Rebellion, seeking attention, depression, poor self image, peer pressure. Pick one or more.

In Response to the Usual Opinion (Above):
Actually, for many of us, it’s an opportunity to live out our fantasies. Lolita is all about being a girl. It’s a lifestyle that is fun to share, challenges us to reach our full potential in the sewing and cooking realms, and a traditions that bonds us closer together as friends. Trust me when I say a poor self image doesn’t factor into it at all. Most ‘peers’, as was put above, discourage the freedom of such expression and it takes a great deal of confidence to be lolita.

People wear Gothic Lolita for the same reason why some people wear black clothes, or why some people wear baggy pants, or let their jeans sag, or wear baseball hats, or scarves in the summertime. It is basically because they can. People use clothes as a form of expression and what they like.

… Either that, or the person in a pink dress in front of you probably lost a bet.

I can’t answer as to why the Japanese wear Lolita, however I do know Americans wear it because they just plain like the lace and frills and whatnot. It does take a lot of courage to wear something that isn’t commonly seen. Just because something is different, doesn’t mean it’s trying to stand out. Besides, with how expensive Lolita costs, it’s really a hobby or investment that takes more dedication than someone feeling pressured to rebel or get attention would normally give.

I think that these girls are dressing this way to either be different or to be like others. Maybe one girl decided it looked cool and followed another girls lead, while another girl decided to do something daring and dress different. Either way, yes it does take a great deal of courage. I know this from personal experience. I just don’t like how everyone has to treat you when you dress different. It should be your choice and these girls are expressing just that. They probably don’t want to grow up or like the frills it shouldn’t matter either way. I think you people are all just jealous that other people are getting more attention because they have the ability to dress differently and decide to make their own clothes for a change. That stupid stuff you buy at the mall everyone has, you shouldn’t crush some innocent girl just because she likes to dress differently.

It’s not just the Japanese girls who like to dress in Gothic Lolita – boys do as well. They do it because they all like that style – it’s exactly the same as a chav wearing trackies (not trying to stereotype). They like that style and wear because they can. They are trying to make themselves like the Porcelain china dolls you can buy.

Because deep down inside, everyone wants to be a pretty pretty princess, but only a few brave/aloof/bidoof souls have the lack of self-consciousness to actually dress that way in public.

Yet another answer
Another big reason, is because it originated in Japan. Also, when you’re older (say, I don’t know…40s and on) it just doesn’t look right anymore. It’s the baby doll look, so Japanese teens can get away with it since they look so young anyway. All they want to accomplish is to look “cute,” not sexy. It’s the people with a Gothic Fetish that dress them up like that to sell pictures or clips.