Recently, I had a discussion with apalacesurroundedbytrees (a mori user on tumblr) and we were both curious to see what sorts of things unite the mori community as a whole, if anything. So, I made a survey to do just that! So many of you participated, and I officially received 202 responses by the time I had closed the poll. Thank you so much to all of you!
Now that the poll is closed, its time to disclose the data I collected. I will present the raw data, as well as my own personal interpretations and comments. But feel free to come to your own conclusions about the answers as they are.
Additionally, I purposefully created the survey to be as neutral as possible, and so I included questions that I hope reflect well the many different opinions in our community. Not all of these opinions shared here are my own, but I included them all the same, just to be fair.
So without further ado, let's begin!
Demographics:A few of the questions I included were optional questions about the demographics of those taking my survey. Most of these were things I was simply curious about and thought would be interesting to see. At least 80% of surveyors answered these questions, so I feel that they are a fairly accurate representation of who was taking the survey.
"How long have you been wearing mori?"
Since its creation around 2006: 7%
10-12 years: 8%
5-9 years: 25%
4-1 years: 41%
Less than a year: 19%
"Are you an introvert, extrovert, or omnivert?"
"How old are you?"
Teenager and younger: 4%
Young adult: 41%
Personal thoughts: These demographics honestly weren't surprising to me. This seems to be about accurate to what I have seen across the mori communities I am involved in. The only one that was bit surprising was how many of the surveyors are new to the style. I'm glad to see Mori is still growing even now!
Lifestyle and Fashion:
This set of questions focuses on more conventional ideas of mori kei, both fashion and the existence of the mori lifestyle, as well as some personality traits that are generally considered to be mori traits.
"I enjoy mori kei because I feel it is a lifestyle."
"I believe that you can be mori and only engage in the lifestyle aspect."
"I am, generally, a self-reliant, self-sufficient, or independent person."
"I would generally refer to myself as whimsical or quirky."
"I believe you can be mori and still have 'non-mori' interests."
"I am attracted to mori fashion because of its loose rules."
"I can relate to the statement, 'the pace of life that I dream of and try to achieve is unapologetically slow-paced'."
"I enjoy mori kei for the fashion."
Personal thoughts: There were a few things here that surprised me. Firstly, I was shocked that so many people agree you can be mori and only engage in the lifestyle aspect. I wouldn't say I disagree with this statement, but it's certainly not completely accurate to what mori actually is. Originally, it was created as a fashion style, and any lifestyle aspects that were attached were more general aspects that didn't necessarily create a lifestyle on their own. The "mori lifestyle," as we know it today, is something that was created by the international mori community, not the Japanese community who created the fashion and the term "mori kei/mori girl" in the first place. Again, I'm not saying its wrong, or right. It's just interesting to see so many people accepting an additive to the style as the core of what mori is.
Similarly, I was also surprised to see a small section of people saying they don't enjoy mori fashion but still consider themselves mori. That is so strange to me! No matter where you fall on the lifestyle debate, I think most of us can agree that the core point of mori kei is the fashion. To not enjoy the fashion but still accept the label is beyond my understanding. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, it's just strange to me personally. I mean, how do you go about telling someone you're mori then? I'm genuinely curious. Because when people see I'm mori, they often search it up online, and the first thing that's going to come up is the fashion. It must be hard to explain to people when you aren't interested in the fashion! I already have enough issues explaining the fashion alone ;)
One thing I was glad to see is that we can almost all agree that mori doesn't mean you have to mold yourself into a certain type of person, and that you can have non-mori interests and still be mori. I love how this community has managed to largely avoid gatekeeping for so long. You guys are the best!
It was also interesting for me to see that the majority of us tend to follow the traditional "choco's list" mori personality traits. I thought there would be more divergence honestly. I'm pleasantly surprised to see we all have so much in common!
This set of questions has to do with various interests that generally seem to fit well into the mori aesthetic. Some are trends I have noticed, and others are related to Choco's list and the original mori kei aesthetic.
"I am interested in Japanese culture."
"I enjoy creative hobbies (ie. knitting, photography, drawing, baking, etc.)"
"I enjoy drinking warm drinks (like coffee, tea, or cocoa)."
"I feel drawn to nature and the forest."
"I am interested in protecting the environment, sustainability, or other environmental issues."
"I enjoy the folktale/fairy tale/mythical aesthetic."
"I enjoy literature and reading."
Personal thoughts: The answers to these questions really surprised me. Again, I expected there to be more diversity in opinions here. I suppose I've been hearing the loud minority of voices on these topics, but for some reason, I felt that a lot of mori folk rejected the traditional mori activities. It seems that I was wrong! It's so interesting for me to see that almost all of us can agree on our hobbies, to an extent. It seems we have more in common than I thought!
Overall, this was a super interesting project for me. I'd love to do this again in a better format so that I can more properly analyze the results. I would be interested in seeing, for instance, what the difference is in answers between those who have been wearing the fashion for a long time, versus newcomers to the community. Unfortunately, I had never created a survey before this, so this is the best I could do. Regardless, I hope you enjoy the findings.
Also, just because the poll is closed doesn't mean you can't still participate! I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments about your own opinions, and the data I've collected. How well do you feel this data reflects the mori community? Is there another question you might have included? Let me know what you think about this little project!