[...] hence why often lolita style tends to make girls look more* innocent, younger and generally less ‘womanly’.
Regardless of overlooked mechanisms which drove Victorian style into the Japanese lolita scene, this point is perplexing. I can only partially agree with Aelysium when considering the traditional notion on lolita: seductiveness, attractiveness, and sexual promiscuity of youth. As an aesthetic movement, lolita style exhibits a good side, quite harmless. But I feel the sexuality of lolita, instead removal, has undergone a dark transformation in Japanese otaku culture in which the common allure of lolita sexuality has become a fetish of youth and innocence. Arguably, “lolita” is not a misnomer when viewed this way.
But perhaps they are one in the same; the sexual vitality of [post] pubescent youth with hormones firing in every direction and the encapsulation of purity dressed to mask this inner vitality. It is hard to imagine a culture versed in aesthetic beauty and sexual symbolism would blatantly ignore one or the other entirely. Call it speculation…
Update: needing to clarify that by “Japanese culture” the context was “Japanese otaku culture” which has fetishized lolita, thus lolicon (as touched on in the original post). This responses is not a comment on the intent of wearers of Lolita style whom have good reason to not attach promiscuous connotation to their manner of dress. And to somewhat clarify my final speculation that from a street style to a fetishized aesthetic in Japanese visual fiction, Lolita style now has plausible sexuality on the street, when intended.
I appreciate Aelysium’s response.