In mainstream beauty and fashion, monthly subscription boxes have become the latest sensation since mail-in catalogue ordering or those monthly book clubs you loved when you were a kid. Instead of picking out things you want directly, you pay a relatively low amount of money for a box of products, (usually a value for the price,) sometimes tailored to your tastes, shipped to your door once a month. Recently, this has caught on to Japanese alternative fashion in the United States with the company Genso Box. (Note: Currently their website is down, so I cannot provide you with more links. Apologies!)
Why would this be relevant to a person with disabilities? First, I will refer you to The Spoon Theory, by Christine Miserandino. It is an analogy that explains the amount of energy we have, (for video game people, think of it like HP,) is quickly expelled and in the form of spoons. People with disabilities only have a few spoons to use throughout the day, so we have to constantly count them. Each thing I have to do costs me a spoon, and when I run out, I am done for the day, or worse, I run into negative spoons, and I have screwed my tomorrow.
Now, as much as I used to enjoy shopping, I ain’t got time. The mall is daunting. Finding an open ADA spot. Unloading my wheelchair by myself when I’m alone and hurting myself accidentally at least twice. Dealing with jerks. Using the most hideous bathrooms. Well, what about online shopping, ElleJay? Visiting a million different websites to put together the perfect outfit and paying for shipping on each store? I could use a shopping service, but that requires a little more planning and more time on the Internet that I don’t want to spend. Frankly, right now, I have very few spoons and a million things I need to do, but I still want to look cute.
I also want the things in my box to fit me and be tailored to my tastes. You begin by choosing the style you prefer (Lolita, Gyaru, Kawaii, or Mahou Shoujo,) you are asked for your measurements, and you choose the type of package you would like, Starter or Monthly Subscription. I suggest beginning with the Starter to build a base and gauge the kinds of things you like with the style experts and then moving forward with the subscription if you desire. The prices vary by package, but the Starters are always more expensive. (You even have the option to add a wig!)
With this kind of process, I can keep up with the kind of fashion I enjoy and not have to think about it or exhaust myself. It’s also a pretty great deal. For around $100, these are the items I received in a short video I created:
Regarding comfort and kindness to my body, I was able to choose what kind of clothing items I preferred, dresses/skirts/shorts/et cetera. This is an important concern for me (and it may change depending on how I am feeling) because due to my leg issue, I have developed issues with my hips and back, making it painful for anything to press against my waist for long, unless it is very gentle. This is why I chose dresses, initially. I have to say, everything was extremely comfortable, even the socks which I forgot to mention, but I happened to get lucky. (I need not-tight elastic on tights and socks as to not irritate the malformations in my leg and generally not upset my back.)
In a peer’s review, there were some concerns regarding using items with stolen art/unlicensed material and quality issues. To assuage these fears as best I can, it is my understanding that the company is addressing these rapidly and they were unaware of the first of the two specifically until it was brought to their attention. Personally, I had a desire for items that I could be more comfortable in and not worry as much about sitting in or getting dirty.
To my knowledge, the pieces GB selects are sourced from various shops on TaoBao, which is like the Chinese version of eBay. However, this is actually quite common in the Japanese alternative fashion community; it’s just a matter of finding the right shops. Just like on eBay, there are many good sellers, you just have to be aware of signs of ones who might be using stolen pictures to mask the item they are actually selling or selling actual stolen artwork.
Honestly, when I chose GensoBox, I was not choosing them because I wanted a very high quality garment. Does it stand up well enough to wear out and have fun in? Is it relevant to the style profile quiz I answered? Do the pieces reflect current trends within the genre? I would say yes to all three.
I feel magical when I wear them, I can mix and match items with things I owned previously as you have seen above, they remembered I liked Sailor Moon and incorporated that, and in general, I got a few of some of my favourite things! (Stars! Wands! Moons!
Lavender! Admittedly, the underdress is so comfy, I have worn it as a nightgown a couple times.) The wig surprised me the most. It’s very full, multi-tonal, and has a lovely natural, subdued colours. At this point, I will definitely get a subscription, and I hope you enjoy the items I received as well!
If you are looking for a fashion subscription plan for similar reasons, I would recommend them!
Most importantly, make good with your ability today.
Love, strength, and hope,