maar eens op te reageren, aangezien je de rest van mijn antwoorden blijkbaar ook niet gelezen hebt. Doei!

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  38. Adorable dress. Also love your hairstyle !

    http://gourmandisesettalonshauts.blogspot.com/

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  39. Cute!
    http://chicgeekblogger.blogspot.com/

    Please take a minute to look at my trunkshow;

    http://iouproject.com/tsh/jessica-karen/

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  40. Hehe, where to start? I kind of think I came off a major prude in that whole tumblr thing that resulted in Ashley taking the picture down. ; p And I'm not, I don't think. I can totally see the fashion inspiration in Lolita, I just get uncomfortable when people repost reams and reams of Lolita footage including (as you know) scenes of a child making out with an old dude. Although as a 13 year old I had a crush on a couple of forty somethings myself... including Jeremy Irons come to think of it.

    As for the glorification of youth culture... I agree. Although I wonder if it's maybe a bit different, as Lolita is about a man's lust and a lot of fashion youth culture seems to be about making women nasty to each other. Nonetheless, it's obvious when you look at the fact that every old geezer Hollywood star has a wife/girlfriend whose at least 20 years younger.

    Anywho, loving catching up on the blog!

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  41. Its a lot different, because these moms and others don't actually RAPE them. They would never actually hurt a child. Lolita was raped many times, it is very very different. You can't even compare the two. That being said, you look gorgeous and I love your outfit :). Especially your hair and the bag.

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  42. sure I can compare the two, like so: lolita is different from Biebs and Lautner because those two aren't being raped by an authority figure. However, lolita is the same as those two and all of the other very young beauty icons because they are being corrupted: they are forced into a sexual role they cannot carry yet, and they will be discarded once they age out of their childish good looks. A society obsessed with youth does that.

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